Obama said he opposed the government shutdown that happened during his administration, but his real strategy was to use it to his advantage. This meant making the American people feel the pain of the shutdown as much as possible. He closed down government parks and monuments just to make a point, barring places that were free and open 365 days a year.
Back during that shutdown, the House Committee on Natural Resources noted that “the Obama Administration is going out of its way to take unreasonable and unnecessary steps to block public access to parks and monuments that isn’t warranted by a government shutdown.”
“For example, open air parks and national monuments, places without doors or gates, where people are allowed to visit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, have been barricaded off,” the committee added.
“In addition, none of these D.C. memorials were closed during the last government shutdown in 1995-1996 under the Clinton Administration. The Obama Administration’s closing of these sites is not something they are required to do; it’s something they are CHOOSING to do. The Obama Administration wants the effects of this government shutdown to be as painful as possible.” (via: Conservative Tribune)
“No government? Well no freedom either” was the message the Obama administration wanted to send. This time they are not playing that game. While the shutdown inevitably will be inconvenient for the American people, Trump’s administration has decided not to make already difficult matters worse.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke promises not to “weaponize our public lands,” saying national parks and monuments “belong to the people and not the government.”
“We’re not putting up barricades,” Zinke said.“Absolutely not. We’re passing out brochures until we run out of brochures. I’ll be out here every day.”