On the 1st of October, the “shutdown” of parks and other Federal functions other than police, military, prisons etc was met by thousands of people with quiet defiance. Others greeted the Tea-party induced shutdown with a variety of public protests.
Througout DC I saw people ignoring signs the Park Service posted closing parks and trails. Park Police made no attempt to force bicyclists off trails adjacent to still-open park roads, perhaps not wanting all those cyclists to take road space away from cars. Also, it would only take one ugly incident stemming from a police attempt to ticket or arrest the wrong person to create political consequences that could resonate for years.
Several TV and radio news stations reported that a contingent of WWII veterans stormed the closed WWII memorial, refusing to let the Tea Party, Obama, or anyone else spoil their trip. Those who stormed Nazi-held beaches at Normandy or faced dug-in resistance at places like Iwo Jima and Tarawa were not intimidated by a few bullies with barricades. The barricades were parted, and they took over the monument.
During the day, government workers facing no pay because the Tea Party won’t allow the government to have a budget unless Obamacare is cancelled protested at the US Capitol.
A GOP Fundraiser scheduled by Congressman Steve Chabot for 5PM on Capitol Hill had to be cancelled after he found Code Pink was scheduled to show up. The politics of a bug bucks fundraiser while the rest of the public endures the “shutdown” could not have been concealed if Code Pink attracted the press.
Speaking of Code Pink, as the sun went down they set up lights in front of the west side of the US Capitol reading “Pink Slip Congress.” They were quoted on WTOP Radio saying “We want a government that works” and chanting “remmber, remember, you’ll pay in November.” At one point a large tour group from Oklahoma joined the Code Pink contingent for photos-the first time I’ve ever seen THAT happen. Speakers demanded that members of Congress be fired for not doing their jobs, same as they would be anywhere else.
I myself spoke to propose a constitutional amendment that if on the first day of a new fiscal year a budget has not been signed into law, all pay for both members of Congress and the President is stopped until a budget (not a continuing reolution) is in effect. I also proposed replacing Obamacare with a clone of the health care benefits Congressmen get for all residents of the US.