Opinion

Obama milking shutdown for all it’s worth

Taking a cue from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” the Obama administration is milking the federal government partial shutdown for all its worth.

Emanuel spoke those words almost five years ago when he was President Obama’s chief of staff, but they seem to be the words the administration lives by — even to the point of creating a crisis where one doesn’t exist, as evidenced by recent events at the National Park Service.

ClaudeMooreColonialFarmFor example, the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, an educational exhibit receiving neither federal funding nor employing federal personnel, was ordered closed by the National Park Servicde, according to the Washington Examiner.

The reason? It sits on federal property and the Park Service reportedly can’t afford staff during the government shutdown. Anna Eberly, the managing director of the facility, popular with school groups called this “utter crap” in an email to the Examiner. She continued:

We have operated the Farm successfully for 32 years after the NPS cut the Farm from its budget in 1980 and are fully staffed and prepared to open today. But there are barricades at the Pavilions and entrance to the Farm. And if you were to park on the grass and visit on your own, you run the risk of being arrested. Of course, that will cost the NPS staff salaries to police the Farm against intruders while leaving it open will cost them nothing.

In all the years I have worked with the National Park Service, first as a volunteer for six years in Richmond where I grew up, then as an NPS employee at the for eight very long years and now enjoyably as managing director for the last 32 years — I have never worked with a more arrogant, arbitrary and vindictive group representing the NPS. I deeply apologize that we have to disappoint you today by being closed but know that we are working while the National Park Service is not — as usual.

In addition, the staff required to keep the World War II Memorial closed is more than is required to keep it open, which, as was noted yesterday, was more than was provided the U.S. foreign mission in Benghazi when it was attacked a year ago.

The Washington Examiner’s Charlie Spierling tweeted this photo of the scene at the World War II Memorial Wednesday morning, together with this observation:

From this, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Tenn., was able to make the following observation:

The World War II Memorial is an open-air exhibit, meaning it actually takes more personnel to barricade it off and keep people out than it does to allow it to remain open.

“It’s a sidewalk,” said U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday. “What will they do next? Put a drape over Mount Rushmore?” he asked.

One could chalk this up to the National Park Service just acting without thinking but for the fact that it was the White House Office of Management and Budget that ordered the memorial closed.

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s Eberly referred to these closures as “Vindictive.” I would add “petty” to the list.

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