The government shutdown can be viewed in one of two ways.
On one hand, it’s an extremely embarrassing indicator of how dysfunctional the U.S. government is right now, and it creates a lot of doubt around the world regarding whether the current polarization in D.C. is a temporary situation or a permanent one.
On the other hand, the shutdown reveals that there is a lot of non-essential personnel in the government right now, and if you accept the general premise that debt is something to worry about, then it’s hard to argue with the notion that some of those jobs don’t need to exist at the federal level.
The Obama Administration and Democrats all over the U.S. are very worried about people realizing that second thing. And because they’re worried about it, they’re doing the same thing they did prior to sequestration: building it up to be the worst thing ever. Unfortunately, when you build something up to be the worst thing ever and it ends up not being as bad as advertised, you become the party that cried wolf. The sequestration had some very noticeable real-world impacts, and the people that were harmed by it will testify to the fact that it was awful, but it didn’t impact a lot of Americans the way Democrats threatened it would.
Despite the fact that the government is shut down, more than 80 percent of federal employees are still working. The Obama Administration and Democrats now have to do a tight rope walk where they try not to hurt the economy too badly, but still make this shutdown painful enough for people to realize that it’s a bad thing, and not just an overstated inconvenience like what sequestration is now perceived to be.
How are they doing this? Early last week it was by shutting websites, national parks and veteran memorials. Late last week, as noted by Breitbart.com, it was by shutting down the ocean.
Breitbart.com reports that the Obama Administration has closed portions of the ocean around Florida, blocking off charter boats that used to take fisherman into thousands of miles of open water. The same order has shut down Biscayne National Park. Per the Miami Herald, security will be on duty to make sure nobody gets in.
Charter guides received a message from the National Park Service this week informing them that they are not permitted to take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the feds get back to work. That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice.
The closing affects not only fishing guides, but anyone with a license to conduct business in the park, including tour operators and paddling guides — anyone with a Commercial Use Authorization permit, said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks.
Biscayne National Park is also off limits.
Again, it’s not difficult to see what’s going on here. Democrats want to make sure that people understand that the shutdown hurts. Not badly enough that it tanks the economy, but just enough so that it’s noticeable.
Will shutting down the ocean have that effect? We’ll see.