While I’m not a fan of the shutdown strategy the Republicans employed in battling Obamacare, it has accomplished one thing, so far: showing what a small man President Obama is. Oppose Obamacare? Legitimately use the powers of the House, which most closely represents the people of the nation, to try to make changes to it? Dare to keep trying after he and his mean-spirited allies with shriveled souls have told you to stop? Then he’ll make sure the American people feel the pain.
We’ve already heard about the unconscionable harassment of elderly veterans who traveled to Washington to see their own monument, and then there was the bizarre news of threats to arrest priests who come to military bases to minister to servicemen, even if on a volunteer basis. Let’s take a few more.
At Mt. Pisgah, North Carolina, Bruce O’Connell runs an inn, which has been in his family for 35 years, on land leased from the federal government. Like any such business, it’s highly dependent on seasonal income. So, when, at the height of the tourist season, the Park Service told O’Connell to shutter his business, he said no. Then the Park Service decided to shut it down for him:
[O'Connell's] family has operated the inn on the parkway about 25 miles from Asheville, N.C., for 35 years. It the only spot for many miles along the 469.1-mile mountain route to sleep or grab a meal and go to the bathroom.
A handful of guests had lunch before Park Service patrol cars blocked the driveways, turning on their orange flashing lights. Rangers turned customers away, saying the government was closed.
The 51-room inn was booked solid for October. O’Connell said he plans to send refunds to customers who already paid though many planned vacations to see the fall colors months in advance.
His 100 employees are idled; 35 live on the property.
“It’s conscience and conviction that have taken over me, and I just can’t roll over any more,” he said.
While this example is bad enough, a truly infuriating one comes from Lake Mead, where the Park Service, Obama’s chosen enforcers, are keeping people from the homes they own — including the elderly:
Joyce Spencer is 77-years-old and her husband Ralph is 80. They’ve been spending most of their time in the family ice cream store since going home isn’t an option.
The Spencers never expected to be forced out of their Lake Mead home, which they’ve owned since the 70s, but on Thursday, a park ranger said they had 24 hours to get out.
“I had to go to town today and buy Ralph undershirts and jeans because I forgot his pants,” Joyce Spencer told Action News.
The Stewart’s Point home sits on federal land, so even though the Spencers own their cabin outright, they’re not allowed in until the government reopens.
In other words, your home, your property (1), but that doesn’t matter because Barack Obama wants you to feel the pain in the belief that you’ll then blame the Republicans. Joyce and Ralph Spencer are just tools to be used, peasants living on his demesne at his sufferance. As are we all, apparently.
But many Americans just aren’t putting up with it. Not just veterans visiting monuments, but everyday Americans who simply want to enjoy scenery by driving through, or just within view. But the Park Service has tried to block that, too, by putting up road cones to prevent people from stopping to snap a picture:
Blocking access to trails and programs at South Dakota’s most popular attraction was one thing, but state officials didn’t expect Congress’ budget stalemate to shut down a view of Mount Rushmore.
The National Park Service placed cones along highway viewing areas outside Mount Rushmore this week, barring visitors from pulling over and taking pictures of the famed monument.
But, just as the WWII veterans shoved their way through the “Barrycades” at their memorial in D.C., American families like this one are letting Washington know what they think of being kept out of parks their money paid for:
— Noelle Bruno (@NoelleBruno) October 6, 2013
I think we need a lot more of this, all across the nation. There’s more at Twitchy.
Just before the weekend, the National Park Service informed charter boat captains in Florida that the Florida Bay was “closed” due to the shutdown. Until government funding is restored, the fishing boats are prohibited from taking anglers into 1,100 square-miles of open ocean. Fishing is also prohibited at Biscayne National Park during the shutdown.
The Park Service will also have rangers on duty to police the ban… of access to an ocean. The government will probably use more personnel and spend more resources to attempt to close the ocean, than it would in its normal course of business.
Of course, the King commanded the waves in order to give his courtiers a lesson in the limits of power. Obama, on the other hand, is trying to teach us a lesson about his power.
The question remains, though, of why Obama is acting like tinhorn tyrant, stamping his feet and lashing out in a tantrum? Jonah Goldberg thinks it shows a vindictive streak on his part and an inability to see those who disagree with him as reasonable people. He’s right, I’m sure, but I also believe there’s more. Obama learned how to be a politician in the corrupt environment of Chicago, a place where political “boss-ism” is the norm and “da Mayor” is “da Boss of Bosses.” Go against the mayor, and suddenly your garbage isn’t getting picked up, or health inspectors are “finding” rats in your restaurant’s spotless kitchen. Oppose Obama, and suddenly things go wrong. Play along, and everything’s nice again. “Nice place you have here. It’d be a shame if…”
That’s how Obama sees the presidency: as the Boss of Chicago, writ large.
via lots of people on Twitter
(1) I have to wonder if the Spencers and other residents there have a case based on the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment. There’s no denying that they’re being denied the use of their property, the use of which has been taken from them without compensation.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)