Initially, I thought the reason for all the public-impacting measures the administration has taken during the shutdown was the expectation that we would buy the Democrat/media mantra that it was a “GOP shutdown” and act accordingly in the next election.
However, the unnecessary, cruel and even costly nature of these actions (barring World War II vets from their memorial, closing the Normandy cemetery, closing rent-paying concessions on federal land, using Gestapo tactics on senior bus-trippers in Yellowstone, refusing Arizona's offer to pay for Grand Canyon operations, evicting Lake Mead homeowners, preventing military chaplains from performing religious services for free, etc.) have convinced me this is something more sinister.
President Obama has decided it's time to find out how far down the road to serfdom we've gone. He had already learned that Congress will spinelessly accede to any unconstitutional actions he takes. It now seems there is nothing he can do that will provoke the general populace to do more than complain among themselves (and to their impotent “representatives”) and attend easily ignored demonstrations.
I fear he is learning exactly what he had hoped for — we are nearly at the end of that road.