Vet Groups Bash GOP Senator for Blocking VA Benefits: ‘You Clearly Represent the Worst of Politics’

richard-burrThe 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.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Mrs_oatmeal

    Go after all the hypocritical Senators for refusing to take care of our vets! This should be a top priority. If we can’t take care of them when they come home, then we shouldn’t be asking them to go and put their lives on the line. Responsibility comes to mind… This should be a non- partisan issue!

  • msaxie

    To all of congress who blocked bills to help our vets, Put the money where your mouth is or shut the f*** up.

  • Steve Temke

    As Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, this man never served a day in the military and used to sell lawnmowers for a living. Lawnmowers. Is this the best the Republicans can offer to sit on the committee to oversee veteran’s affairs?

    • Bill Grant

      Why are you surprised? You’ve seen the GOP put the science-deniers on the science committees, the completely idiotic on the education committees, and the most corrupt on the finance committees, so why not have someone who isn’t a veteran and obviously doesn’t give a shit about them unless it was one of his friends or family members to be on a committee dealing with veterans?

    • strayaway

      You must be referring to “North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, who never served in the military.” Wasn’t Jimmy Carter the last Democratic President to serve in the military? No matter, Rachel Maddow is showing her usual disdain for working people as are you. Selling lawnmovers is so gauche. You mean he doesn’t have a law degree from a prestige private school? How vulgar.

      • medcannabis1

        no strayaway… it means you put QUALIFIED citizens on the appropriate committees who have the intellectual ability to process science and not just play the bully on the dais….

      • strayaway

        Oh, you mean like disassembling NASA now that Russia is putting an end to transporting our astronauts after President Obama told NASA administrator Charles Bolden that his highest priority should be “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.”

        Or maybe you meant hiring Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto Vice-President and lobbyist to be our food safety czar or Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist, who wrote the USDA’s food standards. All very QUALIFIED, right?

      • George M Melby

        Hey…strayboy… Quit while you’re way behind. Do NOT embarrass yourself further!

  • Edward Krebbs

    I wonder if the congressmen voting down VA funding don’t have a deeper agenda.

    VA has troubles so if we cut the funding we can make it fail. If we make it fail, we can privitize it (giving boatloads of money to my cronies who will give me a lot of money and power via campaign donations, etc.).

    Oddest part is that a privatized healthcare system would be, drum roll……., Obamacare.

  • strayaway

    Golly, has everyone forgotten the recently passed budget cutting military retirement benefits passing the Republican House, the Democratic Senate, and signed into law by the President? And what about the President announcing that he is now going to keep combat troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2016? Why are they still there anyway? We went in for two reasons; to get rid of the Taliban and to get Bin Laden. Done and done. There is a relationship between being involved in unnecessary wars and winding up in the care of VA.

    Howard Dean: The public option is just like “The Veterans Administration”

    Krugman: “We have a real live case of impressive cost control in health care: the VA System.”

    Slate on the Veteran’s Administration: “The triumph of socialized medicine. Right here in the USA.”

  • Tina Marie Morrow

    My mom always told me, everytime you point a finger at someone, there are 3 more pointed back at you.

  • George M Melby

    I don’t enjoy watching the GOTP committing political suicide for the next 30 years… but I shore ain’t gonna stop them! They are close to slashing the last 2-3 veins in their useless bodies!