D.C. goons target Mount Vernon during shutdown — even though it’s privately owned

It was only a few days ago that park police, acting on the orders of the Obama administration, tried to deny World War II veterans the opportunity to visit the national memorial built in their honor. I noted that this was no surprise, since during sequestration word was sent out to make Americans feel the pain: “However you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be,” was the takeaway quote at the time.

Now, the Obama administration has even approved of an attempt to shut down Mount Vernon — even though it is privately owned.

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Yes, it is disgusting.

A few years ago I was the Program Coordinator for The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. For each class that went through, I had the pleasure of putting together a trip to Mount Vernon. A funny thing happened: it never got old. The estate is beautifully maintained, filled with history and an absolute must for anyone who loves learning about the history of the United States. I could go to Mount Vernon every year and still enjoy it because it is a pure honor and joy to stand on the ground once treaded upon by one of the greatest men to ever live.

The Heritage Foundation Mount Vernon Fall 2011
A picture of the last intern class I took to Mount Vernon, Oct. 2011.

Going to Mount Vernon is just as moving as going to the Capitol to view Jonathan Trumbull’s depiction of General Washington resigning his commission. If you’re not familiar with just how critical this moment in history was for the nation, I suggest reading up on it. Washington could have held on to ultimate power — like so many military men before him who were placed in similar situations — but he willfully gave it up for the good of country. He walked away. Just the thought of brings me to the verge of tears, as it did years ago when I was an intern for Congressman Peter Roskam. I used to give Capitol tours to constituents and other visitors, and I always stopped for just a few moments longer to take in Trumbull’s work.

The painting General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull is on display in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. This painting depicts the scene on December 23, 1783, in the Maryland State House in Annapolis when George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The action was significant for establishing civilian authority over the military, a fundamental principle of American democracy. (Image: aoc.gov)
The painting General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull is on display in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. This painting depicts the scene on December 23, 1783, in the Maryland State House in Annapolis when George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The action was significant for establishing civilian authority over the military, a fundamental principle of American democracy. (Image: aoc.gov)

The cause for the government “shut down” can be debated endlessly, but what is not up for debate is the despicable behavior of the Obama administration, which has gone out of its way to inflict pain on the American people. Instead of simply “shutting down,” the White House has put out marching orders to agencies to be proactive in their approach. They are finding creative ways to make Americans feel the affects of the shutdown, and for that they should be held in utter contempt.

If you’ve never been to Mount Vernon, please make the trip if you’re ever in the area.  If you ever have disposable income you’re looking to donate to charity, think about the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. It would be a shame if such a culturally important location ever came under the complete control over bureaucratic goons who would fence off the National World War II Memorial or close the parking lot leading up to our first president’s estate.

D.C. monuments barricaded during shutdown: Dangerous goons show their true colors

Lincoln Memorial Government Shutdown

Having lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for years now, I thought I was dreaming on Oct. 1 when reports came in that World War II veterans were being told they would not be allowed to visit the national monument built in their honor. The idea is disgusting in general, but for those who have ever been to the nation’s capital it makes no sense: the monuments are natural parts of the cityscape, open-air tributes to our nation’s heroes that visitors have always been able to view — at any time of day. The government would have to go to bizarre lengths in order to prevent people from having access to most of the city’s monuments.

Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky worded it perfectly during an interview on Fox:

Sen. Rand Paul blasted the federal government for trying to block World War II vets from visiting their memorial, saying “some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades.”

“If Harry Reid and the president want to keep the parks closed — I mean did you read the story today? Some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades so they couldn’t see the monument. People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument because they’re trying to play a charade.”

What kind of sick and twisted individuals would go out of their way to cause stress and heartache on World War II veterans with only a few years left to live? Answer: The kind of people who would order the closing of a national park that doesn’t even receive federal funding:

The National Park Service has ordered the closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation.

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm announced on Wednesday that NPS has ordered it to suspend operations until Congress agrees to a deal to fund the federal government.

According to Anna Eberly, managing director of the farm, NPS sent law enforcement agents to the park on Tuesday evening to remove staff and volunteers from the property.

“You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money,” she said.

The Obama administration might not be happy with House Republicans, but it is showing its displeasure with them by needlessly and vindictively finding ways to inflict pain on the American people. The same thing was done during sequestion — but it got caught:

When Charles Brown of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service asked “if there was any latitude” in how officials might allocate sequester cuts to reduce negatively impacting fish inspections, Brown received the following reply:

“We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”

The White House predicted pain, and so they will deliver pain — even when they don’t have to. These days, World War II veterans are their targets.

Personally, I think that the “defund Obamacare” strategy is ill-conceived for a number of reasons, but the way the Obama administration is handling the government shutdown demonstrates quite clearly that neither side is playing with a full deck. The Republicans may be acting like immature children who are upset that Obamacare passed through Congress and was ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court, but the Democrats are power mad fiends who will do anything to get their way, even if that includes inflicting unnecessary pain on the American people.

Here's me with a buddy over the summer at the Lincoln Memorial. Given the layout of the land, there is no reason why the monument should be barricaded off during a government shutdown.
Here’s me with a buddy over the summer at the Lincoln Memorial. Given the layout of the land, there is no reason why the monument should be barricaded off during a government shutdown.

America is being governed largely by psychopaths — and Americans voted them into office. There is still time for us to collectively wake up and right the ship, but not much.

WWII Memorial barricade
The effort it would take to build barriers around the national monuments in D.C. is something that only mentally ill men and women who are drunk on power would do. And it happened.

Where are we at as a nation when elected officials are so hungry for power that they would use our last remaining World War II veterans as pawns in a Congressional chess match? It takes a seriously disturbed and demented mind to order government workers to place barricades in front of the National World War II Memorial.

"WWII veteran Ted Bellon, 87, broke down in tears when asked if he was upset he had to see the WWII Memorial from behind a fence," (Fox News).
“WWII veteran Ted Bellon, 87, broke down in tears when asked if he was upset he had to see the WWII Memorial from behind a fence,” (Fox News).

Related: D.C. goons target Mount Vernon during shutdown — even though it’s privately owned

Karl Rove Avoids Intellectual Fight Club. Tea Party the Nation’s Much-Needed Tyler Durden.

Republicans need to "evolve, and let the chips fall where they may... Only after disaster can we be resurrected... You have to realize that someday you will die. Until you know that, you are useless."

I normally don’t like criticizing fellow conservatives, but if I don’t on occasion  I’ll slowly morph into the kind of political hacks littering the streets and sulking in bars throughout Washington, DC.  Once you fail to be able to see the faults in your ideological allies, it’s over. You start going to parties and bars with smarmy people (and enjoy it).  You begin twisting yourself into intellectual knots to defend the indefensible. You become blind to the sad, sad, state of affairs the humans on The McLaughlin Group are in. Karl Rove (who apparently is a really nice guy, from what I’ve heard), must not be spared.

Is right now the time to be warning Republicans of the political fallout that might ensue as a result of a government shutdown? If you’re Karl Rove the pollster, yes. If you’re Karl Rove the American, no.

According to Gallup poll numbers posted by the former Bush aide, Clinton’s approval rating saw a nearly double-digit jump during the ’95 shutdown and went to steadily improve heading into the 1996 election. Rove writes that it was Clinton’s “confrontation” with Gingrich that boosted his numbers–an obvious implication that the GOP’s latest budget standoff could boost Obama.

“While the government shutdowns didn’t jeopardize Republicans’ hold on Congress, they helped President Clinton position himself for a successful 1996 reelection,” Rove writes. “President Obama’s ratings as a strong leader have slipped this year … Republicans should be careful not to let him recover as he gears up for his 2012 reelection campaign.”

Here’s a crazy idea – why don’t the Republicans simply do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may?  Sometimes the honorable thing to do is to fall on your sword. If the Republicans in Congress do the right thing, make an articulate case to the American people as to why a shutdown happened, and they lose at the polls on election day — so what? Entitlement spending is the invisible tsunami of catastrophic debt that’s building momentum and set to crash land on our shores in the not-to-distant future. Trying to compare 1995 to 2011 is an exercise in futility.

  • Bill Clinton is not Barack Obama.
  • The Tea Party did not exist in 1995.
  • Barack Obama would need a really long shutdown before any significant spike in his leadership ratings were to occur.

Karl Rove has a really big brain, so he should probably use this time to coach people behind the scenes on how to discuss the Debt Asteroid of Diarrhea about to slam into the country if we don’t do something about it now. It would be one thing if the conservative marching band went over the cliff with its flag held high over trifling matters. But that’s not where we’re at. Liberals need to know that play time is over. We either fight for the country now and get our fiscal house in order, or we play footsie and watch as unchecked liberalism destroys the nation without firing a single shot.

Republicans need a little Tyler Durden in them right now:  “I want you to hit me as hard as you can.” Don’t be scared of the consequences–just get in there and fight. The Tea Party is our bridge. Let it take you to the other side.