Compare and contrast: A tale of two government shutdowns
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has been spotted quietly picking up trash at the National Mall and helping busloads of schoolchildren tour and understand the World War II monument in its vicinity, all in the wake of Friday's government shutdown led by Democrats in Congress.
He's doing so without pay and as other employees are placed on furlough. The Daily Caller has the scoop:
“We’re not putting up barricades,” Zinke told The Daily Caller in an interview. “Absolutely not. We’re passing out brochures until we run out of brochures. I’ll be out here everyday.”
That's an admirable response of a dedicated public servant and among Republicans, he's not the only one. Several Republicans in Congress, (along with one Democrat), are insisting on going without paychecks until this government shutdown, which deprives military troops in the field of pay, is resolved.
How different this government shutdown is compared to the 2013 shutdown during the Obama years, when Obama officials, who were then in power, rammed it right into the public's face to make sure voters bore the brunt of the pain. They wanted the public to suffer. They shut national parks, placed barriers on the World War II monument, (the same one Zinke is leading tours on), refusing to allow old veterans who traveled a continent their chance to see the monument that their great heroism merited.
They did other disgusting things, such as forcibly (and at high cost) shut down private businesses on national park land, effectively expropriating their earnings, once again to drive the point home that the shutdown was bad and Republicans were to blame. They politicized the shutdown, too, keeping hot towels for themselves at their gym while fining joggers who ran through national parks. The Mall of course was shut down - except for an illegal alien rally. As I wrote here when I was an editorial writer at Investor's Business Daily:
This is not the first time the federal government has shut down because of conflict between a president and a Congress. But it is the first time its armed agents have been told from on high to make things as painful as possible for ordinary people, while their rulers and their pet causes are exempted.
They held the public hostage in a bid to get them to blame the Republicans and advance their own political ends, lolling in their comforts.
Republicans, by contrast, are now working together to alleviate the inconvenience to the public and minimize the pain to the most vulnerable. Democrats sought to step up the pain, commissar-style. Republicans are now seeking to soften it.
As midterm elections approach, it calls attention to who really is fit to rule in the U.S. legislature. We see the shutdowns side by side and can legitimately ask, who really cares about the public?