Point of View Columns

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The Teapublicans have been working on a checklist that has had as its goal the crippling of the Obama presidency, no matter the very real harm that has been suffered by the American people. Government shutdowns, draconian sequestration measures, obstruction of even the most basic presidential appointments –they are all part of this nefarious checklist. And now, with very clear evidence of mismanagement at the Veterans Administration, these same Teapublican co-conspirators can celebrate another Mission Accomplished.

Since the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2009, the Republican Party skipped the step of being the “loyal opposition” and morphed into virtual government in exile, doing everything in its power to overthrow the current regime.

The exercise of that power has manifested itself from the bizarre – questioning the citizenship of President Obama and by extension questioning the legitimacy of his presidency, to crude – calling President Obama a “liar” on the floor of the House of Representatives while he was addressing the nation, to mindless – voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act over fifty times since it was signed into law, to obdurate obstruction – holding up routine presidential appointments for historically long periods of time, to outright domestic terrorism – shutting down virtually all of the operations of the federal government.

That the Republican Party (now Teapublican Party) leadership, in its monomaniacal goal of defeating President Obama has as its subsidiary agenda the obliteration of the legacy of the Obama Administration is clear to all who care to see. It is why unexpected events that are beyond the control of any administration, such as Benghazi and “Fast and Furious” become the subject of multiple congressional “investigations”, “investigations” which are transparent, taxpayer funded attack ads on the Obama Administration.

Now we are faced with revelations that the Veterans Administration is dysfunctional. This is, of course, not a revelation. The sad history of the Veterans Administration during the past fifty years is that there is a mixed record of service and achievement. Indeed there are millions of veterans who have received excellent medical care and literally owe their lives to the Veterans Administration.

Unfortunately, during the past fifty years, during the Democratic Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton administrations, and during the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush (I) and Bush (II) administrations, mismanagement and poor service have too often been the prevailing narrative of the Veterans Administration. Every single one of the listed presidents, and now President Obama, has committed themselves to “fixing the VA”. Clearly, as the current news reports, the results have been mixed at best.

But the difference in the Age of Obama is that the Republican Party has done its very best to make sure that the Obama Administration would be dysfunctional. Draconian budget cuts, time wasting delays in appointments and the Sword of Damocles (representing the ever present potential government shutdown) have only exacerbated any efforts to improve all government services, including the services provided by the Veterans Administration.

For the Teapublicans to howl about the mismanagement issues in the Veterans Administration when they have done everything in their power to hamstring, hamper and handcuff the president responsible for the Veterans Administration, is disingenuous. Indeed, the Teapublicans have created a scenario for self-fulfilling prophecy which has only resulted in unnecessary pain for the veterans whose service they so regularly claim to revere.

The Obama Administration will have to take ownership of the travails of the Veterans Administration. Would that the Teapublicans take ownership of their behavior which has done nothing to provide the Obama Administration with the resources to be successful.


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