The National Mall in DC is closed to you, me, or tourists who want to visit it due to Obama’s shut down. Last week it had visitors like Miriam Carey and the still unidentified man who set himself on fire. Now, the National Mall is open again, for amnesty protesters. So let’s review. National Mall closed for normal, everyday Americans, war memorials shut down, Mt. Rushmore shut down, but National Mall open for amnesty protesters. I’m now convinced that the earth is spinning in the opposite direction that it should be.
Another “First Amendment” exception to the shutdown, just like the one that was carved out on false pretenses for Honor Flight vets after the White House took a PR beating for locking them out of the World War II Memorial.
I keep trying to figure out how this exception works. Explain this to me: Do I have a First Amendment right to open up the DMV after it’s closed for the day because I want to protest inside at midnight? The point of closing down parks, I thought, is that there’s not enough security to staff the grounds given all the furloughs. Which is nonsense — the WWII Memorial, for instance, is open overnight during normal operations despite being unstaffed — but there’s at least theoretical logic to it. How does that logic square with keeping people out unless they want to make a political point, in which case it’s time to open up? It’s either safe or it isn’t. If it is, why limit the grounds to “First Amendment activities”?