Shutdown Theater Requires that The Public Suspend Their Disbelief

Shutdown Theater Requires that The Public Suspend Their Disbelief

In response to The Empty Chair shutdown defense:

Neil Munro of the Daily Caller asked Jay Carney on Friday if the president had taken any actions to ease the impact of the shutdown,  like “used his agency power and asked any regulator to make life easier in any way for Americans, for example … not putting out signs, not picketing parks, and restarting websites?” 

Not surprisingly, Carney twice changed the subject to what Congress should do to get the government running on all cylinders again – instead of answering the question.

“What I can tell you the president believes that the Speaker of the House, and he’s asking –” Carney replied without offering any examples.

TheDC repeated the question, asking “Has the president done anything?”

Carney again tried to shift the topic to what the president wants others to do.

“The president has asked Congress to do its job. He does not have the capacity or the power from the Constitution to pass a bill on the House that is a continuing resolution,” he said, again avoiding the TheDC’s question about the president’s use of his constitutional power to manage federal agencies.

TheDC followed up, asking if Americans should view the president’s decisions to rollback free government services as a similar to a strike.

“Is the president putting the government on strike?,” TheDC asked.

“No,” Carney replied, before changing the subject by inviting a Washington Post reporter to ask a question.

How rude of Neil Munro, huh? Doesn’t he know how to phrase a question so that Congress gets all the blame for what the Regime is doing? The public is not supposed to know that POTUS could easily stop these draconian, unnecessary, and unprecedented measures that have become known as “Shutdown Theater.” 

“Suspension of disbelief” is “the temporary acceptance as believable of events or characters that would ordinarily be seen as incredible.” This is usually to allow an audience (the American people) to appreciate works or drama that are “exploring unusual ideas.”

Here’s an unusual idea: NPS kicked out up to 60 homeowners who live in the Lake Mead Recreational area  because the federal government considers them “visitors.” And that’s John Boehner’s fault, you guys.

Although Vanover couldn’t put an exact number on how many residents were actually living in their vacation homes at the time of the government’s closure, she wanted to make one thing clear: “They are all vacation homes and everybody who lives in them are considered visitors,” she said.


Hitchcock, who has lived in his cabin for more than 25 years, said he knows the situation is completely out of his control. But being an adult about it doesn’t make it any easier being away from what he truly loves: Restoring antique engines inside his garage while making daily trips on his motor scooter to Overton, the closest town, a 15-minute ride to the north.

“I seriously, seriously threatened to stay and not leave,” says Hitchcock, recalling that moment when a pair of park rangers delivered the bad news. “I mean, I thought, ‘Are they really going to come down hard on somebody for trespassing inside his own home?”
In the end, he took his friend’s advice: The last place he wanted to wind up was in federal court.
“I said, ‘What if I don’t leave,” Hitchcock recalled. “And they told me, they’d issue me a citation, and when I asked them what would happen if I didn’t pay the citation, they said they’d take me to jail. And when I asked them which jail I was going to go to, they said ‘Henderson.’ “

When NPS shutters another profitable, privately owned business – Cliff House, in San Francisco –  because it sits on federal land, we’re supposed to suspend our disbelief and blame Congress, again.

There are no federal employees at the Cliff House restaurant; a receptionist still manning the phones there today confirmed that all employees are paid by the restaurant’s owners, not by the government. As the Cliff House’s own Web site notes today, the restaurant is a “concessionaire” operating a business on Federal land — in this case, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which encompasses much of the Pacific shoreline along San Francisco and Marin counties — which means it is a private business which pays a fee to operate on government property.


Proof that this forced closure is only for political “optics” in an attempt by Obama to arouse public anger at the Republican controlled House of Representatives: While the waitresses and chefs were sent home today without paychecks, the restaurant’s managers continue to get paid as normal:

During the hiatus, servers and cooks will not get paid, according to a receptionist at the restaurant, though managers and receptionists — who will still be working — will continue to get paid.

If the restaurant was being closed because there was no money to pay employees due to the shutdown, then obviously everybody would get sent home. But no — as we have seen at various facilities around the country, only the employees who directly serve the public are being furloughed, because their absence causes inconvenience — while the behind-the-scenes managers and executives (and politicians) continue to draw their salaries as normal.

While Obama will have the option to golf during the shutdown because his favorite golf course has been spared, American troops around the world can’t even watch sports or entertainment on TV because the American Forces Network has gone dark.

The American Forces Network will not broadcast Major League Baseball playoff games or this weekend’s NFL games during the government shutdown, according to its Facebook page.

“We determined we do not have a sound policy or legal basis to air the sports channels at this time because it is not deemed critical to … military operations and activities,” the post reads. “In essence, we think we should walk a careful line on not providing any programs beyond the news/information realm, which can be clearly tied to direct support of force protection, situational awareness and readiness.”

If Congress would only pass a “clean CR” all this would stop a White House spokesman suggested earlier this week. The “commanding authoritarian presence who discards the Constitution like used Kleenex” aka President  Obama –  they want us to believe – is powerless to do anything about even the bad optics of leaving his golf course open while closing off military commissaries and TV stations?  Shutdown Theater requires a suspension of disbelief too difficult for most  but the most ardent of Obama cultists.

Graphic above via Doug Ross: A Gallery of Shutdown Images