By Rod Miller, columnist
Rex Rammell tells us that, if he’s elected Governor of Wyoming, we’ll see a dust cloud on the horizon as his minions drive the feds from public lands within our borders. On “Day One”, no less.
First off he’ll have Meal Team Six and the Gravy Seals clear all BLM lands of those pesky bureaucrats. Next, Rex will direct the Park County Full Gospel Gun & Glee Club to rid us of the annoying presence of all those tree huggin’ federal rangers on our “National Forests”.
It’s unclear exactly whom he will employ to drive the U.S. Air Force from F. E. Warren Air Force Base, but I bet he has a plan. He’ll probably proclaim, “Those idiots didn’t even build a runway on that air force base! The State of Wyoming could do a better job managing that land. We can turn it into a big shootin’ range, and use it for monster truck shows.”
Rex Rammell will contort himself like a pretzel to establish his Sagebrush Rebel bona fides in his quest to be Governor of Wyoming. And it will all be in vain, except for its humor, because what he proposes is not gonna happen.
If Sagebrush Rebel is a new term for you young ‘uns, here’s the Cliff Notes. The Sagebrush Rebellion arose in Nevada during the Reagan era as a means to reduce the influence of the federal government on public lands in the West.
The doctrine holds that states can simply take over federal lands within their borders and manage them as they see fit. It was a backlash against the federal government telling the states that every acre of public land cannot be mined for coal or drilled for oil….that every tree cannot be logged…that every blade of grass cannot be cow food and nothing more.
At the bottom of every Sagebrush Rebel’s Stetson is a legal rabbit they can pull out to justify their delusion. That rabbit is always some sort of skewed, wishful thinking misreading of the U.S. Constitution. In Rammel’s case, he claims authority for his land grab comes from his creative interpretation of the Tenth Amendment.
Over the decades since it was Morning in America, the Sagebrush Rebels’ legal fantasies have been tested in courts of law and shot down every damned time. Yet they persist!
The Sagebrush Rebellion is like a case of political herpes, and it just keeps coming back. Each new generation of rebel tries some new angle to prove that federal ownership of land within a state’s borders is against the Laws of God.
Yet that notion has no basis in law, and has become nothing more than a fairy tale told to the Bundy kids at bedtime.
Rammell, a self-described “constitutional conservative” should spend a bit more time reading the constitution of the state that he wants to govern. It wouldn’t hurt him a bit to browse through Wyoming’s Act of Admission to the Union, either.
Both documents clearly state that, upon admission to the Union, the State of Wyoming forsook and forswore any claim to federal land within its borders not specifically granted. Maybe Rex is in touch with a higher power that is giving him better advice than his own state’s constitution.
But it’s probably a moot point. Rex scheduled a press conference on the capitol steps to announce his candidacy for governor, and to trot out his agenda for this season’s Sagebrush Rebellion. Nobody showed up.
Thus, the real world expresses its opinion on Rammell’s strange doctrine and on his chances to be our next governor.
Don’t fret, Rex. If the governor thing doesn’t pan out for you, the Bundy kids still need someone to tell them bedtime stories.