Political intransigence was on display for the world to see this past week.
When U.S. President Barack H. Obama refused to negotiate with House members over an extension to delay his administration’s crown jewel, the so-called “Affordable” Care Act, he ordered every national park and even part of the Atlantic Ocean to be shut down, fenced in, coned off and cut off from taxpayers and private organizations that pay for them.
It took 90-year-old World War II veterans to unveil President Stompy-Feet’s (the new nickname given to Obama by Rep. Steve Stockman) vindictiveness. Nothing exhibited the president’s behavior more pointedly than the sight of octogenarian and nonagenarian WW II veterans, flown in from all over the country on Honor Flights, many using wheelchairs and walkers, halted at barricades erected by presidential order, prohibiting them from visiting the open-air Memorial built to honor their sacrifice to our nation.
Obama spent – some say “wasted” – millions of American tax dollars to drive home the point that he would not budge on his political position and issued an edict to the National Parks Service to post guards and erect traffic cones, chickenwire fences and iron “barry-cades” at national parks and war memorials nationwide including the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn, Va.
The presidential pettiness prompted Fox News contributor and Townhall editor Katie Pavlich to tweet, “Maybe if the WWII vets offer to hold Obama’s umbrella, they’ll open the memorial.”
The mockery continued unabated. “This is how many park service staffers it takes to post a “closed” sign” captioned one tweeted photo.
Citizen outrage was palpable: “Gov’t shutdown prevents Armed Forces Network from showing NFL games today,” they tweeted and Facebooked, slamming Obama for taking out his grievances on American fighting men and women on the front lines.
Social media Twitter and Facebook are a bellwether of how a majority of citizens perceive the executive branch and Democrat-held Senate’s forced stalemate, using cutting humor to mock and deride the presidential orders emanating from the “Spite House.”
Noted the Twitchy team, “While an empty chair was the perfect metaphor for President Obama’s first term in office, it doesn’t really capture what might be the greatest accomplishment of his second. Would it be too much to add an empty chair behind the Barrycade?”
The WW II Memorial was just the start of a long laundry list of related topics that dominated social media for most of the week. Uploaded twit-pics and photoshopped editorial comments ricocheted across the Internet, like this image by Justin Menkveldof who morphed the the D-Day storming of the Normandy beaches with this past week’s “storming of the barricades” at the WWII Memorial:
Several members of Congress, some equipped with wire and bolt cutters, defied the president’s orders and removed the barriers to welcome the “Greatest Generation” vets as they arrived. Pictured below are Republican Florida Congressmen Bill Posey, Ron DeSantis, Steve Southerland, Rich Nugent Ted Yoho greeting a them as they arrived.
This pathetic single shutdown barricade and sign at the 2nd Infantry Division Memorial was snort-worthy.
Among millions of words communicated via social media, perhaps the one that encapsulated the sentiment of this presidency was conveyed in a poignant photo of an NPS guard blocking visitors to the Lincoln Memorial titled simply, “Obama’s America”.
They say timing is everything, and that may be the case given how veterans of the Greatest Generation were treated this past week, 65 iconic images landed in my email. Posted last Memorial Day by Mark Allen M of California on the Warbird Information Exchange forum, these black and white photographs recall a slice of precious American history.
Bonus: Three brief essays by three children who write about what Memorial Day means to them: “Army Parade Washington, D.C., Memorial Day, May 1942 (it’s quite evident in this series of photos just how stressed, concerned and worried the country was at this early stage of the war, you really don’t see too many smiles from those in attendance. But at the same time you can also sense parity and patriotism.)”
Here’s one of the images in the collection, many of which were taken by LIFE magazine photographers.
Going back in time a bit further…
For the Civil War buff, here’s an animated map of the Battle of Antietam, produced by Wide Awake Films. Learn more about this important Civil War battle in Maryland, the bloodiest day in American history.