In general terms, Bundy’s notion of state supremacy — “I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing” — is a variant of states’-rights claims that go back to the Civil War and were revived in the segregationists’ opposition to civil rights laws. Because the federal government has been the protector of minority rights, states’ rights have long been used to justify discrimination.
Specifically, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks anti-government and hate groups, says that Bundy’s sentiments align closely with those of the “Posse Comitatus” movement, founded by William Potter Gale in the 1970s. That movement based its anti-tax position — and its belief in the primacy of county and state authority over the federal government — on a belief that the levers of national power were controlled by Jewish bankers. “Most of the ideas that bolster positions like Cliven’s that the federal government doesn’t exist come from Posse Comitatus ideology,” the SPLC’s Ryan Lenz argues. And that ideology is rooted in bigotry.
There are so many weak spots in the Cliven Bundy position, its almost depressing. If for no other reason that this crank and those who are holding him up (or were) until the NYT interview of two days ago, make the centrist conservatives' job who want a smaller federal government that much harder. Further, it hurts the GOP in a broad sense as these type comments historically seem to come mostly from the mouths of one particular political party. Bundy blunder today was Todd Akin's, or Mitt Romney's of a few years ago.
Give it time, in a few weeks or a few months, someone else will step up and let some garbage fall out of their face in front of the cameras and we'll do this all over again.