As President Obama set out to do with the recent sequester, big government is deliberately and in many ways, unnecessarily, making this albeit partial shutdown as unpleasant as possible.
Private businesses including an inn and restaurant were forced closed because they sit on federal land. Unlike the furloughed federal employees, these workers won’t receive back pay for their lost business. And like all taxpayers, they’ll still have to continue paying the full tax bill despite the partial government shutdown.
Since the facilities at the World War II Memorials are closed due to the shutdown, a truckload of privately donated porta potties were sent for the aging veterans’ comfort. Park rangers actually refused delivery. Thankfully, overnight some intrepid souls stealthily delivered a few port-a-johns to the area, a fine act of civil disobedience in deference to the greatest generation.
Meanwhile eight Democratic members of Congress were arrested at a rally advocating further amnesty for illegal immigrants. It was held at the Washington, D.C. National Mall, which is officially closed due to the shutdown. However the National Parks Service allowed the rally, citing protection under the First Amendment. It’s highly unlikely that restroom facilities were disallowed in this case. Those here illegally get better treatment than those who fought bravely to protect our freedoms from Nazism, fascism and imperialism.
In South Dakota, sightseers couldn’t view Mt. Rushmore even from a distance because pull-over areas were cordoned off with traffic cones.
In the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the Foothills Parkway was closed abruptly, forcing school buses to take the kids through longer and more dangerous detours.
These are all enforcement issues, under the jurisdiction the executive branch, i.e. the White House. It’s becoming known as the Spite House.
In Pennsylvania, marathoner John Bell was fined $100 for running on at Valley Forge National Historical Park, closed due to the shutdown. Bell had parked in a remote lot, not an area barricaded. He plans to fight the fine.
His lawyer, Jeremy Ibrahim, points out the irony: that the partial shutdown is in no small part driven by Congressional disagreements over the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare: “Yet we tell folks that we should all be healthy, we all should go online and sign up. He goes outside, does some running and gets a ticket for it.”
The supreme irony has a larger historical context. Valley Forge is where some of this nation’s finest founding rebels, led by America’s patriarch George Washington, endured the most grueling encampment wrought with squalor, disease, death… the most wretched conditions imaginable. They persevered for six months through the harshest, cruelest winter. They left bloody footprints on the ground, marching through blinding snowstorms barefoot. All to stand against and declare independence from a tyrannical government taking more of their hard-earned money than it could account for and without representing the peoples’ interest. They made this enormous sacrifice all while their opponents enjoyed the utmost comfort and luxury.
Now a citizen can’t jog at this same place without being fined, thanks to the same type of government only one dictating from home soil this time.
Behold the sad, scary cycle of dictatorship.
Truly Teflon, Obama’s approval rating is at 51 percent, the Republicans a dismal 28 percent. The shutdown occurred because the Republican-majority House of Representatives voted to fund everything the Democrats wanted, except Obamacare; Democrat-controlled Senate wouldn’t accept the money without Obamacare. This mandate requires nearly every American to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Individuals without health insurance, or an exemption, are forcibly incentivized to purchase it from exchanges facilitated by the Obamacare website.
Democrats, led by Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, won’t concede even to a one year delay in Obamacare the Republicans are requesting for individuals. This is despite allowing the delay for corporations and the massive glitches and errors in the website. Since its launch Oct. 1, also the first day of the shutdown, a mere one in ten Americans were able to buy insurance through this online marketplace. Interestingly, Obamacare doesn’t require “undocumented immigrants” to purchase health insurance.
It’s in the Democrats’ interest to keep the shutdown painful, thus heaping pressure on the Republicans to cave to their every demand and with minimal concessions, if any.
All this is what the Democrats call a compromise, and likely a victory.