The shutdown began last week as congressional Democrats and Republicans reached an impasse over the continued funding of the government. While something like 83 percent of the federal government is still operating, the Obama administration has made certain that some very public aspects of government services have been shuttered.
First came the closing of war memorials on the National Mall. The granite monuments are normally open to the public around the clock. But the Park Service quickly erected barricades around the monuments, closing sites that had never been “closed” before. Visiting veterans, there on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to pay tribute to their fallen comrades, would not be kept out. They bravely stormed the barricades and paid their respects at the memorials.
Federal officials have also closed national parks and monuments outside of Washington as well -- even those that it is difficult to imagine could ever be closed. Word out of South Dakota is that the government is closing off highway pull-offs that allow drivers to catch a glimpse of Mount Rushmore.
It’s hard to envision a presidential administration more spiteful and mean-spirited. One can only imagine that the former presidents on Mount Rushmore are looking down on such nonsense with disgust.