The Daily Caller reported today that President Obama‚Äôs ‚Äúinability‚ÄĚ to avoid shutting down public sites, monuments, and war memorials¬†is a precedent he set himself:
‚Äú[They] were in fact kept open during the 1995/1996 government shutdowns.¬†The administration‚Äôs decision to¬†barricade the Lincoln Memorial marks the first time in its history the memorial has been¬†totally off limits to visitors¬†during a shutdown.
The administration has also balked at efforts¬†by non-governmental groups to maintain access to¬†public sites.
But during the Clinton-era shutdown, World War II¬†veterans¬†kept the Pearl Harbor memorial open.‚ÄĚ
It‚Äôs THE SEQUESTER all over again.
While the sequestration was enjoying its fifteen minutes of fame a few months ago, I noted how Barack the Brainwasher made the most of the national hand-wringing by using it as a tool to manipulate the American people into associating budget cuts with an end to fun:
‚ÄúBarry made the ‚Äėtough‚Äô cuts, but he didn‚Äôt have to‚Ä¶Obama and friends made darn sure to make cuts to programs that would affect people in the most obvious ways, in ways that would make news, in ways that would force a sign to go up so that people associate the words ‚Äúsequester cuts‚ÄĚ with disappointment and negative feeling. Pavlov‚Äôs dogs, American public version.‚ÄĚ
Obama grounded the Navy‚Äôs Blue Angels, cancelled Fleet Week, and terminated White House tours, among other things, even though he had the flexibility to make budget cuts to future programs– on things that Americans don‚Äôt value because they haven‚Äôt come into being yet. But no.
He‚Äôs doing something similar now.
City Tavern, an iconic restaurant¬†in Philadelphia, has been forced to close its doors and turn away booked parties because of the government shutdown. The restaurant, which opened for the first time in 1773 and was frequented by the nation’s founding fathers, sits inside Independence National Historical Park and the building is owned by the U.S. National Parks Service.
They were allowed to remain open during the last government shutdown 17 years ago.
The restaurant was forced to cancel booked parties, including one serving 200 visitors from Japan on Wednesday night, for at least the next four days leaving patrons “angry” and “aggravated.”
The WWII vets didn‚Äôt take no for an answer. Why should we? Do we really need Big Brother to watch over us as we take the time to visit national monuments out of respect? The Iwo Jima Memorial, which is very near by where I live in Arlington, is open to the public, and as far as I know has no round-the-clock guard to watch it or its visitors. Seems to be doing just fine.
Anyway, if our government really, really loves us so much that it can‚Äôt bear to think of us naively perusing public lands alone and unprotected, they could just open the sites up again, since ‚Äúessential‚ÄĚ functions of government include:
National security, including the conduct of foreign relations essential to the national security or the safety of life and property;
Protection of federal lands, buildings, waterways, and other property of the U.S.
But that wouldn‚Äôt play into Obama‚Äôs scheme.
Teresa Mull is the managing editor of Human Events.¬†