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Two tragedies, two reactions: So what took Obama so long?
By Crystal Wright
updated 10:56 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/22/opinion/wright-obama-va/index.html?hpt=us_mid



Crystal Wright wonders why Obama's VA reaction wasn't as swift as his Trayvon comments
Obama waited more than a month to speak on VA allegations
In comparison, he commented a week after the Trayvon Martin verdict
Wright: Our veterans deserve the same attention to their deaths as Obama gave Martin

Editor's note: Crystal Wright is a conservative writer who runs the blog ConservativeBlackChick.com. She also is a principal at the Baker Wright Group, a communications and public relations firm. You can follow her on Twitter @GOPBlackChick. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- Not even a week after the ruling in the Trayvon Martin trial, President Barack Obama couldn't wait to stand before the White House press corps and "speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention," as he said last July.

Yet it took Obama more than a month to address the crisis where 40 veterans allegedly died while waiting months for treatment at a Phoenix Veterans Administration hospital.

Congress has held hearings on the grave matter since April and called Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki among other witnesses to testify. But Obama just got around to holding a press conference Wednesday on the topic.

"So when I heard allegations of misconduct -- any misconduct, whether it's allegations of VA staff covering up long wait times or cooking the books -- I will not stand for it, not as commander in chief, but also not as an American," Obama declared.
Crystal Wright
Crystal Wright

If Obama is as outraged and "mad as hell" as he professes, why did it take him over a month to say anything substantive about vets dying because of months waiting for care? Prior to his long overdue press conference about the VA controversy, Obama only mentioned what has now become another White House scandal in a response to a question from a reporter on April 28 during his Asia trip.

During his press conference, Obama said he wasn't going to jump to any conclusions or call for any resignations until "the investigators do their job and get to the bottom of what happened" at the VA. He added, "we have to find out, first of all, what exactly happened."

In contrast, Obama couldn't wait to jump to conclusions and comment on the shooting of the black teen Martin by George Zimmerman before any investigation or trial happened. Obama made extensive comments on the shooting in March 2012 in the Rose Garden.

"You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves," he said.

Well we certainly didn't hear the president say, if he had served in the military, "I could have been one of those veterans who died." Apparently, veterans, who put their lives at risk defending our country then died at the hands of incompetent VA employees aren't worthy of the same attention and "seriousness" as Trayvon Martin?

Even more indicative of the Obama White House's misplaced priorities is the White House issued a statement from the president on the day of the Tryavon Martin trial verdict last July. No White House statement was issued about the VA allegations.
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But clearly a statement on the Martin trial wasn't enough. A few days later, Obama held a press conference about the verdict. "I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit," Obama noted.

Martin's death, though tragic, had nothing to do with national security or government malfeasance and didn't warrant attention from the president of the United States. But Obama felt it was very important to comment on the death of a young black man shot by a "white Hispanic" to appease race hucksters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who helped elect him.

Stammering throughout his VA press conference Wednesday, Obama told reporters "responsibility for things always rests ultimately with me, as the President and commander in chief."

At the same time Obama claims he didn't know how big the problems were with the VA. How can a president be responsible for problems occurring at agencies if he's not aware of the problems?

This sounds like the all-too-familiar refrain the White House uses. It didn't know about the IRS scandal or the Department of Health and Human Services' disastrous rollout of Obamacare.

Again, Obama promised, "there is going to be accountability." "Listen, if somebody has mismanaged or engaged in misconduct, not only do I not want them getting bonuses, I want them punished," he said from the White House briefing room.

Hopefully this time, the President means what he says because in past scandals he has held no one accountable. IRS division director Lois Lerner and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius both were allowed to resign without accountability. Shinseki eventually will do the same.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, at minimum our veterans deserve the same attention to their deaths as Obama gave Trayvon.

gypsy


Moderator
http://www.politicususa.com/2014/05/21/republicans-attack-obama-va-scandal-helped.htmlPresident Obama delivered a dose of reality to Republicans who are hoping to turn this sad state of affairs into their next big scandal, “The point is, caring for our veterans is not an issue that popped up in recent weeks. Some of the problems with respect to how veterans are able to access the benefits that they’ve earned, that’s not a new issue. That’s an issue that I was working on when I was running for the United States Senate. Taking care of our veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency, and it is something that all of us have to be involved with and have to be paying attention to.”

The problem is that Republicans and Democrats have all too often not been paying enough attention to the issues with the VA. Republican and Democratic presidents have had to deal with VA scandals. Both Democratic and Republican controlled Congresses have dropped the ball for decades on the VA.

The National Journal pointed out the cause of the problems at the VA is bipartisan, and it goes back to the 1960s:

Looking for a lone villain in the VA debacle, however, is a fool’s errand. It’s true that—despite holding the world’s most powerful post for five years—Obama is yet to eliminate the long waiting times for veterans seeking help. Blaming him alone, however, is to ignore roots of the problem that stretch back decades before Obama took the Oval Office.
Instead, the sheen of shame over the VA’s failures spreads across time and party affiliation. It stains the legacies of presidents as far back as John F. Kennedy and condemns past Congresses whose poor oversight allowed the problem to fester. The VA itself is also not without fault, as bureaucracy and intransigence let the department deteriorate to the point the problem became nearly impossible to fix.
The reason why the VA story won’t become a national scandal is that Republicans are also guilty of sweeping the issues under the rug, and letting them get worse. The real story features Republicans that are guilty of ignoring the VA, and this is something that Republicans in Congress would rather not talk about.

President Obama has done a lot of good things for our veterans. He has undertaken job creation initiatives for vets. The president has secured increased funding for the VA, and his administration has done remarkable work along with people like Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders in cutting the VA backlog, but these kinds of scandals will continue to happen because very people in Washington pay attention to the VA until it breaks.

This scandal isn’t President Obama’s fault. He is the guy who got stuck with this mess, because he is in office right now. If Republicans really cared about our veterans, they would stop trying to blame Obama, and start working with Democrats on legislation that would comprehensively reform the VA.

Veterans are waiting too long for care, but this has been an issues for years. The Republican attempts to blame Obama and call for the privatization of the VA are not answers.

The Republican compulsion to blame Obama for their own problems solves nothing, and will only allow a bad situation to continue to get worse for our nation’s veterans.

Republicans, as usual, have nothing, and President Obama is being left to clean up the decades worth of mess that they helped to cause.
Republicans Attack Obama For The VA Scandal That They Helped Cause was written by Jason Easley for PoliticusUSA.
© PoliticusUSA, Wed, May 21st, 2014 — All Rights Reserved

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