What This Republican Weasel Says To A National Park Ranger Will Piss You Off (VIDEO)

National Park Ranger insulted by Republican for doing her job

First he shuts down the government, then he complains when a memorial, RUN BY THE GOVERNMENT, is closed down by a national park ranger? Is he serious?

You’d think that a National Park Ranger would get a little respect from the GOP. But you’d be wrong. The past couple of days have seen some real desperation from Congressional Republicans as they desperately try to convince Americans that they had nothing to do with the shutdown. Their efforts seem to be for naught as most of us know perfectly well who instigated it and blame them accordingly. Now some Republicans, in their frenzy to deflect the public’s ire, are attacking the very federal employees who they put out of work and who are still at work without pay.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), at the WWII Memorial for photo-ops, decided that he would use a National Park Ranger as a whipping post. The NPS has been allowing WWII Veterans to visit the memorial, even though it is technically closed. The National Park Rangers who are guarding the memorial and allowing Veterans in say that they are exercising their First Amendment rights by doing so. But it’s only the Vets who get to go behind the barricades as the memorial is still officially closed. The Vets who are being escorted behind the barricades are part of the Honor Flights, and had been planning their trips for months. The Nation Park Rangers are doing this on a volunteer basis to honor those Vets.

Neugebauer took exception to that fact, though he was directly responsible for it. He decided to vent his spleen on a female Park Service Ranger. Watch this video from News4, the Washington, D.C. NBC affiliate:

“How do you look at them and… deny them access?”

That is what Neugebauer asked of the National Park Ranger. She replies that it is “difficult” to turn people away. Neugebauer continued that it “should be difficult” adding that the Park Service should “be ashamed.” The Ranger, her head held high, replies that she is not ashamed. Good for her! Rachel Maddow just told us that VP Joe Biden personally called the Ranger to praise her. I’m sure she’s pleased but I’m even more sure that she’d prefer to be working for her usual paycheck.

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Not everyone thought this National Park Ranger deserved to be insulted

There was a crowd of people surrounding the brief exchange and most were definitely on the National Park Ranger’s side of the issue. One told Neugebauer to question the people who “aren’t passing the budget” about the closure. Then a man in a bicycle helmet addressed the Congressman:

“This woman is doing her job, just like me. I’m a 30-year federal veteran — I’m out of work.”

With no shame or irony (assuming he even knows what those are), Neugebauer tells the man that the reason he was out of work was because “Mr. Reid decided to shut down the government.” But the bicycle man wasn’t having any of that, saying that the shutdown was due to the government “not doing its job.”

At this point, Rep. Neugebauer turned to leave. You can hear another voice defending the House and the discussion no doubt continued after reporter Mark Segraves’ camera was turned off.

It’s bad enough that the Republicans are holding us all hostage for.. well, they don’t really know why anymore. They just are. It’s bad enough that there are over 800,000 federal workers who are sitting at home and hoping the GOP will act like grown-ups. It’s bad enough that these National Park Rangers are basically volunteers right now. But for them to be blamed, by Congressmen or TV pundits, for the shitstorm the Republicans have stirred up is beyond galling.

Recently, I read a book written by a former NPS Ranger, National Park Ranger, Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks. In it, author Andrea Lankford relates what it is like to work for the NPS. She worked at both Yosemite and Grand Canyon NP and her stories are eye-opening. That National Park Rangers put their lives on the line is something I had never considered. But they do. Even Rangers who work at Memorials. What Rangers do is guard our precious places. For Republicans to blame them for any of this shutdown is petulant and hurtful. It is Rep. Neugebauer who should be ashamed. But I’m sure that’s not in his limited repertoire.