Letters to the Editor

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SHUTDOWN: Which federal facilities are essential?

Letter by Jonathan R.C. Green, Tacoma on Oct. 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm with No Comments »
October 8, 2013 2:44 pm

I find it amazing that President Obama is being blamed by certain members of Congress, and even by some segments of the national media, for the closure of the national parks and the World War II Memorial. Their argument apparently is that these federal facilities should have been kept open as essential to the security and well-being of the country.

Although I personally find it irksome and inconvenient that I cannot visit Mount Rainier National Park on a beautiful fall day, I can hardly call closing the park an immediate threat to my life or livelihood. Similarly, keeping the World War II Memorial open could only be considered essential by certain members of Congress who are desperate to find a photo opportunity to try to draw the public’s attention away from the consequences of their folly.

If you look for essential government functions that ought to be kept open, the commissaries on our military bases are an excellent example. They were closed as a result of the government shutdown, but apparently for the likes of Rep. Michele Bachmann, it is not essential that our soldiers’ families get fed.

Even some columnists for so-called reputable news outlets seem to think it is the president’s fault that members of Congress are denied access to federal facilities that they themselves caused to be closed. Are the media really as clueless as the politicians they are supposed to cover?

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