The Obama administration’s public line on the shutdown fight has been that it deplores the politics, it wants to put federal employees back to work, that it’s all the fault of the Republicans and their rigid ideologues like Ted Cruz.
But behind the scenes, they’re singing a different tune.
Said a senior administration official: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”
That quote backs up another from a National Park Service ranger, who has been tasked with keeping war veterans off the open-air, normally unmanned World War II Memorial in Washington:
The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.
You can see the strategic thinking in the first quote, and the real-world effects in the second. This administration wants to maximize the pain, and doesn’t care — literally — if kids with cancer have to go without treatments. They’re in Obamacare uber alles mode, with the president even trying to tank the stock market to get his way. Breitbart reports that there are shenanigans going on with the Border Patrol, too.
Barack Obama is famously unenamoured of the Constitution because it limits government’s power. He has repeatedly joked/warned that he can’t really do all that he wants to do because the system restrains him. Obama has flexed his lawlessness before and gotten away with it. The closures of privately-run and funded parks on federal lands is probably illegal, so he may be breaking the law right now. It’s a legitimate question to ask what won’t Obama do to get his way?
We may be about to find out. The debt ceiling fight hasn’t even begun yet. Speaker Boehner signaled today that he will not allow a default, but Obama in his stock market comments signaled that he might allow one, blame it on the Republicans, and hope for an economic crash to ensue.