You can argue all day about whether President Obama was caught by surprise by the revelations of secret wait lists that may have cost many American veterans their lives, but no one should argue this point: President Obama should have known.
He was warned by his own transition team when taking office that VA reports on wait times should not be trusted because there were reports that the system was being gamed. And in the next several years, independent government investigations reported the same thing. Yet, President Obama failed to fix the problem.
Now that problems at the VA have become a national story, President Obama tells the nation that he’s outraged.
That isn’t good enough, Mr. President.
In Nevada, it is important to note that Democrat congressional representatives — Dina Titus, Steven Horsford and Harry Reid — have gone dumb and mute when it comes to holding the president and the VA responsible. They talk big all the time about how they really, really, really support Nevada veterans. But when push comes to shove, they can’t bring themselves to criticize the president when he really needs to feel the heat from his own party.
To Titus, Horsford and Reid I invite you to view this CBS report and challenge you to do the right thing for veterans: Tell the president that being perpetually surprised and outraged by his administration’s ineptness doesn’t cut it anymore. Fix the problem — the problem you knew about since taking office — or get somebody who can.
Postscript: Horsford’s office sent these comments over:
“There is clearly wrongdoing and a level of incompetence at the VA. Anyone who has any involvement with manipulating VA appointment schedules or other dishonorable activity needs to be held accountable. As a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a representative of a strong veteran community in Nevada, I will do everything in my power to get to the truth and to hold those culpable responsible for their actions.
“We need to find out what went wrong and hold the proper people accountable, and we need to find out now. Yesterday I voted for the VA Management Accountability Act, which passed 390-33. That legislation will make it easier to hold responsible any officials involved in the ongoing scandal. That law should be passed by the Senate and signed by the President.”