TEApublicans have been blaming the President for the now five day old shutdown of the federal government and claiming that every single service that has been curtailed or shut down completely came about due to a direct order from him.
The WWII Memorial was shut down due to a direct order from the President, or so Michele Bachmann and Steve King claimed the other day. According to them, the Park Police were ordered by the President personally to keep the veterans out. This is, of course, a lie — the NPS has a contingency plan for this sort of thing which has been in place for years and was the same one used in the last shut downs in 1995-1996. All government agencies have similar plans and they are being employed now as they always have been. The President has not ordered any of these inconveniences from the Oval Office.
Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, not to be left out of the fun of blaming the President personally, has announced (to the glee of radical TEApublicans) that he will not abide by what he describes as an order from the President, to close Wisconsin State Parks. His supporters and President Obama’s detractors are all ecstatic that he is standing up to the “tyrant.”
Walker, in flamboyant show of defiance ordered that the barricades placed at a boat launch on the Mississippi by the National Park Service be taken down saying, “We’re not going to shut down one of our most popular parks, because a small percentage of employees couldn’t come.”
The truth is that most state parks — not only in Wisconsin, but in all 50 states — do not fall in any way under the auspices of the NPS and are therefore not subject to any of the shutdown procedures. The parks in question in Wisconsin are those which are on federal land or which are interstate parks and it was the NPS, not President Obama, who issued the order.
As Walker and the right wing media explain it, President Obama ordered the NPS to shut down all state parks when in fact it was very few. Specifically, only those that are partially funded by the federal government. In Wisconsin it was Kettle Moraine, Devil’s Lake, Interstate state parks which is partially funded by the NPS and therefore does fall partially under the control of the Park Service.
No one wants to see these parks closed but other states are capitalizing on the closure of National Parks in their area by promoting the state parks which remain open, this is what Walker should be doing but he just can’t resist it when he sees an opportunity to attack the President, the facts be damned.