Some interesting things are happening for this government shutdown. The most interesting thing about them is that they’re entirely unnecessary.
For instance, the National World War II Memorial is in the middle of the Mall in Washington DC. Like the Korean and Vietnam memorials, it is an open-air monument that consists mainly of a oval arrangement of stone plinths, with a fountain in the center. It is unmanned by government personnel. Yet, for some reason, the Administration has set up fences around it—and other open-air monuments, with festooned with signs declaring the monument “closed”. In other words, the Administration intentionally spent the time and money to close off open-air monuments that aren’t manned by government personnel anyway. They’ve even tried to prevent actual WWII veterans from entering this unmanned, open-air memorial. These vets didn’t like that, and essentially ignored the barricade. I suppose that using unmanned, portable fencing to try and intimidate the guys who landed on Omaha Beach in the teeth of withering machine gun fire is not an optimally effective strategy. Apparently, not even the threat of arrest was particularly effective.
Happily, others are resisting these shutdowns, too, as on the Great Appalachian Trail, where the public ignored the barricades put up by the National Park Service and went to the park anyway. But the park service is serious about doing what they can to ensure that the public can’t use any national parks, going so far as to order the closure of the nation’s only privately-run park.
Let’s be very clear about what’s happening here. None of these things are unfortunate consequences of the government shutting down. These things are nothing more than intentional attempts to make the shutdown as inconvenient as possible. This is shutdown theater, and nothing more. It is enraging, because it is just a cynical PR move to make the shutdown seem more inconvenient than it actually is.