As I watched the Veterans Affairs Secretary resign yesterday, along with the President’s press conference later, I recalled the following.
A wise Congressman (yes, there was a time when these existed, a few remain) would remind me every now and then that to decipher Washington, DC, you needed to appreciate and understand the people sent here by the voters. If you failed to do that, or worse, constantly pass judgment on them, you’re basically a snob who thinks he or she knows better than what the American people want.
Yesterday was political theatre at its worst. Secretary Eric Shinseki, failed. President Obama, failed. Republicans failed too. Miserably. Spin as they might, they all failed our veterans. So did we. Why? Because we elected these people. Year after year. You should be mad as hell, but I suspect, this will be a story for a few days and folks in this town will go back to business as normal. And you will forget.
Shinseki will go on a remorseful speaking tour, express some righteous indignation, maybe even start yet one other foundation in support of veterans. He may even write a book. Congress will hold a few more hearings, maybe even a few more folks will be fired. The new VA Secretary confirmation hearings will be must see TV. Yet, in the end, so what?
The problem with the VA is the exact same thing that ails just about every branch of the federal government. It is not new. The VA has been plagued with problems for a long time. The IRS, along with the tax code it is charged with enforcing, needs abolishing and replacing. HHS and its piles upon piles of regulations, was also due for an overhaul before the passage of socialized medicine, or what is erroneously called ObamaCare. The Export-Import bank, institutionalized corporate welfare, should go the way of Dodo bird. I can go on and on.
What we have here America is a crisis in governance. The VA scandal is a symptom. If folks in this town were serious about helping veterans, then privatize, once and for all, the Veteran’s Administration. Government run healthcare, which is what the VA, will never work. But neither Republicans or Democrats are serious about anything these days except maybe re-election.
If the Republicans are serious about fixing the issues that gave rise to the VA, IRS, and soon to come HHS healthcare scandals, they best start listening to the people who sent them to Washington, DC. Learn how to say “no” to compromise with the Left. Compromise is not a policy. Compromise is what has us in this mess. Compromise is a sure way to make matters a whole lot worse for veterans, victims of IRS abuses, and patients in the national healthcare system the Democratic Party is seeking to impose on the country.
For now, it’s a town full of snobs.