AJOC EDITORIAL: Shutdown Theater latest act of a petty president
Thanks to the government shutdown, this White House finally found borders it is willing to spend time and money to enforce.
On Oct. 1, the first day of the new fiscal year that began without a budget thanks to the inability of the Senate, House of Representatives and White House to reach a deal, the Office of Management and Budget ordered National Park Service Police to erect barricades around the open air monuments throughout Washington, D.C., including the World War II Memorial.
Never mind that these monuments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week or that planeload after planeload of World War II veterans were scheduled to arrive on Honor Flights to visit their memorial.
Or, for that matter, the sheer ridiculousness of attempting to close an open air monument with barricades that can be — and were — breached by frail veterans in wheelchairs who have seen a lot tougher stuff than the National Park Service Police who were exempted from furlough solely to keep a generation of heroes out.
A more transparent attempt at Shutdown Theater is hard to imagine, until you remember the White House deliberately furloughing air traffic controllers to cause snarls and delays across the country so it could blame Republicans for the impact of sequestration cuts earlier this year.
One can only muse about whether the White House considered closing the federal interstate highway system as well.
The OMB operates out of the White House and answers to President Barack Obama, who never shies away from shrinking the stature of his office.
Scoring political points is one thing. Intentionally inflicting harm on American citizens and visitors out of pettiness and spite is an outrage. Too bad it’s nothing new for the president or his despicable right hand, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Attempting to deny World War II veterans access to their own monument is the most asinine act by this White House and its Democrat enablers, but it is hardly the only one.
Shutdown Theater has extended to an attempt to cancel the Air Force vs. Navy football game scheduled for Oct. 5, and Army’s game against Boston College.
Again, never mind that service academy athletic programs are self-funded private organizations requiring no government funds and that in fact those programs will lose $4 million by not playing the Air Force-Navy game.
“We could run our entire athletics program and conduct events as we always do without any government funds,” Naval Academy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said, according to a story in the Capital Gazette. “In talking to the Air Force athletic director, their football team could execute the trip without government funding.”
According to the story, “Asked why the Department of Defense was suspending intercollegiate athletic contests if government funds are not required, Gladchuk said he was told it was about ‘optics.’”
“It’s a perception thing, Gladchuk said. “Apparently it doesn’t resonate with all the other government agencies that have been shut down.”
The Capital Gazette reported record crowd in excess of 38,000 was expected to pack the stadium for the game, flights and hotels have been booked, 200 football recruits and their families made plans to come to the game and Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach and other members of Navy’s 1963 storied team were also scheduled to attend.
None of this matters to the petulant and arrogant Obama, who does not care who suffers as long as the media continues to blame Republicans for everything. Which of course they will, which is why the Democrats are gleefully refusing to negotiate and reveling in this shutdown in the belief they will be the political winners.
The popular Democrat mantra is that Obama won the 2012 election, and therefore Republicans should sit down and shut up and do whatever he and the despicable Reid demand.
They seem to have forgotten that the same 2012 election returned Republicans to their majority in the House of Representatives, and that Obama hardly won the argument in numerous states represented for now by Democrat senators including here in Alaska.
It is an interesting stance for a party that was in the minority in Congress less than 10 years ago and coming off a presidential election loss to George W. Bush. It doesn’t take much of a trip into the wayback machine to remember that Democrats hardly stopped fighting just because they lost an election.
The Founding Fathers of this nation feared the majority of a mob as much as they feared the tyranny of a monarch, and thus we have the Constitutional system of checks and balances the Republican majority in the House is using today. Minority rights are enshrined in the document, which makes the position of a minority president demanding 100 percent acquiescence even more ignorant on the basics of governing.
Obama won’t have to face American voters again, but Sen. Mark Begich will. We wonder how long he will stand by silent while supporting a party and a president that is intentionally inflicting unnecessary harm on his fellow citizens.