The scandals that have come to light concerning the VA should have been a moment where everyone in Washington came together in one cohesive voice declaring, “This stops right now!” – then actually doing something about it.
But, no. Instead both sides have (as expected) turned it into a partisan issue. Democrats have bashed Republicans for having the same kinds of problems during the Bush administration and Republicans have bashed Democrats for these recent allegations coming on President Obama’s watch. Heck, Republicans have even gone as far as to use these issues with the VA as a way to attack the Affordable Care Act. Though they seem to forget that while the VA definitely has had its problems, Medicare (our other socialized health program) is quite successful and popular.
However, one Republican took it a step further by bashing several VA groups for not immediately calling for the resignation of Gen. Shinseki. North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, who never served in the military, felt the need to call out veterans groups that didn’t go along with the partisan GOP politics of calling for resignations and trying to point the finger at specific people.
Probably because these pathetic issues with the VA have been going on for decades.
Well, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans and the Paralyzed Veterans of America had some choice words in response to Burr’s partisan ignorance.
“For years, the V.F.W. has come to Congress with hat in hand, and for years we’ve heard the same old story,” the heads of the veterans group wrote to Senator Burr. “You can be assured, Senator, that you’ve done a superb job in showing us the error in our ways. You can also be assured that in the future, we will spend a substantial percentage of our time seeking to inform our members and our constituents of the repeated failure to act by our elected officials.”
The president of the Paralyzed Veterans of America added, “Perhaps you should have shared with all veterans in your ‘open’ letter that you cared so much about their health care that you were not actually present during the testimony that the V.S.O. representatives provided, and you did not ask a single question.”
They then pointed out that Burr was one of the Republican senators responsible for blocking a veterans bill back in February, saying of his actions, “You clearly represent the worst of politics in this country.”
Burr decided to respond in immature fashion saying, “Clearly I hit a nerve. I think they’ve shown more outrage toward my open letter than outrage toward the current crisis at the V.A.”
Just a hunch, but I think they showed such disdain toward his open letter because he’s an absolute hypocrite. When someone has the nerve to call out groups that dedicate themselves to helping veterans, while they were partially responsible for recently blocking a bill aimed at helping veterans, that tends to tick people off.
Burr is your typical politician trying to score some political points from the inexcusable scandals that have recently come to light about our VA hospitals. And while he can try to point his finger at a bunch of other people, he might want to take a good long look in the mirror first. Because just a few weeks ago he was responsible for blocking a bill aimed at helping our veterans.
I’m just glad these groups called out his blatant hypocrisy.