Heroic war veterans in need of critical healthcare placed on secret waiting lists and left to die in their hospital beds. Sounds like a Tom Clancy novel. I keep waiting for Jack Ryan to blow the lid on this scandal and save the day. This sort of thing isn't supposed to happen in real life.
And yet, here we are.
When news of this magnitude explodes in the media, we're all left wondering who's to blame. Some people don't want to refer to this whole Veterans Affairs debacle as a "scandal" because no one has taken the fall for misconduct yet. (Although Eric Shinseki really should. He has headed the department since Obama's first term.)
The crux of the scandal is this: the Obama administration knew about these issues as far back as 2008. They knew that someone was, as he put it, "cooking the books." And they did nothing. Not a damn thing. It's disgusting. It's deplorable. It's disheartening. These are the kind of cover-ups that cause Americans to lose faith in their country.
Over the last couple of days, President Obama has stood in front of the press (where he seems to live) and feigned outrage over the "situation." For the families of the deceased veterans, I can assure you that this is more of a nightmare than a "situation." The President has said that he is "mad as hell" and that his administration will not tolerate this kind of behavior. But one thing the President never mentioned was what consequences he would implement for those responsible. And, ironically, this phony outrage is coming from the same man who, back in 2007 as Senator Obama, said that "no veteran should have to [fill out several pages] just to get medical help."
Where is that Obama now? Where's the Obama who was deeply concerned for the physical health of our war heroes?
I want to see heads roll for this. I want to see someone fired. I want to see someone lose their six-figure salary. I want to see someone dragged in to court and prosecuted. And I want the President of the United States to look the families of those veterans in the eyes and apologize for the failure of his administration to provide medical aid and treatment to these brave men and women. Men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.
But I don't expect that to happen. These days, I don't expect much of anything from a President who seems more concerned with taking selfies and playing golf than actually being a President.
The most telling thing about this whole scandal is that it has revealed Obama's total lack of patriotism or, at the very least, his ability to express and act upon his patriotism. (I'm trying hard to give him the benefit of the doubt.) Patriotism, by definition, is a devoted love, support and defense of one's country. In the face of this horrific scandal, the President's patriotism should compel him to act. Instead, as with every other controversial scandal that has happened on his watch, he makes a speech and a promise. Nothing more.
No follow up. No punishment for those responsible. It's just like Benghazi. Just like the IRS's targeting of conservative organizations. Just like the NSA's illegal spying. Just like the Obamacare lies.
A patriotic President would have done everything within his power to rescue the Americans killed in our Benghazi consulate.
A patriotic President would not have blamed the Benghazi attack on an anti-Muslim video when it was confirmed to be a terrorist attack. A patriotic President would not lie to protect himself and his party going into a midterm election.
A patriotic President would not eliminate freedom of choice in the healthcare market. A patriotic President would not force universal healthcare on Americans who do not want it.
A patriotic President would honor our veterans by giving them all the medical care and treatment that they deserve.
A patriotic President would not give speeches that diminish America's greatness.
A patriotic President would lead the country with honor, honesty, integrity, courage and strength.