Soviet style tactics
Petulant Children Acting Out
Using Park Police To Intimidate Citizens
The Gestapo, the SS, the Stasi and the KGB have brothers-in-arms right here in good old Amerika.
Advance Editorial From Our Forthcoming 10/21-10/28 Issue
We are a nation that has a
government—not the other way around.”
The conduct of the National Park Service over the last week might
be the biggest scandal of the Obama administration. This is an expansive claim,
of course. Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, the NSA, the HHS mandate—this
is an administration that has not lacked for appalling abuses of power. And we
still have three years to go.
Even so, consider the actions of the National Park Service since
the government shutdown began. People first noticed what the NPS was up to when
the World War II Memorial on the National Mall was “closed.” Just to be clear,
the memorial is an open plaza. There is nothing to operate. Sometimes there
might be a ranger standing around. But he’s not collecting tickets or opening
gates. Putting up barricades and posting guards to “close” the World War II
Memorial takes more resources and manpower than “keeping it open.”
The closure of the World War II Memorial was just the start of the
Park Service’s partisan assault on the citizenry. There’s a cute little
historic site just outside of the capital in McLean, Virginia, called the
Claude Moore Colonial Farm. They do historical reenactments, and once upon a
time the National Park Service helped run the place. But in 1980, the NPS cut
the farm out of its budget. A group of private citizens set up an endowment to
take care of the farm’s expenses. Ever since, the site has operated
independently through a combination of private donations and volunteer workers.
The Park Service told Claude Moore Colonial Farm to shut down.
The farm’s administrators appealed this directive—they explained
that the Park Service doesn’t actually do anything for the historic
site. The folks at the NPS were unmoved. And so, last week, the National Park
Service found the scratch to send officers to the park to forcibly remove both
volunteer workers and visitors.
We’re not done yet. The parking lot at Mount Vernon was closed by
the NPS, too, even though the Park Service does not own Mount Vernon; it just
controls access to the parking lots from the George Washington Parkway. At the
Vietnam Memorial—which is just a wall you walk past—the NPS called in
police to block access. But the pièce de résistance occurred in South
Dakota. The Park Service wasn’t content just to close Mount Rushmore. No, they
went the extra mile and put out orange cones to block the little scenic
overlook areas on the roads near Mount Rushmore. You know, just to
make sure no taxpayers could catch a glimpse of it.
Think about that for a minute. The Park Service, which is supposed
the public by administering parks, is now in the business of forcing
parks they don’t administer to close.
As Homer Simpson famously asked, did
we lose a war?
It’s one thing for politicians to play shutdown theater. It’s
another thing entirely for a civil bureaucracy entrusted with the privilege of
caring for our national heritage to wage war against the citizenry on behalf of
a political party.
This is how deep the politicization of Barack Obama’s
administration goes. The Park Service falls under the Department of the
Interior, and its director is a political appointee. Historically, the
directorship has been nonpartisan and the service has functioned as a civil,
not a political, unit. Before the current director, Jonathan Jarvis, was
nominated by President Obama, he’d spent 30 years as a civil servant. But he
has taken to his political duties with all the fervor of a third-tier hack from
the DNC, marrying the disinterested contempt of a meter maid with the zeal of
an ambitious party apparatchik.
It’s worth recalling that the Park Service has always been deeply
ambivalent about the public which they’re charged with serving. In a 2005
Weekly Standard piece about the NPS’s plan to reconfigure the National Mall,
Andrew Ferguson reported:
The Park Service’s ultimate desire was made public, indiscreetly,
by John Parsons, associate regional park director for the mall. In 2000 Parsons
told the Washington Post he hoped that eventually all unauthorized
traffic, whether by foot or private car, would be moved off the mall. Visitors
could park in distant satellite lots and be bused to nodal points, where they
would be watered and fed, allowed to tour a monument, and then reboard a bus
and head for another monument. “Just like at Disneyland,” Parsons told the Post.
“Nobody drives through Disneyland. They’re not allowed. And we’ve got the
better theme park.
Yes, yes. They must protect America’s treasures from the ugly Americans.
No surprise then that one park ranger explained to the Washington Times
last week, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can.”
“To make life as difficult for people as we can”—that would be an
apt motto for the Obama worldview. And now even the misanthropes at the
National Park Service have been yoked to his project. This is the clearest
example yet of how the president understands the relationship between his
government and the citizenry.
Labels: brownshirts, gathering of eagles, Gestapo, jackbooted thugs, jackboots, KGB, Mount Vernon, Park Police, Pisgah Inn, SS, Stasi, The Wall, veterans, weekly standard, WWII Memorial