Speaking at the White House on Thursday, President Obama paid sycophantic homage to the federal employees who had been furloughed – and who will receive back pay – during the now-concluded government shutdown:
I’ve got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who’ve either worked without pay or have been forced off the job without pay these past few weeks, including most of my own staff: Thank you. Thanks for your service. Welcome back. What you do is important. It matters. You defend our country overseas. You deliver benefits to our troops, who have earned them, when they come home. You guard our borders. You protect our civil rights. You help businesses grow and gain footholds in overseas markets. You protect the air we breathe and the water our children drink, and you push the boundaries of science and space, and you guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glories of this country. Thank you. What you do is important, and don’t let anybody else tell you different, especially to the young people who come to this — this city to serve, believe that it matters. Well, you know what? You’re right. It does.
Thanking federal workers for not working but being paid might seem over the top, but Obama’s message was simple: America cannot survive without godlike, enormous government. Labeling government employees more patriotic than private sector employees who pay their salaries while they attend free knitting classes in Washington, D.C. or rehearse productions of Steven Sondheim’s Into the Woods should be ridiculous on its face – but to President Obama, simply receiving a federal paycheck grants the patina of virtue.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).