COMMENTARY | President Obama took to the podium to express his shock and outrage at the VA scandal, which has featured government death panels putting wounded warriors on waiting lists. But the Washington Examiner suggests that he only made things worse.
First, the president didn’t fire anyone. In most organizations, incompetence as has been displayed here would have resulted in termination. But not even VA Secretary Shinseki, who has presided over the unnecessary deaths of at least dozens of veterans and the profound suffering of many more, was given the royal order of the boot.
The president was also quite defensive, claiming how much great progress his administration has made fixing things at the VA. If a system that kills people out of neglect is an improvement, one might think that is a word that does not mean what Obama thinks it means.
In any case, three weeks into the mother of all scandals, Obama assumed the mien of someone who seems lost, certainly not a leader who is on top of things.
Coming on top of Benghazi, the IRS, and other scandals, the VA affair may be the proverbial straw that broke the back of the Obama administration. It has attracted bi-partisan ire and a lot of media attention that the other scandals have not garnered. The two parties agree on little, but they do agree that killing vets is a bad thing. This one is not going to be swept under the rug and ascribed to Republican partisanship. If Benghazi is Watergate with a body count, the VA scandal is Watergate as mass murder. That is the only way to describe a systematic and apparently nationwide system that covered up bureaucratic incompetence in the VA health system by putting sick and injured veterans on secret waiting lists, some of who until they died.
The only good thing that might come of this, besides putting out of power the party that facilitated this, is a top to bottom reform of the VA health care system. Also it should serve as a warning about what happens in a government run health care system. We have been warned.