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Let’s get real about national parks

Let’s get real for a minute.

I do not for one second believe that President Barack Obama or the Congressional Democrats hate World War II veterans or want to prevent them from accessing memorials erected in their honor.

I also don’t believe for one second that the Congressional Republicans give a hoot about these vets and their trips to any monuments. But it sure makes for a great story and the theater of the absurd enters Act 3.

CNN’s Erin McPike reported the reason the United States Parks Service is giving for “closing” stone, granite and steel monuments located next to major roads and sidewalks and clearly visible from afar is:

Park Service did not want to barricade these, but unfortunately we have been directed, because of the lack of appropriations, to close all facilities and grounds,” said National Mall and Memorial parks spokeswoman Carol Johnson.

“I know that this is an open-air memorial, but we have people on staff who are CPR trained, (and) we want to make sure that we have maintenance crew to take care of any problems. What we’re trying to do is protect this resource for future generations,” said Johnson.

Seriously. CPR and maintenance. And it was also reported there were seven Park Service employees building and manning the new barriers (more than work the monument on a non-shutdown day), apparently none of them CPR-trained.

While you can be outraged at these elderly men being denied access, I am more outraged that the Parks Service PAYS people with CPR training to watch people looking at national monuments. I concede there is a need for upkeep, but this is just another example of government waste, fraud and abuse. The federal government should not exist as a jobs program for things like CPR-trained janitors who monitor the cardiac condition of visitors while emptying the garbage cans.

So as opposed to joining the chorus of people urging our elected officials to get together, do their jobs and work things out, count me as one that hopes they never get in the same room ever again or agree on the time of day. Because when Congress “compromises” and passes spending bills, we get things like the Park Service thinking the ONLY way a citizen should be allowed to enjoy a national monument is with a government worker with a defibrillator and a broom standing next to me.