The Day Off Only DC Gets
Monday is Inauguration Day — though President Barack Obama was officially be sworn in on Sunday in a private ceremony to fulfill constitutional requirements of a January 20th turnover — with it will come the speech at 12:00 PM Eastern, the pageantry, the parade and then the balls.
All the while, the District of Columbia will effectively be on a paid day off.
Oh, don’t worry. You’ll still get your mail. Most of the time, Inauguration Day isn’t a national holiday, but it is a D.C. holiday for most of the city. Part of its due to transportation concerns as the Inaugural parade will shut down Pennsylvania Ave. for the bulk of the afternoon and the early morning caravans of delegates to and from the Capitol will make traffic a mess.
The other is political as every partisan in the Beltway, depending on the party taking power, will have a big party. Paid for partially through donations, with the logistics paid for by we taxpayers.
What bugs me most about DC pretty much shutting down on Inauguration Day is that it’s more ceremonial than operational.
Only the Schedule C political appointments and other senior officials who had to get Senate confirmation from an out-going administration are going to not be at work on January 21st. They’ve been essentially fired. Every other government employee working in the “Federal District” gets a paid day off when for the foreseeable future — especially in an administration changeover — they’ll be the ones running all the day-to-day operations of much of the federal government until the next class of political appointees shows up in the weeks and months ahead.
Oh, I know that tomorrow is the legal observation of Martin Luther King Day, so it’s a federal holiday anyway and this three-day weekend for our nation’s capital was going to happen anyway, but it’s mind-numbingly stupid. It is just an excuse to have a party.
(And yes, I know that both Eisenhower and Reagan did the same when their re-election inaugurals when January 20th was on a Sunday too, but that’s not my point.)
There’s nothing quite like saying we’re watching the peaceful transition of power by deciding the event justifies the shutting down of the very government (and seat of government) in which they will hold power over. So enjoy the speech, enjoy the parade and enjoy the balls.
Unless of course, you’re like 99% of the country that doesn’t reside in the greater Washington, D.C. area and have to work. Don’t know about you, but doesn’t it feel great knowing that our “masters” are enjoying the day off whether they are living it up at the Texas Black Tie and Boots Ball or not.
Happy Inauguration Day. I’ll be working. So probably will you.