Let's give a shout out to the civil disobedience of World War II veterans who stormed the gates of the "closed" WWII war memorial last week. In doing so, they defied government stupidity everywhere.
As everyone knows, Republicans and Democrats last Tuesday shut down the federal government (or at least 15 percent of it) when they couldn't find agreement on a spending plan for next year.
That included the various national monuments in the Washington, D.C.
The stupid thing about it was, however, that the federal government not only closed places contained in buildings that are guarded and staffed, they took the extra measure of barricading open-air memorials that on any given day are accessible via a stroll through the park and are unstaffed and unguarded.
In other words, the federal government went out of its way to make damn sure the public felt the pinch of this shutdown. The barricades instantly became known as "Barackades" in "honor" of President Barack Obama. (He deserves every bit of that, BTW.)
The Washington Post gave us this description of the chaotic first day:
"The elderly veterans piled off their buses at the World War II Memorial a little after 11 on Tuesday morning. Some eased into wheelchairs. Others leaned on canes. All had come to pay homage to their famous crusade and fallen comrades of long ago.
"Veterans of Omaha Beach, Okinawa and the Italian campaign, they arrived only to face metal barricades and signs announcing that the memorial was closed because of the federal shutdown.
"Gentlemen in blue baseball caps and red T-shirts, they said it was emotional just to be there -- and a shame to have come all the way from their homes in Mississippi for this.
"Suddenly, in the bright sunshine, cheers and applause erupted. The barricades had been moved -- by whom it was not clear. And the column of veterans poured through the gap in the lines and into the memorial."
Well, bully for them. Leave it to the World War II vets to give us some perspective in this shutdown.
Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. (Too bad Republicans, Democrats, President Barack Obama, Harry Reid and John Boehner don't have the same grit.)