The precedent president

The Daily Caller reported today that President Obama’s “inability” to avoid shutting down public sites, monuments, and war memorials is a precedent he set himself:

“[They] were in fact kept open during the 1995/1996 government shutdowns. The administration’s 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.”

It’s 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:

“Barry made the ‘tough’ cuts, but he didn’t have to…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 “sequester cuts” with disappointment and negative feeling. Pavlov’s dogs, American public version.”

Obama grounded the Navy’s 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’t value because they haven’t come into being yet. But no.

He’s doing something similar now.

Obama wants the American people to associate government shutdown with a ruined vacation, a ruined wedding, a ruined dinner date:

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’t 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’t bear to think of us naively perusing public lands alone and unprotected, they could just open the sites up again, since “essential” 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’t play into Obama’s scheme.

Teresa Mull is the managing editor of Human Events.