Is the Obama administration trying to make the government shutdown as personally painful, costly and humiliating as possible to the American public?
Last week, we learned that the National Park Service is ordering privately run businesses that operate on federal land -- from inns, to restaurants, private camp grounds, and even marinas -- to close up shop until the government shutdown ends. Park Rangers have even gone so far as to physically block and patrol entrances to private concessions to make sure not a single, errant customer steps foot on the premises.
Then, today, comes the story of elderly couple, Joyce and Ralph Spencer, who have been thrown out of their Lake Mead home because, park officials say, it sits on federally owned land -- which it has done for forty years. The Department of Interior insists that all federally owned land must be treated consistently.
But you know what else operates on federally owned land? A sizable portion of U.S. oil and gas production. And, yet, those commercial concerns have not been similarly and summarily halted.
So, it would appear that the White House doesn't dare send the land management goons to barricade our oil and gas wells. That would be a shutdown showdown too far. But they will harass Joyce and Ralph Spencer, war vets, mom-and-pop shop owners, and families on vacation to make their point -- and make it as personally painful as possible.