Yael T. Abouhalkah

Cheap political theater by Missouri, Kansas politicians at World War II Memorial

Updated: 2013-10-02T23:58:37Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

The men and women who fought in World War II and survived it are being used for cheap political photo opportunities this week during the federal government shutdown.

The shame is bipartisan.

Today, several Missouri and Kansas politicians reportedly greeted a group of Midwestern World War II vets who wanted to visit the memorial.

The list included Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, along with Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Rep. Kevin Yoder and Rep. Lynn Jenkins.

The pictures of the World War II vets are going viral nationally, understandably so: They want to see — before they die — the memorial their country finally built for them and for the service they provided their country during a horrific world war.

These veterans did not serve, however, so they could be used as dummies during a mean-spirited government shutdown spawned by Republicans mad about the Affordable Care Act.

As you know by now, the World War II Memorial is supposed to be closed during the shutdown, a high-profile way of showing the dysfunction of government.

But on Tuesday, groups of veterans got past the barricades and — suddenly — politicians who couldn’t bear to talk to each other in the halls of Congress were flocking to the memorial to make sure they were “standing tall” with their veterans.

How shameful.

The politicians need to be working on solutions to getting hundreds of thousands of federal employees back to work, so they can provide crucial services to Americans.

Instead, they are engaging in the kind of political opportunism that mars public service these days in Washington, D.C.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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