They say the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Let me suggest a third: If there’s a wingnut somewhere falsely claiming persecution, you can count on Larry Klayman, the dumbest lawyer in America not named Mat Staver, sprinting to his side for a little camera time. The first line of this column made me laugh:
I was on my way to the Bundy ranch last Thursday to meet with the family to see if I could be of some help in their epic land battle with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Oh, I’m sure they could use your mad lawyerin’ skills, Larry. Maybe you could file another one of your now-infamous legal complaints that don’t bother to make any actual legal arguments but are just long lists of political grievances instead. I’m sure that would help a lot. I’m so glad you’re on the case. Alas, Bundy refused his sage advice:
When I arrived at the ranch, I spoke with Cliven about the comments and suggested that he clarify his remarks immediately since, after talking with him, it seemed that what he was trying to say was that black people had been so poorly treated by the government, as he had been, that ironically they may have been better off under slavery. He was trying to equate welfare and going on the government dole, which takes away a person’s self esteem and puts then out to pasture like cattle, with his own plight. From my interaction with Cliven, it became clear to me that he is a person who speaks what is in his mind and is not a racist, and that, being a rancher in a remote area of Nevada, never was exposed to the political correctness of the city slickers in Las Vegas for instance. For him, the term “negro” was what he had learned as a boy, when that term was widely used by even such civil rights icons as Rev. Martin Luther King. He was obviously unaware that the likes of other reverends – albeit phony members of the cloth – Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, had coined the term “African-American,” many years after Rev. King’s death.
In discussing the matter with Cliven, with other members of the family listening, I advised him that anything we talked about would be private, as I took this to be a consultation under the attorney client privilege. Cliven shot back, not in anger but with his own sense of self, that he did not need “any attorney” to speak for him and did not want anything about his remarks to be confidential. I told him it was not my intent to speak for him and I backed off. He then left to do his planned press conference, where he reiterated his beliefs in even a less politically correct and inarticulate fashion than he had with the New York Times. I was present at the press conference but did not speak, as I had no authority to do so and did not want to chime in in any event. But it was clear that a good man had again shot himself in the foot, after ironically having victoriously escaped gunfire during the provocative, heavy-handed raid on his ranch by the BLM.
Bundy clearly doesn’t know who he was dealing with! Why, you’re the guy who represented Bradlee Dean in his crucial lawsuit to crush the First Amendment right of news outlets to quote him verbatim! And you did such a brilliant job of it that you got him stuck with a nearly $30,000 bill for legal fees because you filed the case in the wrong venue. Why, you’re a hero, Larry! A goddamned hero. And that ungrateful SOB just doesn’t know it.