Shut-down overreach: Obama attempted to prevent WWII vets from visiting WWII Memorial; Updated: Obama wants to open talks with GOP
One of the most bizarre and petty political stunts I’ve ever seen has been playing out over the past 24 hours. Michelle first brought this to our attention yesterday. Last night the Harry Reid – Obama cabal rejected a House bill that would have fully funded veterans’ programs and national parks. They did this because the Democrats believe the partial government shut-down they orchestrated benefits them politically, and therefore anything they can do to exaggerate the effects of the shut-down through their age-old “Washington monument strategy” will increase pressure on Republicans to capitulate. I think Obama may have overreached on this one:
WASHINGTON — Military veterans are declaring war on the government shutdown.
After a group of veterans broke down the barricades at the national World War II Memorial Tuesday afternoon, organizers of one Hero Flight Network group told BuzzFeed it wasn’t the last Washington would hear from them. Veterans are plotting another protest at the same place Wednesday, and expressed interest in staging similar events at sites across the nation’s capital, including the Lincoln Memorial — an act of civil disobedience that would likely pour fuel on the already highly flammable politics of the government shutdown.
“We have people here that are 80 and 90 years old and they closed down all the bathrooms?” said Tony Nussbaum, a 25-year veteran of the Air Force from Iowa and a leader of the state’s Hero Flight group. “I’m about to just start pissing on the trees.”
The World War II Memorial on the National Mall became a political battlefield Tuesday, with conservatives excoriating Democrats for the monument’s closure as they escorted busloads of war veterans past bewildered park rangers and into the shuttered monument.
On Wednesday, the scene could repeat itself when groups from the Honor Flight Network — a national charity that brings aging World War II veterans to visit the national monument to the conflict they fought in — are scheduled to arrive at the massive outdoor memorial. Meanwhile, veterans have pondered staging a similar protest at the Lincoln memorial, said Jamie Miller, a five-year veteran of the Marine Corps and another organizer of the Iowa group that stormed the World War II memorial Tuesday.
And from Politico, here’s Rand Paul last night on Hannity accurately describing the Democrat’s charade:
Sure enough, via John McCormack and Charlie Spiering, this morning the government sent at least 7 staffers and a bulldozer to erect barricades around the WWII Memorial to prevent the WWII vets from visiting the Memorial which honors their service. Allahpundit provides a good summary of this morning’s spectacle:
…the Honor Flight vets are headed to the Memorial regardless. Members of Congress, among them Michele Bachmann, are already there, as are reporters of all stripes. If you use Twitter, I recommend following the Standard’s John McCormack, National Review’s Betsy Woodruff, and the Examiner’s Charlie Spiering, who took the photo I used for our front-page thumbnail of the feds actually deploying forklifts to set up gates around a memorial that’s open 24 hours a day with little supervision under normal circumstances. As I write this at a few minutes after 10:30 ET, Spiering is tweeting that the vets are scheduled to arrive within the next 15 minutes. Is your government really about to arrest 96-year-olds who fought at Guadalcanal because this bit of sub-moronic shutdown theater is too precious to them to forfeit? Stay tuned. It wouldn’t be the first own-goal they’ve scored because their pettiness overwhelmed their sense of optics.
The sign reads, “Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service area is closed, except for First Amendment activities.” So if you want to protest there, you’re good. If you want to quietly remember the dead, get off the damned lawn.
Eventually, when the Vets arrived, Obama’s henchmen relented and let the vets in. And yes, this is on Obama. Not only did our illustrious commander-in-chief know about this in advance, but Obama’s OMB is the entity which ordered the barricades to be erected. Unreal. If this story gets the press coverage it truly deserves, the Republicans may yet win this shut-down standoff in the court of public opinion.
Update: Can you say backfire? Immediately after I hit publish on the above post, I noticed that Obama has completely reversed himself and now wants to meet with Republicans to discuss the shut-down. I have no idea what, if anything, Obama plans to offer at the negotiating table, but clearly something has changed in the past 24 hours to bring him to it. Hmmm… What could that possibly be?
Update II: (h/t Hot Air) Great headline from the DC Examiner’s Paul Bedard:
Be sure to follow the link to read Bedard’s article.
Update III: This is priceless. Via Gretawire, Harry Reid is blaming Republicans for Obama’s decision to have the OMB order the WWII Memorial barricaded. Does Reid not understand that OMB is an executive agency, run by the president?
Thanks to the Republican government shutdown, a group of World War II veterans, some of them in wheelchairs, who traveled from Iowa and Mississippi had to break down barricades to visit a Washington, D.C. memorial in their honor.