Which is handy, actually, since they can now be blamed for
Why do I mention this? Well, as you’ve no doubt heard by now, VA Secretary Shinseki has (finally) resigned his post. The only surprise about this “entirely political soap opera” is that the resignation/firing/whatever didn’t happen already (via @Doc_0):
“…Contrary to Obama’s pitiful spin attempts, there is no question that these awful deeds took place at VA clinics. Reports about those doctored wait lists have been in the hands of top officials since last year.
Endangered Democrats in purple and red states only started yelling for Shinseki’s scalp when they performed a political calculation and realized the public was now fully engaged and furious…”
It’s a horrifying situation highlighting just some of the built-in (and entirely predictable) problems with government-run healthcare. Whether Shinseki was complicit with the problem, or utterly ignorant of it, doesn’t really matter. One is just as bad as the other if you’re the one in charge. Either way, he had to go.
But don’t tell that to Bernie Sanders. No, no, no, he’s got the REAL culprit in all of this nailed dead-to-rights:
The Koch Brothers.
Yes, that dastardly duo are at it again, apparently:
“…On MSNBC on Friday, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blamed veterans groups and the Koch brothers for the increasing pressure leading Democrats to join Republicans in calling for Shinseki to step down.
“I do understand, you know, the Republican Party, and the Koch brothers, and others are putting the money into television ads where people are running for reelection or running for election, and it is hard to stand up to that pressure”…”
Actually, Bernie has sung this tune before, as he was blaming the Koch Brothers two weeks ago, too, which is simply hysterical.
President Obama has been in the White House for 5+ years, yet back when he was still a U.S. senator in 2007 he said: “No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care or wait months, even years, to get an appointment at the VA.”. Which would seem to indicate that he knew there MIGHT be a problem.
Senator Obama warned us against letting people like President Obama be in charge of the VA.
— John Hayward (@Doc_0) May 30, 2014
Plus, we even have PROOF that Obama was told about the issue from the Bush White House. But no, let’s blame (who else??) the Koch Brothers.
Granted, Harry Reid has been blaming the Kochs for everything from Climate Change to my grandmother’s gout. Taken in that context, Sanders’s blathering sounds almost sane.
Honestly, I half expected Bernie to finish that off with a Scooby-Doo-type ending: “…and we’d have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids, …and the Koch Brothers, of course!”
Realistically, just because Shinseki is now gone doesn’t mean anything has, or will, change within the VA. At least, not by itself.
What this situation really needs is some folks who not only have a track record of success, but should almost be able to work miracles. Ideally, they’d have oodles of private sector experience, preferably as business owners. And they should be comfortable with being disliked, since cleaning up this mess won’t make them too popular inside the agency, guaranteed.
Hmmm: used to being vilified; lots and lots of private sector experience and tremendously successful; capable of seemingly near-miraculous business machinations, and all while working behind-the-scenes.
Come to think of it, a couple of guys DO spring to mind…