#YallQaeda: Oregon Standoff Brings Out the Best Internet Snark
Any time a news story about the Far Right in America starts to get to me, I can count on social media to make me laugh just enough to stay mentally balanced. First there was anti-gay crusader Kim Davis, and now it’s the standoff in Oregon between rural Libertarians and the federal government.
Saturday night, armed men broke into the desolate headquarters of a federally owned wildlife refuge in Oregon and said they weren’t going to leave until the government stops its “tyranny.”
It just got weirder from there.
The group’s spokesman is Ammon Bundy, the son of anti-government Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. The father made national news when he led a huge standoff against the feds in 2014 in which he and his brother participated. The standoff took on racist shades when the elder Bundy wondered aloud to a New York Times reporter whether black people would be better off enslaved.
These guys are basically declaring they will stay in the building forever – the old hold-your-breath-until-you-turn-blue approach – until the government turns the refuge land over to ranchers, because their convoluted reading of the Constitution has convinced them the federal government can’t own land, only rugged manly Free Citizens can.
And they’re totally not terrorists promoting violence or anything, but they have guns and aren’t afraid to use them and will “die free” before they let government officials boss them around, if you catch their drift.
For the occupiers, it’s a matter of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. For the internet, it’s a chance to unleash some fine, Grade A political snark to get us through the week. Over the weekend, Twitter dubbed the movement Y’all Qaeda, Yee Hawdists, Vanilla ISIS and Talibundy, among other perfect nicknames.
It got even better when it came out that one of the protesters put out a call for people to send them snacks through the mail – you know, the government-run United States Postal Service.
One of my favorite responses is this op-ed from Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribune:
Whether you’re supporting arsonist ranchers or angling to overthrow the government, please know that I support you and hope that your like-minded compatriots across the country swiftly follow your lead. And by “follow your lead,” I mean “find a remote, unoccupied federal wildlife refuge building and then threaten to stay there pretty much forever.”
We’ve all had enough of President Barack Hussein Al Qaeda Benghazi Obama and his tyrannical policies, and it’s high time that people who truly love America gather up their guns and plaid outerwear and head to sparsely populated areas with promises to never leave. Ever.
The humor is a bit angrier for others, who point out how different the situation would be if the armed men taking over a federal building were Muslim or black.
President Obama’s upcoming executive actions to tighten gun control laws ought to go over really well this week.