PRUDEN: The cheap tricks of the game

The games politicians play: Barack Obama is having a lot of fun using the government shutdown to squeeze the public in imaginative ways. The point of the shutdown game is to see who can squeeze hardest, make the most pious speech and listen for the applause. It’s a variation on the grade-school ritual of “you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”

President Obama is not a bad poker player, but the man with all the chips always starts with the advantage (and he gets all the aces). He has closed Washington down as tight as he dares, emphasizing the trivial and the petty in making life as inconvenient as he can for the greatest number. It’s all in a noble cause, of course. Access to most of the memorials is limited, and often in curious ways. The Lincoln Memorial is easy to reach, with the streets around it remaining open. But the Martin Luther King Memorial is made difficult to reach, relegating it, you might say, to the back of the bus. Not very nice.

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

The Republicans, fighting with smaller-bore weaponry, keep trying to get some things reopened with carefully targeted legislation. The Senate, under the thumbs of Sen. Harry Reid and the White House, refuses to budge from the trivial and the petty. It says here that Harry Reid’s critics, and they are legion, should give the guy a break. No man in Washington is under the pressure he is, and it doesn’t seem quite cricket to do that to an old man, even one who deserves it.

Harry is at the breaking point, weary from exhausting his thesaurus for synonyms for “arsonist” and “terrorist” and “pillager.” Everyone could see the cracks in his exchange with Dana Bash, a reporter for CNN, who asked why, if he is concerned about children with cancer who are unable to enter clinical trials for new drugs because Mr. Obama shut down the National Institutes of Health, why stifle Republican attempts to grant a little relief?

“If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” the reporter asked.

“Why would we want to do that?” Mr. Reid snapped back. “I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.”

Over the next two days, Mr. Reid tried to take back, change, adjust and recalibrate his remarks. It’s all John Boehner’s fault. The senator cares not just about the National Institutes of Health, but the Centers for Disease Control, too. The senator likes babies. In fact, he’s quite a stud. And he thinks Dana Bash is “a fine reporter.”

“Listen, I gave a speech on the [Senate] floor, talking about babies, 30 babies. I have 16 of my own grandchildren, and five children.” So suffer the little children, and they will inherit the kingdom of heaven; they just can’t come unto the Senate while Harry stands in the door. (If what happens in Las Vegas is supposed to stay in Las Vegas, how did Harry get out?)

Frustration turned violent Thursday, when a woman rammed her car into a barricade at the White House and then led 20 police cruisers up Pennsylvania Avenue to take a run at the Capitol. Shots were fired. It was not quite clear what she was mad about, but there’s no shortage of prospects. No targets of her rage were hurt, though the cops killed her. It was an unhappy third day of Obamacare.

Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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  •  Lately, watching the news turn from international, to that concerning our own, internal affairs, it suddenly struck me as completely ironic that, with the barricading of roads, &/or Public access to privately owned or funded, monuments, ' Fines ' for not enrolling in the ' Un-American Health Care act', Benghazi & it's related shrug-offs, Excuses for IRS spying & free rides from prosecution- that, in many instances, the same " Peace Protestors who avowed " world peace & love man ", are now the same turds who advocate the strictest punishments of their fellow citizens ! Gosh darn ! How did we ever manage to offend them so much ? Did we work too hard at creating a better life for our kids, &, by coincidence; them too because they are, after all; fellow citizens of the best country on earth? Oh yeah, some of these ' tur---', uhh " torpedos ", were among those who blew campuses up & injured or killed their fellow students. I guess I almost forgot, in my euphoric memories of those halycon days----( urrrrrppppp ! ) Why---is it that O'Farsical has not been impeached. Now that the march to socialistic/fascism is underway & gathering steam, those who enjoined with him, espousing the same idiotic vows, are suddenly scrambling to disassociate, but finding it harder to jump off the train as it roars down the track. Good. Maybe we can salvage the engine & tender & leave the excess baggage cars to the burning bridge.  

  • Partial shut down?  JOKE!!!!  When I heard the Newgt (sp) said he would pay out of his pocekt, to keep the PANDA CAM ON...............what the HELL??????!!!!   Oh please.......let's all pat him on the back!!  He's such a good POLITICIAN!!!!   Get rid of 95% of the politians and stop their "pension plan"......or "retirement plan"....whatever the heck you want to call it!!!!  Then our tax dollars will got for something productive, like RESTORING AMERICA!!!!!

  • This is a pathetic game being perpetrated by Obama and his hit man in the senate Reid along with the rest of the senate on the left

    This is the line in the sand for libertarians and constitutional conservatives.  We must not give in like Obama has on Syria.

  • Oh God. 16 grandchildren and 5 children????!!!!!!!!!! Harry shudda been neutered a long, long, long time ago. Now we're gonna have another 45 miserable years of Harry Reid Spawn.

  • "  We were told..."  What was it the Germans said at Nuremberg War Crimes Trials ?("We were only following orders?) The more things changes the more theys stays the same-POGO but it is sickening and I know what I wish they would do I  just  equally know how hard it is to stand on Principles. "Our lives , our honor ...."

  • Even a rock that pays a little attention knows what a creep Presidunce and company are.

    If you are military Catholic, you get screwed once again.

    Your religious freedom and belief is based on a government shutdown?

    Like hell it is.  I hope these priests perform services anyway then let the government TRY and arrest them.


    Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown

    In part, article states:

    n a stunning development, some military priests are facing arrest if they celebrate mass or practice their faith on military bases during the federal government shutdown.

    “With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

  • we the people,who are the real government.well we will stand with our trucker brothers from the usa and Canada,on oct 11-13 in Washington dc and make it as difficult for the ineligible treasonous traitor ovomit/satan and his unconstitituional we can.god bless we the people/america

    • You can count on the enemy-combatant-in-chief and many of his responsible minions being out of town next weekend.  I don't know where, but there will be golf and his golf buds.

  • Obama and Harry are going to get theirs.

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