Writing this article while trying to remain objective is going to be difficult. The reason is that I am a Conservative, and lean close to being a Libertarian. I believe in the Constitution – all of it, not just what suits my issues on a particular day. So the rub over this shutdown is that the entire purpose of those sent to Washington from these various States is to operate the government, and enforce the Constitution.
In a small digression, I must say that well before the not-so-civil war Congresses have ignored parts of this guiding document, in particular the 10th amendment. That’s the one that says if it isn’t in this Constitution, Congress has no power to do it. EPA is not in there, or HUD, and making a citizen buy something (even your healthcare) simply because you are in this country, and some think it’s a good idea, certainly is not.
Anyway, the misrepresentation of the shutdown by the media was staggering, and the sheer hypocrisy worse than I’ve ever seen it.
First, let’s look back into history, which the media used to do, but by all empirical evidence now gets its information directly from those it’s supposed to be reporting upon. Congress has passed and/or supported a number of bad laws. Jim Crow and several Democratic statutes regarding slavery come to mind, the proposition supported by Row-V-Wade is another (not just because it’s a bad, poorly written and incompetently adjudicated interpretation of the Constitution, but remember the 10th amendment?) and various congresses have done things to work to correct these problems.
Even changes to the Constitution that were poorly thought out, like prohibition, were changed. Harry Byrd, longest “serving” member of the congress battled Eisenhower and shut the government down over Ike’s expansion of the interstate highway system, and even though the government was closed, his efforts failed. Speaker of the House Carl Albert closed the government over de-funding of the legally sanctioned Viet Nam war and forced its end, an action which allowed communist dictators to enslave and murder 16 to 22 million people. Tip O’Neal closed the government in a fight with Reagan, who went directly to the people via a televised news conference and showed O’Neal for the partisan he was. There’s the hypocrisy. The government has been “shut down” 14 times by both parties, and the republic has survived. In a recent CNN – ABC poll, 78% of the people said they were not at all effected by the partial shutdown, and another 11% said only slightly effected, leaving 11% who said they were adversely effected.
When the Democrats do it, it’s high moral conscience and not partisan, but when Gingrich, or Boehner does it, the Democrat fawning press (82% of media people who answered the question “who did you vote for in the last election” said they voted Democrat) lambastes the Republicans as mean-spirited pawns of the rich.
It is not up for debate that the House of Representatives is where ALL spending bills originate. It is also not debatable that the representatives of the people can fund or not fund whatever they vote to do so. Prior to the repeal of the 17th amendment just after the War Between the States, the Senate had NO SAY WHAT-SO-EVER in spending bills.
Now to my first point. How does it follow that the families of those killed in combat were not to be paid their insurance when the rest of DOD is funded? Is it not an outrage that Park Rangers had the time and money to rent fences to guard against Veterans and families from visiting the D.C. Mall, and in sheer meanness even removed knobs from water fountains, locked bathrooms, and stopped volunteers from cutting the grass? What about the people who were removed at gunpoint from their homes, that were on land recently seized by the government with the stroke of Clinton’s pen as National Park Land, and Inns and restaurants in the parks that have no input from the government, but were forced to remain closed? And how about the cones on State roads so people could not even view Mount Rushmore? Childish and petty, akin to “taking the ball and going home.”
So here’s my next point. What oath did these Park Ranger thugs swear to, that would allow them to follow such a preposterous and probably illegal order? Have they no sense of responsibility to those Americans they swore to protect and serve? And who, by the way are paying their salary and benefits?
My friends, many of us have said for some time that many parts of the government have lost sight of their purpose, and have become a self-serving monster that, like a cute Bengal tiger kitten at the petting zoo, has grown into a ferocious beast which, as we have seen a glimpse of above, will forget who fed and raised it, and make no mistake, will eat those folks who fed and watched it grow. Does this tiger need 2.41 Billion hollow-point bullets? As said in an earlier article, does the tiger need 40 government departments with SWAT teams? Does it need Park Rangers who would erect fences around wide open monuments simply because they were told to do so? So, is it too much of a stretch to wonder if they would arrest people and put them into boxcars?