Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has joined a growing number of Democrats who want Veterans Affairs Administrator Eric Shinseki to resign as the agency’s neglect scandal builds. Most of the Democrats calling for Shinseki to go are vulnerable, facing tough odds in the fall mid-term elections. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) is one outlier, a Democrat in a safe seat and in a position of party leadership who is also now calling for Shinseki to go.
Inbox: MARY LANDRIEU has just called on Shinseki to go.
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) May 29, 2014
So far, most Senate Democrats still have not weighed on on Shinseki or on the scandal itself. That’s unlike a group that is often very quick to wade into issues when it suits them. Fifty Senate Democrats are on the record calling on the Washington Redskins football team to ahcnage its name, for instance. Why are there more Democrats on the record over something they do not control, than over something they do?
At the White House briefing today, reporters asked spokesman Jay Carney when the president learned about the fake waiting lists in the VA system. Carney repeatedly refused to answer the question, referring instead to a report on the scandal that is yet to be released. In the past, Carney has claimed that Obama has learned about various scandals in his administration from the news. That answer has been used so often that it has become a target of mockery. Now, evidently, the administration prefers an “ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies” approach. The reason is obvious. Once Obama admits when he learned about the scandal, he is either shown out for being more interested in attacking others than in taking care of veterans, or he is shown out as a president who learned of the scandal some months or years ago but did absolutely nothing about it.