Back in the 1960’s it was common to see a bumper sticker on a conservative’s car that read SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL POLICE. It was in response to the dirty fucking hippies and anti-war crowd that taunted the cops, called them “pigs” and “paramilitary.” Richard Nixon exploited the sentiment in the 1968 election with his appeals to the hard-hat “silent majority” supporters who hated the DFH’s. It was the up-north version of the Southern Strategy; rope in the paranoid and fearful white voters by scaring them with images of Jerry Garcia and Abbie Hoffman.
Back then law enforcement was the bulwark of good old American values, and to scorn or demonize them was treasonous. Even when the National Guard killed four demonstrators at Kent State in Ohio in 1970, they were praised by the wingers for doing their duty and protecting America.
That was then. Now, not so much.
A Republican congressman wants to prevent federal agencies from having their own “paramilitary units” and require them to rely on local authorities after the Bundy Ranch drama.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said his proposal was in response to the armed standoff between the impromptu militia that supported Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and officials from the Bureau of Land Management.
Stewart, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, plans to work to cut off funding for federal “paramilitary units,” as he called them, within agencies like the BLM and the Internal Revenue Service.
“There are lots of people who are really concerned when the BLM shows up with its own SWAT team,” he said Tuesday. “They’re regulatory agencies. They’re not paramilitary units, and I think that concerns a lot of us.”
A spokeswoman for the BLM told the newspaper the agency doesn’t currently have any SWAT or tactical teams.
Wow, this guy is some kind of seriously stupid whacko. Not only is he wrong on his facts — yeah, I know, what a shock that a wingnut has no idea what he’s talking about — he’s talking about making federal agents unable to protect themselves or do their jobs.
Who’s the DFH now?