Back during the campaign, there were veterans that came out for Barack Obama saying that he would be the best person to represent veterans in the future.
Still thinking that, are we?
Over the last several days, we have seen exactly what President Obama thinks of veterans — and it isn’t much, from what I can tell. Culminating with his (failed) initiative to charge veterans’ insurance companies for such things as combat-related injuries, the current administration is showing that it is certainly not thinking of the best interests of veterans.
Combining this gaff with his upcoming intention to eradicate and “un-fund” defense programs, on top of an almost-certain alteration of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) regulation, Obama is likely to become the most unpopular CinC since Carter.
In Carter’s time, we were coming out of the Vietnam era, and he set in motion changes that were felt for years: emasculating the NCO corps, erasing funding for training, and pushing development of programs that had no future basis for the military. All of these combined to produce two career-ending events for him — Desert One and the Iranian Hostage crisis. Obama, God forbid, will only have to deal with Iraq and Afghanistan.
What this insurance debacle has shown us is that Obama has no intention of keeping the campaign promises he made to moderates and veterans. A campaign statement he made to veterans to ‘‘not let you down’‘ has gone under the bus. Even the first lady is getting caught up in it. Just over a week ago, she was in Camp Lejeune meeting with families, promising to help them, and recognizing their struggles with the deployments.
Did the president and first lady think that drastically altering veterans’ insurance would in any way help the families? How? I can’t see it.
The outrage is just beginning. Personally, I wish that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in a follow-up meeting with veterans’ service organizations, had told them “we are still moving forward.” I’ve yet to get feedback on exactly what was said in that March18 meeting at the White House, but from what I understand, apologies were not offered. In fact, I’m willing to bet that in some upcoming bill, one with several thousand pages of content, there will be a paragraph (or even just a sentence) that reinstates this initiative. Had they kept moving forward with this, it’s a fairly good guess that every congressman that voted for it would face some serious wrath come 2010.
Mark my words — every page of every future bill will have to be read with a magnifying glass or we will see this again.
Calls for the resignation of Eric Shinseki, secretary of the VA, have started. He’s facing one long, lonely road if these types of proposals keep cropping up.
It still remains to be seen where the administration will go with veterans as a whole. But seeing that it is willing to give $900 million to Hamas (who will likely fund those shooting at our troops) and then try to recoup $540 million off the backs of veterans, it smacks of some of the most horrific hypocrisy we’ve seen in a generation. I’m not putting my trust in this administration any longer.
The one group that seems to not get it is VoteVets.org. This group claims — wrongly — that the president pulled out of the initiative only because the vets’ groups reacted so vociferously. That’s hardly the case. American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein stated that in his first meeting with the president “it became apparent during our discussion today that the president intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan.” Only after several congressional leaders disavowed the plan did the White House back off of it. Rep. Glenn Nye (D-VA) warned that such a proposal “could harm our veterans and their families in unintended, yet very serious ways, jeopardizing their families’ health care and even negatively affecting veterans’ employment opportunities.” Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) even called it a ‘’non-starter.” When even your own party won’t go along, what chance do you have?
It seems to me that this administration hardly cares.