Sunday, October 6, 2013

Now playing at the Obama National Theatre: Government Shutdown

My title owes its name to a tremendous post by Robert Tracinski in his most recent Real Clear Politics feature, The Daily Debate.  He calls the government shutdown a great example of "theatre of the absurd", and he's dead-on with his assessment.  Referring to the obnoxious actions of National Park officials in barricading off the WWII Memorial, Tracinski wryly notes:
Get that? Because federal workers cannot work, federal workers are at work, strengthening barricades to a site that requires no workers to remain open.
And there's this:
Similarly, the administration has been ordering the shutdown of public parks that receive no federal funds and could have remained open. The employees of one such park are staying on the job as an act of civil disobedience. The administration has also refused to let the state government of Arizona pay to keep Grand Canyon open. Now there's a statement of the warped metaphysics of shutdown theater: the conceit that even the existence of nature is dependent on federal funding. Without it, the Grand Canyon will close up.
But what really makes his article valuable is the longer discussion about how the vast majority of the government isn't really shutdown, despite the impression of Obama's theatrics.  This is a highly recommended article.