Okay, you got me. Nancy Pelosi did not indicate that George W. Bush was possibly to blame for the Bonus Army march on Washington, D.C. in 1932, but one gets the feeling after hearing her blame ‘W’ for Obama’s VA problems — problems he knew about years ago and vowed to fix — that on the right day she might do so.
The Washington Examiner reported Friday:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., repeatedly put the blame for the Veterans Affairs scandal on former President George W. Bush, while arguing that her party has worked hard for veterans in recent years.
Pelosi took a shot at Bush while saying that the scandal is a high priority for Obama. “He sees the ramifications of some seeds that were sown a long time ago, when you have two wars over a long period of time and many, many more, millions more veterans,” she told reporters during her Thursday press briefing. “And so, I know that he is upset about it.” …
“Maybe when we go into war, we should be thinking about its consequences and its ramifications,” Pelosi said while discussing the scandal. “You would think that would be a given, but maybe it wasn’t. And so, we go in a war in Afghanistan, leave Afghanistan for Iraq with unfinished business in Afghanistan. Ten years later, we have all of these additional veterans. In the past five years, two million more veterans needing benefits from the VA. That’s a huge, huge increase.”
Where do I start? Where would the military be if its members played the blame game like members of Congress? What sort of national security would we have if the entire chain of command spent its limited time and resources coming up with creative way to blame the guy before him? If you ever wanted to know why so many military men downright loathe politicians, Nancy Pelosi’s “blame Bush” speech regarding the VA hospital scandal is a great example. What’s worse is that Bush went to Congress to get approval for both wars. Even a liberal guy like Dennis Kucinich understands the importance behind that historical fact (as inconvenient as it might be for Nancy Pelosi). But I digress.
Perhaps the best way for me to respond is by giving voice to some military guys on one of my favorite sites: Doctrine Man. I love its humor and the moderator’s eye for news, but the comments sections on many stories are often hilarious.
Here are a few responses to Nancy Pelosi’s redirect:
I have to give a hat tip to Matt Martin for the “still Bush’s fault” for the VA problems from the 1970s comment. It made me laugh and inspired the “Bonus Army” headline.
The VA is not perfect and never will be, but when a man like Obama holds himself up as the keeper of the “Sacred Trust,” then it is beyond pathetic for he and his acolytes to shift blame onto a man over five years removed from office.
Major Garret reported for National Journal May 20:
Running for president in May of 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama delivered a stem-winder on mismanagement of veterans care under President George W. Bush, recalling the story of an 89-year-old South Carolina veteran who committed suicide after being repeatedly denied access to health care.
“How can we let this happen?” Obama thundered in front of a podium in Charleston, W.Va., that read, “A Sacred Trust; Support our Veterans.” “How is that acceptable in the United States of America? The answer is, it’s not. It’s an outrage. And it’s a betrayal, a betrayal of the ideals that we ask our troops to risk their lives for.”
A veteran committed suicide because he couldn’t obtain VA care. In South Carolina. The Democratic front-runner for the White House called it an outrage. And yet, when at least six veterans died due to delayed access to colonoscopies in Columbia, S.C., neither Obama nor his Veterans Affairs Department said a word. The deaths were first reported in April. At a subsequent field hearing in Columbia, one veteran testified he contracted cancer because VA doctors ignored pleas for a colonoscopy and misdiagnosed severe rectal bleeding and pain as hemorrhoids. The response from Veterans Affairs officials and, by extension, Obama? We’ll get back to you. …
“The president has been nowhere to be found,” [The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Jeff Miller (R-Fla.)] said. “The White House truly thought this would go away over time. But the pressure is mounting. Whistle-blowers are coming forward. They see strength in numbers.”
And with that, I would merely request that you watch Jon Stewart’s intellectual atom bomb explode on the VA scandal if you haven’t already. It’s a must-see.
I look forward to Nancy Pelosi’s future press conference, where she blames George W. Bush for the low moral of General George Washington’s troops in the winter of 1777.