“There are people who use the term bullying ‘to get what they want. They use it as professional victims to gain power and control,’ says Ben Leichtling, founder of BulliesBeGone.” This morning, the House Natural Resource Committee heard from a panel of such folk, all complaining of “Threats, Intimidation and Bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies.”
The star witness, Wayne Hage, Jr., and his parents before him, helped ignite the 1970s Sagebrush Rebellion in response to new environmental laws that threatened the century-long hegemony ranchers hold over the arid West’s public lands. Federal employees, charged with ensuring the new legal rubber met the road, became the objects of scorn and derision by those who believe federal land (ab)use is their right.
Today, social conservatives are trying to undercut the pro-gay rights anti-bullying campaign by playing the “we’re bullying victims, too” card. It’s no surprise that Congress’ Sagebrush Rebels have joined the bigots chorus.