Republican Party Rep. Randy Neugebauer got into a bizarre and heated exchange with a parks service employee, where he blamed the Park Service for the closure of national parks. He seems a little confused on whose fault that is.
As you have probably heard by now, the government has shutdown because the House and Senate can’t agree on a bill to keep it funded. That means that national parks, and many other “non-essential” services are closed indefinitely, while the Republican Party holds out for some kind of cut or delay to Obamacare.
Now to the actual confrontation. Rep. Neugebauer confronted a Park Service employee who was denying access to the public, because the park was closed.
"How do you look at them and…deny them access?" the congressman asked.
"It's difficult," she responded.
"Well, it should be difficult," Neugebauer snapped.
"It is difficult," the Ranger said. "I'm sorry sir."
"The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves," Neugebauer said.
"I'm not ashamed," the Ranger said.
It’s not even clear what Rep. Neugebauer is thinking here. Surely he knows that the park is closed. And surely he knows why it’s closed: the Republican Party refuses to pass a “clean” bill to fund the government and end the shutdown. Does he think that the Parks Service should defy the government and stay open anyway? Why in the world would the Park Service workers be ashamed of themselves? Rep. Neugebauer is the one who can get that park open again.
We all engage in some degree of double think, but for Republican Party Congresspeople, it’s part of the job description.