Never before, in any of the government shutdowns, has the National Park Service felt the need to close our national monuments. But now, under Obama, it suddenly became necessary. Recall IRS officials never got an actual order from Obama to target Tea Party, but they were “acutely aware” of his attitude and approach which guided their decision-making. In other words, covert as opposed to overt, orders from Obama. This is why the presidency matters– it models behavior and sends signals about the Federal attitude. At best, Obama is encouraging the worst in federal workers. At worst, he’s approving the unleashing of their Inner Gestapo.
National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis took responsibility Wednesday for closing monuments and memorials on the National Mall as part of the government shutdown — a decision that House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa had earlier called “despicable.”
Jarvis told members of two House committees that the White House didn’t dictate how the park service handled the closures, although he said he and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell had “presented” its shutdown plans to a White House official during a telephone conversation…
Jarvis, who was testifying under subpoena, said he didn’t know whom he had spoken to at the White House about the shutdown plans but promised to provide that information to lawmakers.
Issa (R-Calif.) and other Republicans at the hearing accused Jarvis’ agency of showing a pattern of apparent political bias, stretching as far back as its decision in 2011-12 to allow Occupy Wall Street protesters to camp out and “defecate” at Washington’s McPherson Square. They questioned why the park service has barricaded sites like the Lincoln Memorial that stayed open during the 1995-96 government shutdowns.