October 14, 2013

A crowd of demonstrators converge upon U.S. government property closed to the public. The demonstrators know that they are prohibited from entering the property. Nonetheless, they push through the metal barricades, chanting, “Tear down these walls.”

That incident occurred yesterday at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.

Protesters taking part in the
Protesters taking part in the “Million Vet March on the Memorials” pile barracades in front of the White House on Sunday. The group was organized in protest of the decision to close the memorial during the government shutdown. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Not confining their protest to the World War II Memorial, some of the protesters then picked up the government’s metal barricades and carried them blocks away to the White House, where the barricades were deposited outside the gates.

Television recorded police struggling to keep the protesters away from the White House fence. No arrests were made.

Now, let’s see if I have this straight: If a group of people decide they don’t like the closing of facilities under the federal government shutdown, they are now empowered to take wire cutters to the locks, push aside barriers and go in and about on their merry way without fear of arrest?

Scale fences of the National Zoo? Break down the doors of the National Air and Space Museum? Don’t like the idea of public tours of the Capitol being suspended? Tear down those congressional walls.

Federal food inspectors aren’t working. Why not just go on into the labs so you can inspect some of that red meat and poultry?

No sweat. Just as Sunday’s protesters, led by Texas Republican bad boy Sen. Ted Cruz and America’s former everything, Sarah Palin, were given immunity from arrest, so will all others of their stripe who take it upon themselves to open closed federal facilities that suit their fancy.

What’s a federal shutdown order between the politically privileged and the pliant protectors of public facilities?

Apparently nothing.