During the government shutdown the administration has gone out of its way to create the maximum amount of pain possible for the citizenry. It’s a crass political move to make the opposition look bad and get people angry at the Republican controlled House of Representatives.
One of the most egregious abuses during this time was the erection of barriers around open-air national monuments. There is some argument to be made for closing national parks on safety grounds, but putting up barriers around national monuments that were previously open 24×7 is just mean-spirited. It hit a crescendo when Barrycades were put up around the World War II monument in Washington, D.C. The White House locked elderly veterans out of their monument. A monument that was put in place with private funds. I ought to know, I ponied up for a piece of the action years ago.
The Obama administration has said, in effect, Dogs and Sailors Keep Off The Lawn.
Sunday, across the nation, veterans marched and protested. I attended the protest in Minnesota. The local press showed up exactly long enough to film one person and leave before the rally began. I later saw a single still photo in the newspapers. The media has decided that this will be a non-event locally. There was an almost insulting lack of coverage given the issue at hand and the people involved. Vets don’t usually get together to protest. But on Sunday we did.
The video is below. I apologize for the spectacularly bad sound. For some reason the blue-tooth didn’t connect to the camera. That and I have no idea who the bearded fat guy is… On second thought, I’m looking more like Alfred Hitchcock in profile each day.
It is beyond the pale for President Obama, through the agencies of the executive branch, to threaten our veterans as he has in the past few weeks. In the past few days the next card has been put on the felt in an effort to win the poker game. But this is a bad card to play – the threatened suspension of Veterans Affairs benefits to the disabled.
Mr. President, I know you don’t care about the military. You’ve made your contempt for everything they stand for manifest over the course of your life. The only time you pay attention is when you grab the credit for something the special forces have done. You, Sir, are a pox upon the military the rest of the time. Your Secretary of Defense only crawled out of his hole and attended the ceremonies at Dover in the wake of your refusing to pay death benefits to the families of the fallen. You repeatedly use the military only as a backdrop for photo opportunities. I have not met a single member of the armed forces or a single veteran who has spontaneously said a nice thing about your treatment of my brothers and sisters in arms. Given the political persuasion of some of my friends, I would have expected someone, sometime, to glow about your love for the military. In the wake of this post I’m sure some of your followers will jump to the front and claim that I’m ignoring things they’ve said in praise of your military policies in the past. To steal a phrase from a younger generation, “Whatever.”
The pile of Barrycades stacked outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday is both a warning and a promise: do not trifle with millions of veterans and attempt to hold our nation hostage. You work for us. You are our servant. We are citizens, not subjects. I hope that each and every reader of this blog will link it to their Facebook page today just before they call their elected representatives in Washington. I’ve got mine on speed dial. That call is important. Call and support those who pledged their all for this country.
Tyrants throughout the ages have underestimated the anger of the people. Usually just before they fall. In a republican form of government you’re safe until the next election. But you will find us an unruly, ungovernable group if you persist in mocking our elders, closing monuments we paid for with private funds, and humiliating the honored dead by refusing benefits on a legal technicality. If you cut off benefits to the disabled veterans, you invite impeachment. You, Mr. President, and your Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, can end this stalemate. It is in your court. The House has offered bills to fund the government. You have refused to negotiate. The burden is on you, not the House.
Mr. President, it’s time to turn the ship of state on a new course – we’re at the helm. Rudder commands to follow.