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Compassionate Conservatives

You know who else closed parks…

Matt Bors
© Matt Bors

Godwin’s Law states that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

But this is an especially interesting and hypocritical example, since Conservatives were attacking Obama for closing parks — especially when war veterans were unable to go to war memorials in DC — even though the reason the memorials were closed was because those same conservatives forced a government shutdown.



  1. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Lets be clear IK. I am not a republican, I am and have been a democrat. I blamed the President for closing the memorials. He made that choice to spend extra money in time and materials to close the parks. I’d venture to say he spent equal to or greater then the cost to keep them open and staffed. His predecessor Clinton during a longer shutdown in the 90’s chose not to shut down those memorials. If it makes any difference those same conservatives offered to fund the parks, but he said no it’s all or nothing. It was clearly his choice, no if ands or buts. Get over it.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Have I ever accused you of being a Republican? And even if you were, why would I care?

    Yes, you have made it clear you blame Obama for closing the parks. I heard you, I just don’t agree with you.

    There are plenty of “ifs ands and buts”. First of all, all the national parks *were* closed during the shutdown in the 90s, they were just handled more haphazardly. See

    But what actually happened is that the Republicans, who were (no ifs ands or buts) clearly responsible for the shutdown, tried to use the memorials as a way to blame Obama and deflect what they had done. In other words, pure craven politics. Obama refused to play along. I don’t blame him one bit. If he did anything wrong at all, it was to let the Republicans turn the whole memorial thing into a talking point.

    Why was this even an issue? Isn’t it a bigger issue that veteran’s families were denied death benefits? Or that cancer patients didn’t receive treatments? Why make an exception for a national park and not all the other things that are far more important?

    To me, the bottom line is that if Congress wants to decrease spending, they should change the spending bills. Not refuse to pay for things they have already authorized. Like many have said, that is like refusing to pay their maxed out credit card. Focusing on a few closed memorials is a sad joke.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  3. PatriotSGT wrote:

    “Conservatives were attacking Obama for closing parks — especially when war veterans were unable to go to war memorials”
    That sounds like it was directed towards any one who raised any objection and I did. So by your pen anyone who disagrees is a conservative. I am not.

    So correctly state it as Americans were attacking Obama, as i’m sure many Vets trying to visit those memorials were also Democrats because many of their generation were. You could say many Americans, and a number of media talking head conservatives…

    Why was this even an issue? “a sad joke”, Really? Thats your ultimate comeback. I suppose that means shut up, quit making noise and start towing the party line. You know me well enough, let me know how that works for ya. 🙂

    I agree it’s an issue of veterans families not being paid and Patients not recieving care. But agin those issues could have been solved and were offered to be solved. The President played politics right along with the conservatives. Didn’t Harry Reid say to a Dana Bash “put a bill through to fund treatment for kids with cancer? Why would we want to do that? and then proceed to call that reporter irresponsible. I expect my President to act differently and to stand for something more.

    There were no barriers placed in front of memorials at an extra cost in 90’s staffed by guards. That cost could have been used to pay the veterans families and the cancer patients care costs, couldn’t they? The President didn’t try to help those people any more then the Tea Party. Both used all of those issues for political gamesmanship. Call it what it was and stop deflecting blame.

    Why don’t you talk about the hypocrisy of the democrats who opposed delaying the individual mandate who are now talking about delaying that which they opposed, because they just figured out that it will be an election year problem in 2014 because of the issues of the rollout. And while were at it why don’t you go to Washington and fix the damn thing instead of jerking my chain.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
  4. ThatGuy wrote:

    It wouldn’t have been responsible for the Democrats to agree to reopen the government piece by piece. That sets a horrid precedent for a minority party to refuse to fund the government as a whole until bits they don’t like are stripped away.

    Do you really, honestly think the cost of waist-high gates and a handful of park service folks (the vast majority of whom were furloughed) cost more, or even close, to what is owed to veterans, their families, and cancer patients? I think this is a little silly.

    To say that this was in any way a problem caused by both sides equally is completely incorrect. The Tea Party refused to pass anything unless a completely unrelated, lawfully passed and Supreme Court-vetted law was struck down. That is irresponsible governance, and for the President or Democrats to give into that sort of insane childishness would have been dangerous.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Thatguy – on the gates and guards, what was the point of putting them there in the 1st place?

    I agree about the tea party asking for the law to be repealed then changing their target who knows how many times, thats their piss poor leadership and messaging and not my issue with this issue. I also agree with the democrats not giving in, it will hopefully start some sort of real conversation about the massive structural financial issues that exist. Let the legislators play politics, I want my President to lead, all the people.

    What I am saying is they could have done that and not embarrassed themselves by appearing childish. I expect better from the leader of the free world and you should to.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    “Conservatives were attacking Obama for closing parks — especially when war veterans were unable to go to war memorials”
    That sounds like it was directed towards any one who raised any objection and I did. So by your pen anyone who disagrees is a conservative. I am not.

    Wrong. If I say “dogs bit someone” does that mean I am saying that everything that bites someone is a dog? Complete logical fallacy.

    I suppose that means shut up

    No more than you telling me to “get over it”.

    To answer your question about the gates, there were plenty of reasons given. Without park rangers, parks *were* vandalized. Also, if you had read the article I linked to in my last comment, in the 90s the way park shutdowns were implemented was left up to the park, which caused no end of problems and complaints. And that shutdown only lasted a few days. This one not only lasted longer, but it looked like it might last indefinitely. I’m sure if the parks were left unprotected and someone (a veteran?) got hurt, or something irreplaceable was destroyed, then the Republicans would be blaming Obama for that.

    And ThatGuy makes a good point. Funding things piecemeal would completely distract from the real issue, and would have been childish. You say you agree with the democrats not giving in, and yet you blame them for not giving in. By not giving in, the President did lead. Don’t you think he knew that it would have been easier (and more political) to just fund the memorials to keep them open?

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
  7. ThatGuy wrote:

    Four months ago the Lincoln Memorial was splattered with green paint. And IK is right on when he mentions people potentially getting hurt. For example, the Washington Monument is covered in scaffolding right now, people messing around near there without the gates would be bad news liability wise, and the Washington Mall is a pretty large area (and things like the Jefferson Memorial are relatively off the beaten path of even that) so the skeleton crew of the DC parks service just couldn’t possibly cover everything.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    Not to mention security concerns. After all, the shutdown in the 90s happened *before* 9/11. And the Republicans are still howling about Benghazi.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  9. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    (If I say “dogs bit someone” does that mean I am saying that everything that bit someone is a dog)

    Absolutely not, however the choice of words was intentional to make it seem as if only conservatives complained. You did not say Democrats were attacking Obama for closing parks as that also would have been true and equally misconstrued to seem like no conservatives were either.

    You are correct that in this hyper partisan environment any and every opportunity to capitalize on a weakness or mistake is seized upon by the opposition and shaken like a pit bull with a toy squirrel, on both sides. Everyone who is writing or speaking it seems, is ratcheting up the rhetoric for political leverage and gain. It is precisely this behavior that will no allow this country to move forward.

    And by the way there were 2 shutdowns in 95-96 from November 14 through November 19, 1995 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996, for a total of 27 days. A bit longer then this one.

    I did a bit more research on my own and found this out:
    ” For the record, the Lincoln Memorial was closed, as was the Statue of Liberty” This was testimony from a retired NPS deputy director who served under Reagan, Bush and Clinton during a hearing on 10/16/2013 after the shutdown was over. The WWII memorial and MLK exhibits were not yet built. There was no testimony about other monuments so I’ll have to assume they were open.

    I checked other sources from Huffpo, WAshpo, CNN, FOX, NYT, NYP AP, and there are as many different stories as is possible. Truth is it was pushed down to local management and there s no exact accounting.

    So I’d like to be the man and say while I did not like or approve of the closures, I will state that it was not the first time they were shut down and that some to many were in fact closed during Clinton’s shutdown, although not as politically polarized as is now.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    Thanks for that link.

    Friday, October 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink