The confrontation between the Bureau of Land Management and Cliveden Bundy ended with the Feds retreating in the face of armed, popular, resistance.
In one sense this is a local story played out in Nevada, in another it it the first time the Feds have lost even a skirmish against the militias and, I suspect, may come to hold significance in the future history of the Republic.
Pre-Internet the capacity to rally forces quickly was largely confined to governments. While activists could certainly run phone trees and mailing lists, they could not bring tactical superiority to bear quickly. Pre smart phone, activists had to rely on licensed mainstream media to cover, or more often than not, ignore stories in which those activists faced the government.
As the Bundy confrontation shows, all those rules have changed.
Critically, Bundy has shown the militias, non-militia activists and citizens in general that determined, non-violent, resistance (backed with guns) can defeat the Government tactically.
America is, I fear, headinv into an economically and socially very dark period. The hangover from Quantitative Easing has the potential to destroy what little is left of the American middle class. Mass, immigration – legal and illegal – has the capacity to destroy decently paying jobs. The fiscal distress of local, state and national governments will demand ever harsher taxation and collection. The imbalance between prosecutorial power and defence capacity combined with an ever growing catalogue of felony offences will put every American at risk of a politically motivated prosecution.
Brady signalled the possibility of push back.
American history buffs will remember that The Sons of Liberty was founded in 1765 fully 10 years before the American Revolution began in earnest. The knitting together of Liberty activists in the West may very well have begun with the defence of Bundy’s cows.