But, be that as it may, perhaps a few comments on the not-so-earth-shaking incidents surrounding the Government shutdown would be in order. One story that struck me was the one about the administration placing of a fence, complete with yellow and black "Do Not Cross This Line" tape, around the WWll memorial with a sign announcing that the memorial was closed because of the government shutdown. Now, I percieve this move to be extremely mean spirited and done solely to inconvenience people and make them angry about the shutdown. I say this because that particular monument, as well as most others in the DC area (The Korea and Viet Nam Memorials, for example), is an open air structure with no formal, manned "portal" that one must pass through in order to gain entrance. Rather, visitors may just walk up to and through the monument area. They may come and go at their leisure as many times as they wish to look at other attractions or have a picnic or whatever. This, of course, is true unless some Bozo from the Park Service (an agency of the Executive Branch) has put a fence around the memorial so as to limit visitors' free access and to encourage them to blame someone (presumably the Congress and, more specificallly, the Republican controlled House) for the inconvenience. And since the erection of the fence must have cost the government money, that, in itself, defeats any claim that the closure was a cost saving measure forced upon the Park Service and whatever other agencies are charged with maintaining and overseeing the operation of the monuments/memorials.
Of course the other issue surrounding the government shutdown is the phenomenon of the irresistable force meeting the immovable object as revealed in the unwillingness of either side (Republican or Democrat) to seriously negotiate with the other while, all the time, each is claiming that it is more than willing to to do so. My favorite Political Science professor, Doctor Menard, used to say that "...politics is the art of the possible..." with the obvious implication that negotiation and compromise are part and parcel of the process. That attitude and the approach it requires seems lost on the current crop of politicians who inhabit the Nation's Capital. They would rather snipe at each other than get on the the people's business. The even sadder part of this situation is that this controversy is likely to extend to the coming fight over raising the debt limit. Yes it will be A FIGHT! I would say "debate", but we are way past that. Debate implies a two sided conversation. But in the words of actor Strother Martin, who played "The Cap'n" in the movie "Cool Hand Luke", "What we have here is-- failure to communicate"! And as long as that failure continues as a general trend, even if the contending sides happen to achieve the occasional eleventh hour grudging agreement on some issue in order to avert a catastrophy , we, the American People, are stuck, I fear, with a political class that moves the country from crisis to crisis and, therefore, fosters seemingly never ending turbulence in the economy, foreign affairs and the lives of ordinary citizens.
What a sad commentary on the failures of those, of all political stripes, who are supposed to be servants of the people.