A federal Park Service Ranger admitted being ordered to make life as difficult as possible in order to make Americans feel the most pain as a result of the partial government shutdown brought about by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's refusal to work with Republicans on a plan to fund the government while not funding or delaying parts of Obamacare, the Washington Times reported Thursday.
“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can," an angry Park Ranger told the Times. "It’s disgusting.”
According to the Times, the Park Service has been shutting down streets "on mere whim and caprice."
Rangers closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, the plantation home of George Washington, even though the park is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.
The Times said the parking lot is jointly owned with the Association, but a Ranger said closing the lot was simply "a cheap way to deal with the situation."
In another report, the Times said Park Rangers blocked the entrance to The Pisgah Inn, a private hotel located southwest of Asheville, N.C., that holds a concession on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Owner Bruce O'Connell, however, is defying federal authorities, arguing that his place of business is private property on a road that is still open.
"I’m questioning their authority to shut me,” he said.
Warren Meyer, owner and president of the Arizona-based Recreation Resource Management, a company that runs over 100 U.S. Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas, said he received orders directly from the White House to close up shop.
RMM's operations, he said, "are self-sufficient (we are fully funded by user fees at the gate), we get no federal funds, we employ no government workers on these sites, and we actually pay rent into the Treasury."
"I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy," he told Fox.
A spokesperson for the Park Service told Fox it is still federal land, and according to the rules, if there's no Congressional appropriation, no visitors are allowed.
Democrats, meanwhile, have refused to consider funding bills for the Park Service, and according to the Weekly Standard, appear ready to inflict as much pain on Americans as they can, believing they hold the winning hand.
"We are winning," said a senior administration official. "It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”
"It's because the White House (or, at least this unnamed official) believe it is 'winning' by shutting down the government and blaming Republicans. And when one's winning, he's not likely to change course," Daniel Halper wrote.
Which means the administration is prepared to inflict even more pain on average Americans in order to win a partisan political battle with Republicans.
But it may be something of a pyrrhic victory for Obama and the Democrats. They may very well get most, if not all, of the funding they want for Obamacare, but will have angered so many Americans in the process that it will cost them dearly in upcoming elections.
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