Cannon: An open letter to Utah Sen. Mike Lee

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dear Senator Mike Lee,

I would like to give you a report on what my husband and I did NOT do this past weekend. We did NOT go to The Great Basin National Park, a trip we've been planning since last spring.

Yes! Since last spring! My husband and I were on our way to California last spring when we saw The Great Basin National Park sign on 1-15 near the Delta turnoff, and we both said (just like Liz Lemon in "30 Rock"), "LET'S GO TO THERE!" And then we decided that the first weekend in October would be ideal, because you know how the first weekend in October is. Ideal!

So we made plans. And we were happy making plans. We were a happy married couple busy making happy plans to go to a happy place aka known as The Great Happy Basin Happy National Park.

Only we didn't go.

No, we did not.

We did not go to the Great Basin National Park last weekend.

We also did not explore the Lehman Caves or see a stand of Bristlecone Pines that have been alive for 5,000 years.

We also did not stay at the Silver Jack Inn in Baker, Nev., gateway to the Great Basin National Park.

What else didn't we do in Baker, Nevada this past weekend?

We did not stock up on peanut M&Ms, Dr. Peppers, and barbecue potato chips at T & D's Restaurant, Grocery Store, and Lounge.

We did not buy souvenirs — pins, Christmas ornaments, postcards, refrigerator magnets — at Lehman Caves Gifts and Café.

We did not eat at the LectroLux Café, where we would have ordered pizza for my husband and a Greek salad for me.

We also did not eat at other places from here to there.

We did not fill up at Baker Ranch Gas.

We also did not fill up at other places from here to there.

As a result, I'm sure that every individual who owns a small business from here to there would join me in not thanking you for letting me and my husband not spend our tourist dollars this weekend.

Why didn't we go? Because the Great Basin National Park was not open for business.

OK. I can already hear you tell me there's blah blah blah plenty of yadda yadda yadda blame to blah blah blah go around. Dude! I get it! I read a lot of news stories! Also, I listen to Fox News in the afternoon and MSNBC in the morning, just so I can sample the Big Crazy on both sides. Staying informed is MY JOB — just like your job is figuring out how to solve problems, not create them.

You wanna know what my personal conclusion is after all my reading and listening? You and your new bff, Ted Cruz, own a fair share of the blame for the current shutdown. Certain members of the GOP agree with me. They feel like your grandstanding has painted them into an impossible corner. And if I were your ever-loving godmother, which I am certainly old enough to be, I would take all y'all out behind my granddaddy's woodshed and share a super-sized can of whoopass with the pair of you for anointing yourselves to be Showboaters-in-Chief.

Here's the deal. My husband and I were merely inconvenienced this past weekend. The owners of motels and cafes and gift shops who depend on people like my husband and me to keep them afloat, on the other hand, were not. Am I making myself clear?

So get busy and get something real done. You can do it! I know you can!

Meanwhile, have a nice week — although I wouldn't advise that you spend it in The Great Basin National Park.


Ann Cannon