Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin joined U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) for a little bit of face time in front of the World War II Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. The three popular figures in the tea party made it clear that the Obama administration is using veterans as pawns in a larger political game.
“Our veterans should be above politics,” Cruz said. “It is shameful that the administration is barricading and trying to shutdown the memorials.”
“Weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed funding to open every memorial in this country, and President Obama and the Democrats are blocking it; they’re trying to play games and the American people know they’re trying to play games. They need to come together and fix this problem and stop holding our veterans hostage.”
The Texas senator is referring to piecemeal legislation that was proposed by House Republicans as a step-by-step approach to end the partial government shutdown. The resolutions were rejected by Senate Democrats as a ploy to hold the government hostage in order to keep Obamacare on the table.
The metaphor of a hostage situation has been used by members of both political parties in Washington. Senate Democrats say a minority group of tea party representatives have managed to strong-arm the Republican leadership in the House to keep delaying the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) a part of any budget negotiations that could end the shutdown and avoid breaching the debt ceiling.
“They (the administration) are trying to make things as difficult as possible for the American people and that’s not right,” Lee said in the video.
Palin then chimed in, accusing President Obama of having no respect for veterans:
“And it’s a matter of priorities. It’s a matter of really a lack of respect coming from the top when we realize these political games are resulting in and it being taken out on our veterans. So, the shutdown priorities reflect that lack of respect and they reflect a lack of valor coming from our commander-in-chief.”
Some may argue that it shows a lack of respect to use veterans to score some face time and political points, but the whole issue surrounding the barricaded war memorials is just one absurdity that has turned this political theater into the theater of the absurd.
With less than two days until the debt ceiling deadline, a deal looks possible, but it will be another short-term solution that kicks the can a little further down the road and into a heated 2014 primary election season.