This goes beyond the pale:
Blocking access to trails and programs at South Dakota’s most popular attraction was one thing, but state officials didn’t expect Congress’ budget stalemate to shut down a view of Mount Rushmore.
The cones first went up Oct. 1, said Dusty Johnson, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff. The state asked that they be taken down, and federal officials did so with some of them. The state was told the cones were a safety precaution to help channel cars into viewing areas rather than to bar their entrance.
“I think reasonable people can disagree about that,” Johnson said.
The cones were down again Friday as a blizzard hit the Black Hills and plows needed access to the roads, Johnson said. He said the state would be monitoring to see whether the cones are put back along viewing areas.
“Once the snow’s off the ground, we’re going to be keeping an eye on how the cones go up,” Johnson said.
The Buffalo News reported that a tour group of dozens of people from western New York was unable to take pictures of the monument because highway viewing areas were coned off.
“It’s all closed up,” the newspaper quoted North Collins, N.Y., resident Hilde Werneth as saying. “They won’t even let you stop and take a picture. You can only drive by.”
Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said the situation is hurting people from out-of-state and international visitors who are in South Dakota to visit the monument.
“They won’t even let you pull off on the side of the road,” Hagen said. “I just don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.”
For those of you who think that this shutdown is just like previous shutdowns, think again:
Although President Obama claims that he can’t avoid shutting down public sites and monuments, war memorials were in fact kept open during the 1995/1996 government shutdowns. The administration’s decision to barricade the Lincoln Memorial marks the first time in its history the memorial has been totally off limits to visitors during a shutdown.
The administration has also balked at efforts by non-governmental groups to maintain access to public sites.
But during the Clinton-era shutdown, World War II veterans kept the Pearl Harbor memorial open.
“Despite the federal government shutdown and an unrepaired sign that reads ‘Arizona Memorial closed,’ tourists are still getting expert commentary about the World War II memorial at Pearl Harbor,” wrote the Associated Press on January 1, 1996.
“It’s our way of helping to preserve the history of this place,” Bob Kinzler, president of the Aloha Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors, told the AP.
Barricades went up in national parks across Washington, D.C. Wednesday, including the Lincoln Memorial. This, too, was unprecedented.
We are witnessing a level of thuggery not seen before in politics and much of it is emanating from The Spite House where he who promised to fundamentally transform this country resides.
There is a lesson here folks. A serious one.
Presidential candidates must be vetted.
What we're seeing in this President is no real surprise to any one paying attention.
We. Must. Pay. Attention.