Sunday, January 17, 2016

strange bedfellows in the oregon wildlife refuge collective insecurity club...,

NYTimes |  “There’s no question that there is now a brand of success associated with Bundy family standoffs,” said Tarso Ramos, the executive director of Political Research Associates, a think tank that studies right-wing movements. “And the success of this standoff in surviving so far has emboldened factions that once decried the effort to act in a more confrontational manner.”

Mr. Ramos pointed to the Oath Keepers, whose president, Stewart Rhodes, issued a statement during the first week of the standoff saying his group would not get involved. Mr. Rhodes later changed course, announcing that he would send an Oath Keeper team to Oregon, albeit without long guns or camouflage gear and only to “keep the peace.”

The Oath Keepers are staying in Burns, not at the wildlife refuge. Well before this protest began, Mr. Ritzheimer and Mr. Rhodes had a public falling out.

Not everyone agreed that a muted federal response had fueled the growth of the occupation. Mr. Pitcavage argued that if the government had cracked down on the Bundys, as it did at conflicts in Waco, Tex., and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, it could easily “draw attention to the effort and draw more people like a magnet.”

Nor was everyone in Oregon there because of an antigovernment agenda.

“I do not understand the culture,” said Kristi Jernigan, 44, from Tennessee, who was among the women in the compound’s kitchen feeding the occupation. Ms. Jernigan said she had little interest in politics and had arrived only “to spread love.”

“You’d be surprised at all the different people here,” she said.