Great news for the White House, no? Sure, it shows they knowingly left sick and injured vets to languish in a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare. In a sane world, that would be the last straw in sending Shinseki packing. But it also lets O share blame with the Bush administration, one of his favorite methods of damage control. There are three steps in Hopenchange crisis management: (1) they profess to be “mad as hell”; (2) they accept a resignation/announce the retirement/place on “administrative leave” some relatively low-ranking officials; (3) as time wears on and media interest fades, they pronounce the whole thing a phony scandal. Their problem with the VA mess is that, no matter how long it drags out, they don’t dare pronounce this one “phony”; they can laugh at “#Benghazi” but they won’t laugh at wounded troops. So they need a Plan B for defusing the crisis, which, in this case, will be to claim that it’s another problem they’ve inherited from Bush. For, er, five and a half years.
Remember in November and December of 2008, when Obama attempted to bigfoot the news by giving speeches behind a podium with a Photoshopped “Office of the President Elect” sign that looked like it was run off on a color printer at Kinko’s and taped to it? (AKA, the highpoint of the Hopenchange era, when Obama could still criticize all actions by President Bush in his last days in office, and even John McCain, before having to govern himself.) Perhaps they can take the fall for this.
Otherwise, to borrow Jim Geraghty’s leitmotif, yet another Obama promise reaches its expiration date:
“When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency,” said Sen Obama in 07: http://t.co/HlayjGUWsd
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) May 19, 2014