Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer believes that during the partial government shutdown, the bureaucracy in Washington demonstrated its willingness to punish citizens when it does not get its way.
“I think there are two issues here,” Krauthammer said on Wednesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel. “One, was it a political act? I tend to think that some of these interpretations, clearly, people seem to be always erring on the side of being rough and tough and irrational like the cordoning off of the World War II Memorial, which is open-air, and where it takes more park rangers to cordon it off than it would to accompany the aging veterans on to the site. I think there’s an element — and we saw it in the sequestration. This isn’t the first time.”
A huge bureaucracy will bully the public into funding it, Krauthammer said.
“The administration is using anything it doesn’t like as a way to punish the American people,” he continued. “But there’s a larger issue here. And that is, as the state becomes larger and larger, the bureaucracy becomes stronger and more arrogant and independent. It believes in it so, and after all, it regulates. That’s what it does. And it becomes punitive, in the sense it says, ‘Listen, you want to hold up the government. We’re going to show you who’s in charge. We’re going to shut down all the monuments, you know. And if we don’t get a blank check, we’re going to do x, y and z.”
The political left wins the war of the language with terms like “clean C.R.” Republicans, Krauthammer suggested, should use language like “blank check” to counter it.
“And incidentally, on the question of language, the liberals always seize the dictionary here,” he said. “When we talk about a clean C.R., well, that sounds nice — it’s clean, right? And the Republicans want a dirty C.R., continuing resolution. I would say what Republicans are asking for is to deny the administration a blank check. That’s what the Democrats and the bureaucracy are demanding. So it would be nice if we could undo that language where all of stuff the Democrats are asking for is inherently good — after all, clean is good. But blank check is a bad idea.”