First, a quote from the Washington Times:
The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.
“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
The Republicans, fighting with smaller-bore weaponry, keep trying to get some things reopened with carefully targeted legislation. The Senate, under the thumbs of Sen. Harry Reid and the White House, refuses to budge from the trivial and the petty.
Sure, Harry Reid is under pressure from the White House to not budge, but that’s because the White House is out to harm the public in order to create “optics”, in this case, the illusion that government shutdown is painful and hurtful.
We’ve seen WWII veterans blocked from the WWII memorial, which was paid for almost entirely by private donations. And again, we’ve seen sections of the Mount Vernon parking lots and the bus turn-around closed just to inconvenience the public (and you know it’s bad when Infowars has a credible, objective news story).
John McCormack at the Weekly Standard went by the WWII memorial today and found the barricades had been wired together to stop people from entering. This is deliberate. You can see how deliberate by comparing the WWII memorial to the WWI memorial:
Admittedly, it ain’t much wire, but it’s the thought that counts.
(Update: Technically, that’s the 2nd ID Memorial – apparently the McCormack and plenty of others assumed it was the WWI memorial. I assumed it was a WWI memorial, just one on the other side of the city. The DC WWI Memorial is a small dome, but it’s not a national memorial, it’s a District of Columbia memorial. One of the only major WWI memorials in the US is the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which as their website notes, is open.)
In addition to this, the US Normandy cemeteries are closed, open areas of rivers that are unmonitored and never closed are intentionally closed, and the reason from the Democrats? “Because we have a Tea Party.“
As a supporter of the Tea Party, I can explain Chuck Schumer’s statement. He means to say, “We’re doing this to you because we have a Tea Party to destroy, and we’ll blame them for every tyrannical action we take against you.”
The Tea Party, founded to oppose government waste, would not be in favor in any way shape or form of spending money and man-hours to close locations that require no staffing, no monitoring, no observation, and that function year-round with no government. Schumer is arguing the Obama administration’s actions – they are spending money to close things that cost no money.
Those barricades, as seen in the picture, are rented. Who’s paying for those? If the government’s shut down, there’s no reason to spend money on barricades to close access to something that requires no funding, no monitoring, no observation, no staff, nothing.
Again, they closed a river:
Galletta, hunched over his computer at Bighorn Anglers fly shop, had been fielding calls all Wednesday morning from his out-of-state fly-fishing clients who were concerned about whether they would have access to the upper Bighorn — the most popular section of the stream, and the area where the government shutdown Tuesday took the form of 8-foot long concrete barriers that blocked access. …
“They closed something down that they never monitored all year long,” said Rick Law at the Bighorn Trout Shop.
He said the nearby Park Service contact station, where anglers pay a fee to launch their boats at the federal sites, had been empty all summer and he never saw a Park Service employee picking up trash or even enforcing the parking rules.
“I could see it if they had people up here working, monitoring and picking up trash, but they’re not,” Law said.
Others, like longtime fishing guide Richard Montella, questioned whether the agency even had the right to close the sites, since they aren’t part of the nearby federally managed Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
“The worst of it is, we’re paying for this service,” he said. “To put it really bluntly, these people have nothing to do here.”
Oh, they do. They’re there to make life as difficult as possible, and to get people like the California tourist quoted in the story upset at Republicans for opposing a tyrannical law.