Predictably, my column last week, which expressed my extreme displeasure at the images of World War II vets being barricaded from visiting their memorial on the National Mall, produced a flurry of reactions, both positive and negative.
According to the latest Associated Press poll, 37 percent of America, against all odds, still supports Barack Obama — and I heard from more than a few of them. One man, who proudly displayed the letters “PhD” after his name, took great umbrage at my final statement in that column. I wrote: “If you are not incensed by the fact that your president tried to keep the courageous men who saved this nation from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan seven decades ago from seeing their memorial, then you are either an enemy of this country or you are a brain-dead idiot.”
The good “doctor” failed to indicate into which category he falls.
In that column, I also wrote, “Only after being faced with a negative public relations nightmare did the National Parks Department relent and allow these brave men to visit their memorial, which never should have been closed to them, or anyone else, in the first place.”
Cleary, I naively believed that even the Obama regime would not attempt to continue such boneheaded behavior after the negative PR that had ensued. However, I must admit that even I, who harbor no further illusions about Obama’s mean-spirited, partisan nature, was astonished by this week’s news.
I knew a second Obama term would bring out the very worst of this man’s radical ideology; but the breathtakingly blatant actions of this administration during this phony government “shutdown” has convinced me that we have more to fear from this administration than any of us could have imagined.
American citizens are now being ticketed and fined for jogging on the roads in our national parks. Barricades have again been set up at the WW II Memorial, as well as the Iwo Jima and Vietnam Memorials, thereby preventing those who served in these conflicts — and everyone else — from visiting them.
A tour guide for a group of elderly citizens visiting Yellowstone National Park characterized the actions of armed park rangers as “Gestapo tactics” after the terrified seniors were locked in their hotel for hours to prevent them from visiting nearby attractions.
However, two separate but inextricably linked stories emerged this week that should boil the blood of every American with a pulse. The first was an announcement from the Pentagon that the families of servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan would receive nothing from their government — not even funeral and burial benefits — during the “shutdown.” By mid-week, Obama was personally harrumphing about this, saying he was “disturbed” to learn what was going on in his own administration; and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that Fisher House, a charity organization that works with veterans and military families, had agreed to cover the families’ costs from its own funds.
The Defense Department typically pays the families of our fallen heroes about $100,000 within three days of a soldier’s death, but DOD officials claim the “shutdown” was preventing those benefits from being paid — even though Congress has already appropriated the funds for them. Instead, the world has to witness the pathetic executive branch of our federal government, led by the weakest, most petulant radical ever to occupy the White House, turn to a private charity to compensate the families of these courageous men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for an apparently ungrateful nation.
The other story — and one could not make this stuff up if one tried — was the celebration of lawlessness that occurred on the National Mall, as thousands of criminal aliens and their supporters in Congress rallied for “immigration reform.”
So let’s review: the park service, which manages our federal lands and monuments, is forced to barricade, ticket, fine, arrest and terrorize law abiding American taxpayers — including some of the greatest military heroes this country has ever produced — while opening up our National Mall for a protest of our nation’s immigration laws by known criminals (in and out of Congress).
And I thought I was ashamed when Bill Clinton was my president.
© 2013 by Doug Patton — Doug describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For more info on using the columns, contact Cari Dawson Bartley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers are encouraged to email Doug at email@example.com and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.