Instapundit noted a couple articles today having to do with how petty the shut down of the National Parks have become. First, in this article from Fox News, it reports that the National Parks Service (NPS) has shut down the primary thoroughfare for Blount County located in the Smoky Mountains, as well as cutting off access to a local cemetery. Closure of the highway has forced the local school district to stop busing children to school. Moreover, it was closed without warning, forcing the school district to scramble to find ways of getting some children home from school.
It’s gotten to the point where Mayor Mitchell said Americans are ready to start fighting back.
“It’s almost like they are pushing to see how far they can push before the American people say enough is enough,” he said.
They almost crossed that line in Blount County.
The mayor sent a letter to the Department of Interior and copied the area’s congressional delegation. The letter detailed a plan that would allow the local government to take control of the park until the federal shutdown ended.
“We were willing to open that park up at no cost to the federal government,” he said. “We worked out a plan. That park could be running today just as efficiently as if the federal government had it up and running.”
He never heard back from the feds or his state’s congressional delegation.
“I’m not so sure any of them care anymore,” said the self-identified conservative Republican mayor. “Before you start hearing from the federal government, something has to happen to make them care.”The article notes that some locals know the combinations for the park gates, and had raised the possibility of simply opening the gates.
However, while there is considerable anger in Blount County, this post at Twitchy concerning Gettysburg shows civil disobedience mixed with mockery, with people posting pictures of themselves in Gettysburg holding "catch me if you can" signs.
I know that there is a certain group of people that will always blame the Republicans for the shutdown, no matter what--but they will never vote Republican anyway. And lots of conservatives support the shutdown. However, the Democrats run the risk of alienating independents who aren't impacted much by the shutdown, except for this petty, mean-spirited shut down of parks. Are they going to take away the lesson that they need the federal government, or that they would be better off with less. My take is that a government that government agencies that can expend so many resources to act spitefully have too large of security/law enforcement budgets.