Storming barricades

By Katie Hilton

This partial government shutdown has myriad effects. One is that rhetoric by elected officials gets high-pitched, ugly, sometimes downright funny.

The first day of the impasse, several Congress Republicans helped Honor Flight veterans storm barricades preventing them from entering the open-air World War II Memorial in Washington. Mind you, this is an outdoor, walk-on memorial. There’s no gate. There’s no door. There’s no admission fee. Normally, there are few park rangers around. There’s no reason to close it, just as there is no reason to “close” a park or river. We the people own federal property.

But members of the Greatest Generation encountered rented barricades and extra guards ordered by the White House, according to a Park Service report. You’d think that, if there’s no money to spend, the President wouldn’t hire extras to keep citizens off their own property, but you’d be wrong. Sarah Palin dubbed the new fences “Barrycades.”

Reps. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Steve King of Iowa shoved aside obstructions, ripped off yellow “caution” tape and guided their honored constituents. The next day, a Heartland Honor Flight from Kansas City arrived. Waiting to greet them and to dump the “Barrycades” were Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Ann Wagner, plus Sen. Roy Blunt.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, who complained of Republican “grandstanding,” was there, too. Hearing McCaskill chide others for grandstanding is the height of irony. She groused that the only members of Congress legitimately at the memorial were those directly representing Honor Flight vets. Others were “just trying to score a political point,” she said, just before she began pressing the flesh.

<em>For the complete column, see today's print edition of The Daily Record, or view the </em><a href=""><span>e-Edition</span></a><span> </span><em>online..</em>

Katie Hilton

The Laclede County Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131