Breaking: Old Man Vets Go Kamikaze On WWII Memorial Over Bad Barack Obama's Government Shutdown, Not Even Kidding
Breaking: Here's Texas congresscritter Louie Gohmert standing with a group of WWII vets from Mississippi who have gone around barriers at the National World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington. All of this is still developing; we'll update as we get information.
This particular bit of Government Shutdown Theater got started yesterday when Fox Radio's mobile rage unit Todd Starnes ran the story of Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo, who discovered that shutting down the government -- a "pinprick," as Sarah Palin put it -- has actual effects on actual Americans, and by god he was outraged at Barack Obama:
Elderly veterans will not be allowed to pay their respects at the World War II Memorial’s outdoor plaza in the event of a government shutdown, angering a Mississippi congressman who is calling on President Obama to accommodate the aging warriors.
I’m angry and I’m heartbroken,” Rep. Steven Palazzo told me. “This is how we are going to treat them? I think it’s a low-down move.”
Starnes neglects to mention, of course, that Palazzo is very proud of all his votes to defund or delay the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which is of course the cause of the partial government shutdown that is all Obama's fault.
Palazzo is particularly cheezed that Barack Obama is so married to his stoopid healthcare law that Obama insists on hurting WW II vets:
Palazzo said 91 Mississippi World War II veterans are expected to arrive in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday as part of an Honor Flight. Many of the veterans are in their eighties and nineties.
“I don’t know if this is a political move or it’s bureaucratic oversight,” he said. “This may be the only opportunity for some of these veterans to see the memorial in their lifetime.”
So the congressman fired off a letter to President Obama urging him to instruct the National Park Service not to deny veterans access the monuments.
But is Obama going to help? No he is not, because he hates America so much that he will force people to buy health insurance, but won't magically wave a wand to allow spending that Congress must authorize:
The National Park Service confirmed that the World War II Memorial on the Washington Mall would be barricaded in the event of a government shutdown. An area for passenger buses will be blocked off, restrooms will be closed and the water will be turned off.
Spokesperson Carol Johnson tells me park police will be on duty to make sure no one enters the outdoor plaza.
Palazzo figures that "closed" doesn't really have to mean "closed":
Palazzo said it seems as though the National Park Service is wasting a lot of time blocking off the open-air plaza.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense because this is an open-air memorial,” he said. “Allow them to walk through there and lay flowers and pay respect to their fallen brothers. We owe everything to them.”
The congressman said the plan was to walk the veterans through the memorial so they could lay a wreath at the Mississippi memorial.
Not surprisingly, Sarah Palin is outraged:
“This is unbelievable,” she told me. “Where is the president’s respect for our fallen, for America’s finest?”
She said federal funding priorities are “all out of whack.”
“A couple rounds of taxpayer-funded golf outings with the entourage are probably equivalent to a day of access to the Memorial,” she said, pointing out President Obama’s weekend golfing expeditions to Andrews Air Force Base.
Why, yes, this is the very same Sarah Palin who also explained yesterday that “this is not Armageddon. This is a pinprick. It’s not the end of the world if there’s a partial government shutdown.”
Why didn't Sarah explain to those vets that it's not the end of the world that they will not being able to visit the WWII memorial because their congressman really, really wants to stick it to the president? It's only a pinprick after all, and as military veterans, they're probably well accustomed to being screwed over when some second lieutenant wants to make himself look good.
Update 12:35 pm: Additional new images; Leo Shane's twitter feed reports that the vets had help from a congressman:
Most recent, unverified tweet from Leo Shane says,
Official word from Park Police on the WWII memorial: "We're seeking guidance on how to respond." No effort to block any vets.
Update 12:40 pm: Twitter user Jared Gilmour reports Michele Bachmann has gotten in on the excitement:
Update 12:50 pm: Gilmour also has a photo of Steven Palazzo helping vets past the barricades:
Update 1:05 pm: WSJ blog has additional photos.
Update 1:30 pm: ABC News reports a slightly different scene than Leo Shane's report that he "watched Steve King distract a park police officer while vets and staffers knocked down the fences":
Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said in interviews that the gates were opened for the veterans to access the memorial.
Isn't the passive voice a wonderful thing? Say, Rep. King, just who opened those gates?
Update 2:30 pm: Leo Shane's story is up at Stars And Stripes; he describes the removal of the barricades in more detail than Rep. King's statement:
As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, distracted a Park Police representative, other lawmakers and their staff helped topple the metal fences. A bagpiper on hand for the event led the men past the crowd and into the heart of the memorial, attracting a large, applauding crowd.
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