On yesterday's Hugh Hewitt show, Hugh and I discussed the Veterans Administration scandal, and in particular this response to it by White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough:
You heard what General Shinseki said today. He's as mad as hell about this. Nobody's more mad than the President, and I have the scars to show it.
I thought this was a little unfortunately phrased, given that dozens of veterans with real, actual scars are dead. So I responded (audio here):
The funny thing about Washington is it's so disconnected from the real world is that all language becomes metaphorical. You know, they say, 'Someone's head is going to be on the block for this.' And this guy said, you know, 'I have the scars to show it.' He doesn't have any scars. The veterans who are dying – and by the way, America... treats its veterans absolutely appallingly and has turned them essentially into a victim class, going around with these sob-sister ribbons saying, 'We support our troops.' The Veterans Administration is one of the most disgraceful units of the federal government. So to go around where people have real scars, real wounds from these ineffectually waged wars, and you're comparing them to your metaphorical scars? I don't even know what that means – the president stood up holding a piece of cardboard with '#YoureALoser' written on it? What scars is he talking about?
I didn't phrase that as well as I might, but it is disturbing to me that America's veterans are regarded by the system as charity cases. The yellow-ribbon thing seems to feed into that, as if veterans are people you should feel sorry for, like starving Third World orphans. There's something psychologically unhealthy about thinking of your warrior class like this.
We also discussed the ever more expansive Empire of Lies:
If you start and you get away with it, it spreads to everything. I mean, if you can get away with lying on Benghazi, you can get away with lying on the IRS. And at that point, why would anyone think it's a big deal when the President goes out on the road and says if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor? If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. He's gotten away with lies. And by the way, if you're a citizen of this republic, and you say well, I don't mind him lying on Benghazi because it's some screwy town on the other side of the planet, what do I care? and I don't mind him lying about the IRS, because I don't make any political donations, so it's not really my ballpark, and I don't mind him lying about Fast & Furious, because I'm not some Mexican who's been shot dead by some drug gang that got its guns from the United States Government, you're not in a position to complain then when he lies about your health insurance, because you went along with all the other lies. And that's why you have to stop this stuff at the first lie, because otherwise, they lie about everything, which is pretty much the state this government is in.