If you’ve been watching the shenanigans out of Washington, you’ve witnessed much more than a government shutdown. You are watching the all-day, every-day drama of government gone berserk.
It started with a faceoff between Democrats holding power and Republicans seeking to defund Obamacare. Both sides dug in. Neither side budged. Okay, America, we’ll show you. We’re the people in power and we'll shut down the government.
Most of the government, however, cannot be shut down. Social Security and Medicare, for example, have been authorized to operate in perpetuity. Interest payments on the nation’s stratospheric debt cannot stop. This left things like national parks, monuments, and recreation facilities to close as those were the only stoppable services.
And stop they did, and then some. To make sure all Americans fully understood “shut down,” the Parks Service barricaded the World War II Memorial. The open air monument with usually unencumbered access was boarded up to ensure that no one, not even aged wheel-chaired WWII vets, could get in. Not only absurd, this kind of retribution to the soldiers who secured our freedom is downright mean.
Another apt adjective is snotty. Democrats act like the entitled brats that they are. They take no compromise on the budget. They want it all, or nothing. “It’s my way or the highway,” according to Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, in a statement that certifies his bratness.
Democrats even rejected a Republican bill that would prevent the shutdown of experimental trials for kids with cancer. Harry Reid rejected the Republican offer. Where’s that Democrat sentimentality when you need it?
A friend traveling in France reported the closure of Normandy Memorial Park. Established to bury the fallen soldiers killed during the Normandy landing, the French gave U.S. the land for this park. The U.S. owns and operates this cemetery of open spaces and walkways, but it was closed to a large group of Americans who arrived on October 4. They were turned away. Folks flew in from all over the world to honor family members and friends who died and were buried there. This is nothing if not pure malice.
I can’t imagine America doing these things under any circumstances, nevermind a mindless government shutdown to show just how senseless a government can be. As Americans, how do we respect our leadership? I ask this question of the 41 percent who still say they're doing a good job.
Perhaps they also believe that government’s role is to be heartless and cruel, mindless and senseless, bratty, stubborn, absurd, determined to scathe and hurt its own, while corruption characterizes the methods by which all is achieved. It’s a show of power, and we are the powerless.