The Republican spin machine touts a photo of a smug American tossing aside traffic cones marking off closed federal park facilities as "civil disobedience."
First, we need to throw the B.S. flag. Republicans, you don't get to hold America hostage, then celebrate your own expressions of "resistance" to that hostage-taking. That's not civil disobedience; that's theater, just like the GOP shutdown.
But suppose one could make a case that some arrogant vacationer, whose leisure to roadtrip and whose body type suggest he has no concerns about the cost of his next meal, tossing aside road markers is today's Gandhi or King.
So if WIC didn't have special funding to keep nutrition assistance flowing to low-income women with children through October, would we celebrate the "civil disobedience" of less well-fed women who broke down the local WIC office door and grabbed their own food vouchers?
If the National Guard didn't have funds or authority to help dig out Sturgis and the Black Hills, would we celebrate the "civil disobedience" of regular citizens who broke into the Guard armory and drove off with National Guard equipment?
Would we celebrate the "civil disobedience" of constituents who busted open the door of Rep. Kristi Noem's shuttered Rapid City office and started using the phones to make calls to handle their business with the federal government?
Would we celebrate the "civil disobedience" of Indians who stormed a federal office or a bank to seize the cash they have coming from logging, mining, and grazing contracts that are now on hold due to the federal shutdown?
We shouldn't have to ask these questions. We should be able to turn to Rep. Noem and her GOP colleagues, tell them to "put down the gun"—in other words, pass a clean budget resolution—and return to rational conversation about our political differences on other issues while we let the federal government get back to serving all of America... not just the smug vacationers who forget their neighbors who need real assistance.