Well, the politicians in Washington got what they wanted, Shinseki resigned, they can all pat themselves on the back with a collective ,”See, the system works, this administration does in fact hold people accountable, and heads did roll, now, can we get back to talking about the Redskins?”, thereby washing their hands of the whole affair. Who says life is complicated on The Hill?
So, Shinseki resigned? BFD as far as I’m concerned, since this does nothing in solving the problem. Was he a colossal failure at his job? Not any more than his boss, both knew for the last 5 years that the VA was a dysfunctional, corrupt, big government nightmare that served only the bureaucrats running it (more bonuses all around, thank you), yet, is was always convenient to ignore it since reforming it would ruffle too many feathers.
Here is something else I don’t get, we kept hearing that Shinseki was a “war hero”, how is stepping on a land mine and getting half your foot blown off heroic? I looked at his wiki page, I found nothing there that speaks to heroism, mostly staff and post work followed. Sure, butting heads with Rumsfeld over troop numbers in Iraq earned him a feather in his cap with this administration.
But what to do now? Is the whole VA culture, the way it runs it’s affairs, handles claims and deals with our veteran’s needs, is it at all salvageable? Not with this current crop;
Along those lines, he called on the Senate to pass a bill giving the VA more authority to quickly discipline and fire officials.
The House passed a version of this bill, but Senate Democrats delayed consideration of it before leaving for a week-long break last week.
Maybe putting a face on the problem might spur some action;
His parents provide some specifics on his maladies;
He suffered from fibromyalgia and PTSD and killed himself last year after he received treatment from the Phoenix VA hospital. He wrote that his body had become “nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems.”
Somers’ parents read an excerpt of his suicide note on CNN Friday afternoon: “Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the State of the Union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic but rather by our system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.”
An exercise in futility is listing all the Obama scandals in terms of relative importance, since he has two more years in office, the list will almost certainly need revising, but this must rank near the top. Not danced on the international stage (we know how much he fears leading and locks up with paralysis of analysis), not some spontaneous demonstration, a result from a video, and not some wrongdoing he can blame on a rogue auditor out of Cincinnati, this problem was ongoing from his first days in office. If the IG report is to be believed, incidents of fraud took place, certainly some folks need to go to prison over this. I’m sure Holder will jump right on that.