Conservatives are lamely trying to put Democrats on the defensive by trying to force open popular parts of the government, like national parks. While I really want the national parks to be open (I’m going to be in Tucson next week for the first time in 7 years and if Saguaro National Park is closed, I’m going to loathe the modern conservative movement even more than I already do and who knew that was possible), it is a horrible precedent that makes opening the whole government all the more difficult. For instance, one agency the Republicans will never submit a bill to open early is the National Labor Relations Board (PDF here). Of its 1611 employees, 1600 are on furlough. The NLRB has 11 people working. Basically, the government shutdown does to the NLRB what conservatives have wanted to do to it forever. This is precisely why I was so angry at Democrats for being outmaneuvered on the sequester–of course conservatives are going to let this happen because it accomplishes their policy goals and good luck ever getting that funding back.
Harry Reid and President Obama seem willing to push back against this conservative gambit. But of course that doesn’t stop CNN from using it to slip into Both Sides Do It Syndrome. And of course this disease then infects other Beltway members.
In somewhat related news, Texas Rep. Randy Neubarger is today’s worst person in the world for picking on random National Park Service employees who have to keep people out of the World War II Memorial in order to make himself look tough.