Political Points

Last week, a group of World War II and Korean War veterans from Mississippi, having traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Monument, were told they could not enter the outdoor facility, because of the “government shutdown.” The monument was closed, the National Park Service said.

So the veterans, some in wheelchairs, pushed aside NPS barriers and went ahead onto the monument grounds. By the next day, the NPS had changed its mind. Veterans were being allowed to visit the monument.

But neither they nor anyone else was permitted on the grounds of other monuments, including those honoring Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Barricades at the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials were reinforced after the episode at the World War II Monument. Even parking lots have been closed to the public.

One exasperated Washington, D.C., park ranger said in published reports that “It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation. We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Yes it is. Clearly, President Barack Obama has issued orders intended to inconvenience – and perhaps harm – as many Americans as possible during the “shutdown.”

Doing so scores political points for him.

Once the current dispute is over, White House conduct regarding the “shutdown” should be investigated – by Democrat and Republican lawmakers alike.

Political Points

President Barack Obama is making certain the government “shutdown” does not affect some pet programs.

Obamacare, for example, is plowing right along as if nothing had happened.

But elsewhere in government, mine safety inspections have been reduced drastically, veterans are being told they will have to wait longer for decisions on disability benefits, a program providing supplemental food and health services for low-income pregnant women has shut down, and visitors are being kicked out of national parks.

The Internal Revenue Service continues to enforce rules requiring payment of taxes – but has shut down all services to assist taxpayers.

Republicans in the House of Representatives attempted to do something about such outrageous selectivity by the Obama administration. They have suggested that in lieu of a bill providing money to keep all the government running, separate measures for certain individual agencies should be approved.

Democrat lawmakers have rejected the idea.

Apparently, they believe making their political point about the “shutdown” is more important than blunting its adverse effects for some Americans.