Friends are arriving here in Arizona today all the way from Connecticut. The plan was to see the Grand Canyon. But that isn’t going to happen, because Obama shut the Canyon down — completely unnecessarily:
The National Park Service has rebuffed attempts by governors and private citizens to reopen gates closed by the government shutdown at iconic public areas like Grand Canyon National Park and Mount Rushmore…
Gov. Jan Brewer (R) and a cadre of private interests offered to help fund a partial reopening of the Grand Canyon while the government shutdown grinds on, to no avail. Hundreds of parks, campgrounds, boat launches, and even some popular trail heads have been barricaded across the United States as thousands of National Park Service rangers and employees sit idle at home. …
Some are accusing the agency of “showdown theater,” aimed at pinning blame on Republicans and reminding people of the importance of the federal government.
“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an unnamed Park Service ranger reportedly told The Washington Times. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
Orders to close off even private facilities on leased public land that have been unaffected by past federal shutdowns have come down to National Park Service officials directly from the White House.
Observes private campground operator Warren Meyer,
“We employ no government workers … and we actually pay rent into the Treasury.” Thus, “I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy.”
The success of this ploy depends on the fealty of Obama’s Praetorian media. No one who knows what is really going on is going to blame Republicans for the Grand Canyon being closed after they traveled across the country to see it. The GOP has repeatedly passed funding bills to keep parks open; each has been killed by the Democrats who control the Senate, and who rely heavily on the public’s ignorance.
Obama’s strategy is pure Alinsky. Make everyone miserable, then direct public anger at the enemy. Republicans cannot give in even if they want to, due to his zero compromise policy. Their only alternative to allowing the shutdown is to capitulate completely on ObamaCare, which would render them irrelevant on that and every other issue. Republican representatives might as well resign en masse and go home.
But the strategy will blow up in Obama’s insolent face if the public gets wind of who is really inflicting the unnecessary misery and why. It might even occur to a few that states could manage parks much more reliably than the leftist radicals who are angling for complete control of the federal behemoth.
On a tip from Anne. Photo by Varla. Hat tip: Capitalism Institute.