Even when technically correct, a headline can be misleading. “Right wing protesters occupy Federal Building” conjures up an image, for me, of the Federal Building in Los Angeles, a gleaming, multi-story building where we marched up and down in 1990, shouting “No blood for oil!” and it seemed to me that no government had ever before waged such a horrible war on such an obviously bullshit pretext but it was, after all, just the beginning of the long and ugly descent which has brought us to where we are today.
Another image conjured up is that of the Oklahoma Federal Building, brought down by Timothy McVeigh, who has a great deal in common with the guys who are currently occupying the ‘Federal Building’ out in Middle-of-Nowhere, Oregon. It is, indeed, a federal building, i.e. a building owned by the federal government, but it’s not exactly as if they are issuing passports and trying federal cases in that building.
It’s the visitors’ center at a nature reserve, it looks like a big house in the middle of the forest, and it was closed for the holidays when a couple of Cliven Bundy’s sons and a dozen or two other gun loving wackadoodles walked in and took it over.
They have said they won’t leave, and if federal authorities try to force them out, they will open fire.
I’ve seen a lot of suggestions for how to deal with the situation on facebook, from drone strikes on down.
What Obama is likely to do is ignore them, just like he ignored their father, Cliven Bundy, when he refused to pay his grazing fees.
Letting them break the law, apparently, doesn’t work. They just break the law harder and stupider.
The solution is simple. Block the road that leads to the cabin. (I’m sure there’s only one.) Then wait. Shut off their water and electric. Let’s see what great survivalists they are.
If they want to come out, arrest them. Otherwise, they can stay there, in their self-made, self-operated prison, forever.