Bill Maher was apparently so anxious to ridicule Congresswoman Michele Bachmann that he insulted elderly WWII veterans who were intent on visiting the WWII Memorial despite the government shutdown this past week.
The memorial, an open-air park on the National Mall that normally operates 24 hours a day, was closed by the National Parks Service, although the agency has since backpedaled. Prior to the policy change, however, this week veterans from around the country had to force their way into the memorial.
The HBO Real Time host had this to say Friday night about the visiting veterans, many of whom are affiliated with the Honor Flight program, access to the WWII Memorial:
“The other thing that apparently was so important for the Republicans to keep open was the World War II Memorial in Washington. That was closed, so a bunch of the World War II vets knocked down the barriers and stormed it. And then I loved this, they posed for pictures with Michele Bachmann who showed up. Michele Bachmann, one of the people most responsible for shutting the fu***ing thing down. They’re the greatest generation — nobody said they were the brightest generation.”
Washington Post columnist Kathleen Park had an entirely different take: “… When a group of World War II veterans recently faced barriers blocking entry to the memorial — an open space requiring not so much as an attendant — these elderly warriors took a page from their Normandy playbook and stormed the barricades. Can there be an image more inspiring than members of this venerable club, whose living roll declines each day by about 640, pushing their way through flimsy, useless, pointless barriers to roam among pillars erected to their heroism? What was Washington thinking?”
The Weekly Standard reported yesterday that the Park Service and police also tried to shut down the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a black granite outdoor wall on which the names of the 58,272 service members who died or were unaccounted for during the Vietnam war are inscribed. It takes more manpower and costs the government more money to close down an outdoor wall than to let people walk past it and pay their respects.”
In response to Maher’s comments, Yahoo! columnist Mark Whittington wrote that “Leaving aside the inconvenient truth that it was Obama’s National Park Service that shut the thing down and that Bachmann among others have been blocked by Senate Democrats from providing the funds to keep national monuments open, one can only respond with, ‘Seriously, Maher? Dissing the heroes of Normandy and Iwo Jima?…’ ”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Parks Service due to a misunderstanding tried to barricade the parking lots to George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia even though the facility itself is privately owned. According to the Washington Times columnist Wed Pruden, “‘It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,’ an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. ‘We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.'”
The Washington Examiner reports that 83 percent of government operations are unaffected by the shutdown.