Cliven Bundy, like any helicopter dad, couldn’t just sit back and let his son see things through in Oregon. He had to chime in, and what’s more, he had to disagree with Ammon Bundy’s call from jail for the four remaining holdouts at Malheur Wildlife Refuge to “go home to their families.” Yesterday the elder Bundy sent a letter to the Harney County sheriff, Oregon governor Kate Brown, and President Obama. “We the People of Harney County and also We the People of the citizens of the United States,” he wrote, “do give notice that we will retain possession of the Harney County resource center [the militants’ name for the wildlife refuge].” That “We” does not physically involve him; he’s still at his ranch in Nevada.
He also called for the removal of “all federal and state policing agents” and requested the Harney County Sheriff post a guard at the entrance to the refuge to keep “all from entering or exiting” for a time. He did not specify how long the guard should remain. “What this is saying is that Cliven Bundy is taking control of things,” he told The Guardian in an interview from Nevada, referring to himself in the third person. “If we don’t retain it, then we’ve lost everything we’ve done in the last two months. We’re not going to give up.”
Perhaps he’s taking credit for Ammon’s so-called achievements by genetic proxy. Although Cliven did acknowledge his son’s call for holdouts to leave the refuge, it didn’t seem to faze him. “I don’t think that’s what’s in his heart,” he said. “He probably got his arm twisted.” Both Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with six of their fellow militiamen, were arrested last Tuesday following a confrontation with authorities that turned violent. Only four militia members remain in the center, and they’ve said they’ll leave as long as no one arrests them. Sorry, Cliven, but it doesn’t look like your strongly worded letter is the backup the Oregon militia was hoping for.