Obama came out and spoke yesterday about the now official Veterans Affairs scandal. It is not disputed that around the country, veterans are being put on unofficial waiting lists at VA hospitals that are requiring them to wait as long as six months to one year for treatment. Several patients have died still waiting to be seen. This is officially a travesty for the American military. It is embarrassing that we don’t take care of our soldiers.
Obama’s leadership style in this case is per usual, which I like to call trickle up leadership. It is where he says he just learned about something, is more outraged than you, and is going to get to the bottom of it. Did you ever notice Obama never seems to be the lead on anything? Whenever something blows up politically, he always says he just learned about it and had no prior knowledge. How come he is never out in front on anything? He has been out in front on Obamacare because that matters to him, it is his legacy. He wants to see the U.S. adopt the Euro-socialist healthcare model. But on other issues, he can’t be bothered. He behaves like someone who wants to be President, but doesn’t want to govern. He wants the perks of office and none of the responsibility. Yesterday’s press conference feels like a king was roused from his sleep and told he needs to speak to the people because they are upset at something going on in the kingdom. The king grumbles and puts on his robe and his crown and wanders out to the balcony and says, “My people, I promise you I love you and I just heard about this terrible outrage and I couldn’t be more upset and I’m going to get to the bottom of it!” He then goes back inside and chokes his assistant and rails him for not keeping this information from getting around. He then orders his assistants to ruin the lives of whoever was responsible for making the king look bad and to make the story go away.
Something that really bothers me about what Obama said yesterday is that apparently he just learned about this problem. But in the same speech, he outlined how he has known the VA has backlog problems for years since he served on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, and that he learned while serving on that committee that the VA has been notorious for its backlog for decades. So basically he didn’t know that people were waiting outrageously long periods of time since he’s been President, but he knew it was a problem under Bush and under other presidents, so its not really his fault for knowing that he knew. You follow? Neither do I because his attempt at distancing himself politically from this stinks. This is a time when the armed services need to hear from their Commander in Chief that the people responsible will be fired and proper care will be restored. They don’t want to hear their President bob and weave to show how it wasn’t really his fault.