In the latest development in the spectacle of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his dispute with our government, my congressman, Chris Stewart, says he wants to defund the ability of the Bureau of Land Management to enforce the law ("Stewart: Cut BLM ‘paramilitary’, Salt Lake Tribune, April 30). Though Stewart declares that he isn’t taking sides in the controversy, he is in fact proposing to do exactly what Mr. Bundy has insisted that the Clark County, Nev., sheriff do: disarm the BLM along with the National Park Service.
The fundamental problem with Stewart’s position is that he should be taking sides, and that should be the side of the law against those who break the law. Bundy is violating laws passed by the U.S. Congress, not state law or local ordinances. It is therefore appropriate that federal officials be called upon to enforce those laws.
One wonders what Stewart’s reaction would have been when President George Washington led an army against the Whiskey Rebels in 1791. Would he have threatened to defund the father of our country?
Salt Lake City
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