Photo source: Ricochet.com
Dang! If Dave Carter at Ricochet writes this well all the time, it could become a really tough tie to break for my intellectual affections between him and Mark Steyn. I saw Carter's piece when Pat Sajak (@patsajak) retweeted it today. Both men have columns this weekend raking the Obama administration over the coals for its over-enthusiasm for inflicting pain on the American public during the government "shutdown."
First, Mark Steyn, who borrows the term, "punitive liberalism:"
Nevertheless, just because it’s a phony crisis doesn’t mean it can’t be made even phonier. The perfect symbol of the shutdown-simulacrum so far has been the World War II Memorial. This is an open-air facility on the National Mall – that’s to say, an area of grass with a monument at the center. By comparison with, say, the IRS, the National Parks Service is not usually one of the more controversial government agencies. But, come “shutdown,” they’re reborn as the shock troops of the punitive bureaucracy. Thus, they decided to close down an unfenced open-air site – which, oddly enough, requires more personnel to shut than it would to keep it open.
So the Parks Service dispatched their own vast army to the World War II Memorial to ring it with barricades and yellow “Police Line – Do Not Cross” tape strung out like the world’s longest “We Support Our Troops” ribbon. For good measure, they issued a warning that anybody crossing the yellow line would be liable to arrest – or presumably, in extreme circumstances, the same multibullet ventilation that that mentally ill woman from Connecticut wound up getting from the coppers. In a heartening sign that the American spirit is not entirely dead, at least among a small percentage of nonagenarians, a visiting party of veterans pushed through the barricades and went to honor their fallen comrades, mordantly noting for reporters that, after all, when they’d shown up on the beach at Normandy, it, too, had not been officially open....
The World War II Memorial exists thanks to some $200 million in private donations – plus $15 million or so from Washington: In other words, the feds paid for the grass. But the thug usurpers of the bureaucracy want to send a message: In today’s America, everything is the gift of the government, and exists only at the government’s pleasure, whether it’s your health insurance, your religious liberty, or the monument to your fallen comrades. The Barrycades are such a perfect embodiment of what James Piereson calls “punitive liberalism” they should be tied round Obama’s neck forever, in the way that “ketchup is a vegetable” got hung around Reagan-era Republicans. Alas, the court eunuchs of the Obama media cannot rouse themselves even on behalf of the nation’s elderly warriors.
This kind of spitefulness has been making my blood boil: Barrycading the WWI memorial, the Vietnam War memorial, the Lincoln memorial, in addition to the WWII memorial; blocking scenic roads and turnouts that might give people a view of Mt. Rushmore; and closing the ocean. Their purpose is to make us suffer as much as possible, as visibly as possible, so they can blame Republicans for the pain.
Here's how Dave Carter opens his column:
Whatever the perceived shortcomings of Ted Cruz and his hardy band of stalwarts, they've performed a remarkable public service by highlighting the fate that awaits all who rub wrongly the translucently thin skin of King Barack the Petulant. The Spartans may have had their shields, Native Americans their tomahawks and arrows, the Samurai may have wielded his sword with all the deadly grace of a tiger in mid-attack, but pound for pound, nothing comes close to the audacious stupidity of "Barrycades" and people in pointy little Smokey the Bear hats, poised to protect America's monuments from law-abiding citizens.
Welcome to liberal utopia, where barriers are not erected against terrorists or illegal aliens on our nation's borders, but rather against citizens, and where wheelchair-bound veterans enroute to honor their comrades face tighter security than terrorists enroute to murder a US Ambassador. This is where up is down, wrong is right, illegality is celebrated as progress, and where Constitutionalism is derided as racist. No longer relegated to the fever swamps of academic fancy, utopia has acquired real estate and made known its demands.
"Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual…" the First Lady warned us, and she wasn't just whistling Alinsky either. Under King Barack's Reign of Error, your life is no longer your own, for you are now commanded to enter into private contracts by virtue of your simple existence on the planet. Why? Because our Sovereign and his fellow travelers are compassionate, of course. Their hearts bleed for you,…almost as much as your pocketbook will bleed for them.
We expect to be blindsided by the unforeseen effects of the shutdown's furlough of non-essential personnel. One case was a man at my work who needed to put air in his tire. The gas station he went to was having trouble with the customer air machine, and there's a number for the station to call to try to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, that number is for a federal government bureau, and the recording said they're shutdown and unavailable to help. So the guy drove to work, slowly, with 28 psi in that tire. We expect that sort of thing.
It's the vindictive nature of the shutdown that costs taxpayers extra when there's theoretically no money available that really sticks in the craw. May the real perpetrators feel the wrath of the American people, and may all of them in Washington get this shutdown shut down soon.