There are many that blame the Republican party for playing politics with “Obamacare” and trying to leverage keeping the government open with defunding “Obamacare”. There are many that blame the Democrats for not agreeing for a short term solution that would fund the government while working out some kinks in the implementation of “Obamacare”. To be sure, there is blame to go around to both political parties.
But, in my opinion, only President Obama can be blamed for some of the silliness that is happening regarding the “shutdown” of certain public memorials, parks, and web sites. These places are by their very nature OPEN. There are no walls surrounding them and anyone at any time can utilize them whenever they feel like it.
Let’s start with public memorials. Yesterday a group of WWII veterans was blocked from going to the WWII memorial. The group scheduled their trip in advance and only when it was learned that the park police were barricading the memorial did a member of Congress try to step in to allow them to visit. They were denied. But, the WWII generation being what they are, they moved the barriers aside and visited the memorial anyway. Keep in mind that there NORMALLY ARE NO BARRIERS erected around the WWII memorial. It’s open. Normally, 24 hours a day 7 days a week you can just walk on up. The park police had to waste equipment and man hours to block off something that requires nothing to enter. Take a look for yourself.
The National Park Service has closed off places like the Grand Canyon so people who have planned their trip sometimes a year or more in advance get turned away. Can you imagine closing off something as big as the Grand Canyon. Hell, it has “GRAND” in the name! The government can leave it open as nature intended and let the public enter at their own risk. To make things even more ludicrous, the park service even shutdown a park that receives NO FEDERAL FUNDING. The government spent money to close off a park where they don’t pay anyone to monitor or maintain.
How about government web sites? These things are hobbled as well. I needed to fill out a census survey that I am mandated to complete prior to October 29, 2013. I went to the site and was greeted to this (a picture is provided in case the site is brought back up). I certainly hope the general public is not duped into believing that shutting down web sites saves the government one single penny. Remember now, the web site is up and running. You aren’t greeted with a message of “web page not found” (commonly called a 404 error) but instead are greeted with a message letting you know that you are blocked from doing the things you need to do. The servers that run the web site are still operating. They have to be in order to server the page with the stupid government shutdown message. Again, time and money was spent to have someone go to each of these sites and redirect browsers to these messages and block users from using the sites. I MIGHT understand if the government turned off the servers. But then they might get angry phone calls.
President Obama and those within his administration had to give the marching orders for the park police, the park service, and the system administrators to spend money to block or close off things that are normally wide open to the public. The American people, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Communist, Socialist, or whatever political persuasion should be royally pissed off that the American people are denied access to their public spaces. President Obama’s actions in this case are silly and childish. Seemingly in order to dupe the American people into blaming his political opponents.