If you’ve been watching the shenanigans out of Washington, you’ve witnessed much more than a government shutdown. You are watching the all-day, every-day drama of government gone berserk.
It started with a standoff between Democrats holding power and Republicans seeking to defund Obamacare. Both sides dug in. Neither side budged. Okay, America, we’ll show you. We’ll shut down the government.
Most of the government, however, cannot be shut down. Social Security and Medicare, for example, have been authorized to operate in perpetuity. Interest payments on the nation’s stratospheric debt cannot stop. This left things like national parks, monuments, and recreation facilities to close as those were the only stoppable services.
Stop they did, and then some. To make sure all Americans fully understood the words “shut down,” the Parks Service barricaded the World War II Memorial. The open air monument with usually unencumbered access was boarded up to ensure that no one, not even aged wheel-chaired WWII vets, could get in. Not only absurd, this kind of retribution to the soldiers who secured our freedom is downright mean.
Another apt adjective is snotty. Democrats act like the entitled brats that they are. They take no compromise on the budget. They want it all, or nothing. “It’s my way or the highway,” according to Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, in a statement.
Democrats even rejected a Republican bill that would prevent the shutdown of experimental trials for kids with cancer. Harry Reid rejected the Republican offer. If Democrats can’t have what they want, neither will kids with cancer get what they want either. Where’s that caring Democrat sentimentality when you need it?
A friend traveling abroad reported the closure of Normandy Memorial Park. Established to bury the fallen soldiers killed during the Normandy landing, the French gave U.S. the land for this park. The U.S. owns and operates this cemetery of open spaces and walkways, but it was closed to a large group of Americans who arrived on October 4 and were turned away. Folks flew in from all over the world to honor family members and friends who died and were buried there. This is nothing if not pure malice and bully politics.
I can’t imagine America doing these things under any circumstances, never mind a mindless government shutdown staged to show just how senseless a government can be. As Americans, how can we possibly respect our leadership? I ask this question of the absurd 41 percent who still believe our leadership is doing a good job.
Perhaps they also believe that government’s role is to be heartless and cruel, mindless and senseless, bratty, stubborn, absurd, scathing and hurtful to its own, while corruption characterizes the methods by which all is achieved.
It’s a show of absurdity and we, the absurd of another sort, cast the players in the show.