Remember when the Republican Party was the two-fold party of “fiscal responsibility” and “caring for veterans?” Republicans got a reputation for caring for veterans after Vietnam, when the majority of liberal Dems were former hippies, none too fond of our soldiers’ activities in Indochina.
They got a reputation for fiscal responsibility when…actually, it’s hard to say when that happened. Mostly since history’s lesson is that the GOP saves money on America like Henry VIII saves money on alimony.
In this clip from The Rachel Maddow Show, Bernie Sanders gives his take on the GOP’s largest twin pillars of hypocrisy: veterans, and paying for them.
Maddow begins the segment showing clips of news reports on Congress’ latest failure to pay for veterans’ benefits amid the political infighting that has come to define America’s (still) Tea Party Congress…aka “The Worst Congress in History.” Maddow leads on that note.
“If they cannot [get a veterans’ bill passed], they’re not just worse than ever before…they’re worse than anyone thought possible.“
Sanders begins, optimistically enough, saying that his staff and those of the House Veterans committee have been working night and day to resolve a bill. In hindsight, a bit sadly; this clip is from Friday, and two days hence we’ve yet to see anything but further gridlock.
Sanders explains that the gridlock is a result of fundamentally differing views. He and the VA say they need more funding, doctors, hospitals and staff to deal with the extra 1.5 million veterans entering the system since Bush’s War ended. The GOP, on the other hand, counters with “well, f*** those guys.”
Here’s the video.
Sanders then goes on to discuss how we pay for all these VA programs, which he believes should just be counted in as an inevitable cost of war.
“John [McCain] and I disagree on almost everything…but when he was on the floor, what he said is ‘If this is not an emergency, if not taking care of people who were hurt in war is not an emergency, then what is an emergency?’ And I agree. and if it is an emergency, then we pay for it as a cost of war. We are spending trillions of dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and nobody offset any of that as a cost of war. Taking care of the men and women who fought in those wars should also be a cost of war. That is my view, that is the Senate view. The House has a different point of view.”
A point of view Anne Bolyen would probably argue. But rarely does anyone ask the head — or the veteran — on the ground its opinion.
(For you, darling…nothing but the best. )