It was an eventful morning in Washington yesterday, as hundreds of Tea Partiers marched from the World War II Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial, and in front of the White House to protest the closures of memorials during the government shutdown. Tea Party figures Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz were both present during the march, which was organized as the "Million Vet March on the Memorials"—and both wasted no time before criticizing President Obama in front of the crowd.
“You look around though and you see these barricades and you have to ask yourself, is this any way that a commander in chief would show his respect, his gratitude to our military?” Palin asked. “This is a matter of shutdown priorities.”
“This is the people’s memorial,” Cruz said. “Let me ask a simple question. Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial? Our veterans should be above politics. Enough games.”
For the record, there was no mention of the fact that the GOP is pretty much responsible for the government shutdown, or mention of how it's disrespectful towards veterans to take over a protest for political gain. Freedom Watch's Larry Klayman did have this to say, however, which is pretty much the opposite of that:
“I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up,” he said.
When the march reached the White House, there was at least one person waving a Confederate flag, because a march like this one isn't complete without at least ONE DUDE thinking that's a good idea. Protesters also carried signs calling for Obama's impeachment, of course. One point, when police arrived, one man/asshole was heard yelling at an African-American cop, "Looks like something out of Kenya."
For the record, the march wasn't ever actually supposed to be led by the Tea Party—according to Think Progress, the original organizers of the veterans march are actually pretty understandably pissed off that Tea Partiers claimed the protest, and released a message on their website slamming the Tea Partiers, claiming they "hijacked" the protest:
The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle is about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner.
As for the government shutdown itself—we are now on day 14, and as the New York Times points out, growing closer and closer every day to a disasterous government default, which would basically mean that the US would default on paying their debts, and lead the country to economic disaster. So, there's that.