Thursday, October 10, 2013

(Related Update 2): Now playing at the Obama National Theatre: Government Shutdown

Related update 2:  Looks like Obama and his band of petty and childish rogues went too far today with their denial of death benefits to relatives of US Veterans which they blamed on the Republicans and the shutdown.  From an excellent editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune:
Just this month, the federal government has authorized the spending of billions of dollars since the partial shutdown began without explicit congressional approval. Contrary to the Obama administration’s representations, there are not hard, definitive rules governing how the executive branch must act during these budget fights. That is reflected in the amazingly arbitrary ways that the federal government has shuttered some services and agencies but not others — often with the barely hidden goal of making people suffer to build pressure on House Republicans to give in to the White House. For one of hundreds of examples, the Armed Forces Network serving U.S. military personnel abroad still shows news — but it has stopped showing NFL games, blaming the shutdown.
This is obnoxious enough. In denying death benefits to the relatives of fallen U.S. soldiers, however, the Obama administration has broken new ground in its budget theater. This decision is accurately described as depraved.

Related Update: Here's one of the more recent, petty, childish, and typically Obama-ish attempts at inconveniencing the public in order to score political points:
Mount Rushmore is a hard place to shut down: I suppose the Obama administration could try to drape it with a giant cloth or something to prevent people from seeing it, but that would probably be impractical. So the National Park Service has done the next best thing. It has barrycaded off the scenic overlooks where people can pull over to view the monument:
Click here to read the entire Power Line post.

Original Post:  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.