On epic battles, real and fantasy

One thing Republicans have tried to do, without notable success, during the current government shutdown is to try and shift the focus from their responsibility for the whole mess (which they could end at any time) to the closure of certain sites, most notably the World War II Memorial in Washington– as if this somehow defined the issues involved.

On Sunday Sarah Palin, along with Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, led a few hundred demonstrators in removing barriers at the memorial. Although the demonstration was promoted as part of a “Million Vet March,” the national organizers of the event said that what was intended as an apolitical march had been hijacked for political gain.

Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch told the crowd:

“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.”

Another demonstrator wielded a Confederate flag outside the White House. Living in the town where Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried, I’m hardly a stranger to the sight of that particular banner.

While Palin, Cruz, Lee, et al were play-acting their parts in what Republican House Speaker John Boehner has called an “epic battle,” a man who knows a thing or two about real epic battles had a message for them and their fellow Republicans: