Our View: A ‘national disgrace’

Posted: October 16, 2013

Take politics out of it, if you will. When you’ve witnessed a bona fide “national disgrace,” it should matter little if you’re a Democrat solidly behind Harry Reid and ObamaCare, or a Republican standing firm with John Boehner and constitutional prerogatives. You should scream from the highest mountain, the tallest parapet, for an end to such punitive nonsense.

And the disgrace to which we refer? Better make ’em plural, as in “disgraces.” First, that all our memorials to the fallen, or what Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain called “vision places” — even our veterans cemeteries overseas — have been shuttered during this (partial, and in many wrong places) government shutdown. Second, that aged and infirm World War II veterans in Washington to see theirmemorial were rudely denied the privilege. And, finally, that the mainstream press, save for Fox News, offered galactically unbalanced coverage of the protests waged on behalf of these veterans.

Chapter and verse are hardly required to justify our pique at the barricading of hallowed ground. So let us say simply, as historian William Forstchen did in commentary for CNN, that to “selectively close off such places is nothing less than vindictive, a national disgrace that We the People have allowed to continue for more than a week after its implementation.” All that’s left to be said — or asked — is “Why?”

Myriad sturdy Americans took it upon themselves this past weekend to seek answers to that question — and then to do something about it. Their reward? A bucket of tar and a fistful of feathers from a national media that sought to characterize them as, well, you guessed it, right-wing “extremists.” Odds on, all you saw of the well-meaning protests at the World War II Memorial and then at the White House fence was some guy with a Confederate flag and another railing about President Obama’s alleged fealty to Allah.

Fortunately, the Fox News show “The Kelly File” offered genuine perspective in the person of filmmaker Dennis Lynch who saw the protest for what it truly was: Americans decrying, in all righteous wrath, a “national disgrace.”