In the exalted age of Obama, I’ve become, sadly, accustomed to corrupt, stupid and indefensibly arrogant federal bureaucrats insulting members of Congress charged with oversight of their agencies. It goes without saying their insults of the public, for whom they generally reserve their greatest contempt, are equally infuriating. I do not, for the most part, have sympathy for congress critters, finding most of them nearly as useless, destructive and vile as any Obamite, but ultimately, they do represent us and America, as poorly as we may often choose them, and the mere thought of Obamite twits sneering at all of us is galling, to say the least. Such a bureaucrat is the relatively newly appointed VA Secretary, Bob McDonald. McDonald is supposedly a Republican, but I cannot imagine that any Republican worthy of the name would be elevated to such a position by Barack Obama. An example via the Military Times:
Rep. Mike Coffman has been a harsh critic of the Veterans Affairs Department in recent months, blasting department leaders repeatedly for continued program mistakes and shortfalls.
On Wednesday, VA Secretary Bob McDonald reached his limit.
McDonald, a corporate CEO turned Cabinet secretary, angrily chastised Coffman after the Colorado Republican delivered another blistering rant about VA operations, turning a relatively sleepy budget request hearing before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee into a surprising defense of VA’s progress.
Coffman — incensed over continued problems with construction of a VA hospital in Denver — called McDonald’s characterization of the problem nonsensical and overly positive.
‘That’s characteristic of your glossing over the extraordinary problems confronted by your department,’ Coffman told McDonald. ‘This is a department mired in bureaucratic incompetence and corruption. I fundamentally believe … when this president ends his term, you will not have made a dent in changing the culture of VA.’
McDonald called that attack ‘highly offensive’ and told Coffman he was more concerned about reliving years-old missteps than fixing problems.
‘I’ve been here six months,’ McDonald said. ‘You’ve been here longer than I have. If there’s a problem in Denver, you own it more than I do.
“If there’s a problem in Denver?” Consider this opening sentence in a Wall Street Journal Article on that “problem:”
A Department of Veterans Affairs hospital project near Denver came to a standstill this week after federal judges ruled the VA was in breach of contract, hundreds of millions of dollars over budget and devoid of a plan to adequately fund the facility.
Golly Mr. Secretary, that sounds like something of a problem to me. McDonald went on to brag about his tenure as CEO of Proctor and Gamble, while demanding to know what Coffman had run. Interesting that McDonald seems not to know–or care–that Coffman is an employee of his–McDonald’s–employers, an employee hired to oversee McDonald, who is no longer in charge of Proctor and Gamble.
Still, I was willing to give McDonald a bit of slack, until this via Fox News:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has admitted that he lied about serving in the special operations forces in a conversation with a homeless veteran that was caught on camera earlier this year.
McDonald made the claim in January while he was in Los Angeles as part of the VA’s effort to locate and house homeless veterans. During the tour, a homeless man told McDonald that he had served in the special operations forces.
‘Special forces? What years?’ McDonald responded. ‘I was in special forces.’ The exchange was broadcast on “The CBS Evening News” Jan. 30. McDonald’s misstatement was first reported by The Huffington Post.
McDonald graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975 and completed Army Ranger training before being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division until his retirement in 1980. According to the Huffington Post, while McDonald was formally recognized as a graduate of Ranger School, he never actually served in a Ranger battalion or other special operations unit.
‘I have no excuse,’ the website quoted McDonald as saying in its report. ‘I was not in special forces.
So what’s the big deal? The guy misspoke. Yes. Obamites tend to do that a lot, don’t they? The big deal, as the defensive and arrogant McDonald’s own mea culpa indicates, is that misrepresenting one’s service is just not done. It is among the most dishonorable things anyone that has served in the military can ever do. I served as a Security Policeman in SAC during the Cold War, one of many lowly enlisted airmen doing his job. You’ll never hear stories emanating from my lips about being a PJ behind enemy lines or flying combat missions over Iraq. To do such things is the most obvious and revealing indicator of a fundamental lack of honesty and character imaginable.
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said he was ‘disappointed’ in his comments.
‘After a rough couple of weeks that also included inflated claims of accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs, I hope Sec. McDonald will redouble his efforts to ensure his statements — and those of all VA officials — are completely accurate. This is the only way the department can regain the trust of the veterans and taxpayers it is charged with serving,’ he said in a statement.
Even Rep. Coffman demonstrated far more class than McDonald is obviously capable of doing:
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., called the misstatement an error but said ‘it doesn’t dim the fact that he served honorably.’
He said: ‘We should all take him at his word and Washington shouldn’t spend the next two weeks arguing about it. The Secretary has a job to do — clean up the scandal-plagued VA. This latest controversy shouldn’t shift one iota of focus away from that long overdue task.’
The White House released a statement Monday evening saying that it had accepted McDonald’s explanation.
I’m not quite as forgiving as Rep. Coffman. I’ve reached the end of my tolerance rope for arrogant, stupid, smug and destructive federal functionaries, and it would appear that McDonald is merely the latest example of what’s wrong with the Federal Government under the Commander in Chief that leads from behind.