Texas congressman’s anger toward park ranger misguided

NBCWashington.com captured remarkable video of Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer lecturing a Park Service employee and saying, “The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves.”

A sad result of Neugebauer chewing out a U.S. Park Service ranger would be if contributions flooded his campaign coffers.

U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer

U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer shakes hands with a veteran at the World War II Memorial.

Such behavior should not be rewarded, no matter how frustrated the Texas Republican might be with his colleagues in the Senate or the man in the White House. Such behavior is unacceptable and misdirected.

Fussing at a park ranger keeping all visitors but veterans away from the World War II memorial, doing the job (for which she is currently not being paid) asked of her because of the government shutdown, would be like yelling at the waiter because the steak is too rare.

The waiter didn’t cook the steak, and the park ranger didn’t shut down the government.

Neugebauer, who represents portions of the Times Record News readership area, voted along with most of his House Republicans, to try and delay the Affordable Care Act (the act has not been interrupted) by not passing a budget, a vote that basically, because the Senate and President Obama would not agree, shut down the federal government on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, World War II veterans who had traveled from all across the country wanted to visit their memorial, but instead found it barricaded and off limits. The optics were sensational. Members of Congress, primarily Republicans, demanded that the necessary funds be made available so that these veterans, who had fought for their country, could visit the memorial.

On Thursday, they were allowed to visit. Just the veterans, though, no visitors.

So, the park ranger at the end of Neugebauer’s made-for-TV ire, was merely doing her job. This was, as of Wednesday, a cause centered around the veterans. And they were eventually allowed to visit.

Perhaps that didn’t get the kind of traction Neugebauer needed, to make a point, to make a scene, to make a name for himself.

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

“It’s difficult,” the ranger, a woman, replied.

“Well, it should be difficult,” he said.

“It is difficult,” the ranger added. “I’m sorry, sir.”

“The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves,” Neugebauer said.

“I’m not ashamed,” replied the ranger.

And she shouldn’t be.

He fussed at a federal employee, who also serves her country, for doing something she had no authority to change.

Neugebauer does have the authority, though, to open the government or, at the very least, yell at those who actually shut the doors.

 

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