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Resign: What to do about the VA scandal (Not only Shinseki, but Obama, too)
The National Review ^ | May 23, 2014 | Kevin D. Williamson

Posted on 05/23/2014 8:20:13 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The Operative: You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.
Dr. Mathias: Well, unfortunately, I forgot to bring a sword.
The Operative (producing a sword): Would you be killed in your sleep, like an ailing pet?

— Serenity, 2005

Christian civilization recoils from suicide, but a sneaking admiration for it creeps in for the Romans, the virtuous deaths of Cato and Seneca, and for the ancient Japanese practice, not because the act itself is necessarily admirable, but because the motive is. There are worse maxims than “Death Before Dishonor.”

I do not think that General Eric Shinseki should fall on a literal sword, but he already is overdue for the metaphorical one. There is recent precedent: In the Czech Republic, the entire government stepped down over a relatively picayune corruption scandal in which politicians bought off potential opponents with government jobs; in Turkey, senior ministers resigned after a similar scandal, though the prime minister resisted calls for his resignation; the prime minister of Luxembourg, Europe’s longest-serving leader, announced his resignation when it was revealed that his spy agencies were misbehaving; the governor of Tokyo stepped down over a dodgy loan from a hospital operator; etc. These are premiers and heads of parliamentary governments and senior leaders; what’s an obscure cabinet secretary by comparison?

The emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius once observed that if a man knew for certain that he would die the next day, or the day after that, he would care very much about which day it was to be, the difference being so slight, only if were among the most abject and degraded of souls. General Shinseki has nothing in front of him but degradation; a less abject man would already have resigned in acknowledgement of his own failure to meet his responsibilities and as a gesture of atonement to the nation he failed. Clinging to his position at this point can be a source of nothing other than shame. He is on his way out — why not leave with some honor?

I wrote in passing yesterday that if President Obama or the people of this country had any self-respect, he’d resign over the scandal of the Veterans Affairs hospitals, which needlessly sentenced an unknown number of American veterans to death through their combination of managerial incompetence, medical malpractice, and monstrously cruel indifference to their clients. Other heads of government have resigned for less. President Obama presented himself to the public as an authority in the field of health-care management and as an executive who not only would insist upon but also would in fact achieve the highest standards in transparent, honest, competent government. He has failed, comprehensively. An honest man acknowledges his failures.

Perhaps it is the case that he did not know how bad things were in the VA system. Set aside the question of whether he should have known, for instance by finding the time to take the occasional meeting with General Shinseki, a task the president had not undertaken in more than two years. Sitting behind the Resolute desk means taking responsibility for the totality of the executive branch of the U.S. government, which includes a great many things that are outside of one’s immediate knowledge or control.

We are all familiar with the flip side of that: Every time business picks up at a paper-plate factory in Sheboygan, the president attempts to seize credit for the three jobs therein created. If you had attended the 2012 Democratic convention, you’d have thought that Barack Obama personally pulled the trigger on Osama bin Laden and had donned green eyeshades to turn around the financial affairs of General Motors. Strangely, after having bragged about saving GM, the Obama administration wishes to accept no responsibility for the deadly, possibly criminal, and certainly negligent actions of that firm during a period in which the U.S. government was its principal shareholder. Who knows how many people are dead or injured because GM refused to improve faulty switches? Who knows how many veterans are dead because of the VA?

If you want credit for the happy unexpected consequences of every snail hiccup across the fruited plains, then you have to take responsibility for the actions of your government — the things that are, after all, directly your responsibility.

President Obama clings to his sad little throne even more desperately than does General Shinseki. Faced with evidence of the incompetence of his administration, the president pronounced himself outraged, vowed that he would not tolerate it, would not stand for it — he in fact did everything except take responsibility for the actions of his government. The dishonesty and malpractice he vowed never to tolerate were, after all, the actions of his own administration, and the fact that they (may have) happened at some degree of separation from his own sacred person is hardly a defense. We made the head of the VA a cabinet-level position in order that the secretary might report directly to the president. The president, however, must be paying attention. President Obama was not.

It may not be fair, exactly, but one aspect of big-time leadership is that one must bear responsibility even for that which is not necessarily one’s fault. The responsibilities of the presidency did not descend upon an unsuspecting Barack Obama while he was going about his own inexplicable business in Chicago; he sought the office, twice, offering promises about what kind of a man he is, and what kind of leader — and he has failed to deliver. My friend and colleague Andrew C. McCarthy has just written the book Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, and it isn’t quite what you’re probably expecting. (Chapter 1 bears the straightforward title: “We Don’t Have the Votes.”) Mr. McCarthy argues that there is a very strong legal case for removing the president, but that this is beside the point: Unless there is a political case, and political will, then the law is toothless, because impeachment is a political process.

Mr. McCarthy’s argument is a compelling one. Americans voted for those dead veterans, regardless of whether they understood that they were doing so, and they’d do it again. If there were a way for them to resign, it would be the honorable thing to do.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: honor; obama; shinseki; veterans

1 posted on 05/23/2014 8:20:13 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Nobody resigns for incompetence/malfeasance from this administration.

That would make Obama look bad.

Not going to happen.


2 posted on 05/23/2014 8:23:14 PM PDT by SaxxonWoods (....Let It Burn...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Biden has always been an insurance policy against this step.
3 posted on 05/23/2014 8:29:26 PM PDT by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If little Tommy Lantos was still around he’d be saying somebody should commit ssssssssewwweeeeside for embarrassing da president.


4 posted on 05/23/2014 8:35:46 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Obama's smidgens are coming home to roost.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Shineski is the one in trouble. But with Democrats, there will be no shame, no apology and no full investigation, and they will cry out Racism for anyone questioning it. It’s a shame that our political system is so broken. There is almost no reason to vote anymore. It’s pointless


5 posted on 05/23/2014 8:47:21 PM PDT by realcleanguy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Put the politicians and all family members on their plans in the back of the longest VA line. The real line, not the fake one. Do this and see how fast this gets fixed.


6 posted on 05/23/2014 8:55:18 PM PDT by MtnClimber (Just doing laps around the sun and shaking my head that progressives can believe what they do!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The dictator will not have anyone resign from his dictatorship. These libs are goose stepping the USA down the road to oblivion
7 posted on 05/23/2014 9:00:51 PM PDT by Busko (The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Obama is a socialist coward

this cretin OBama should resign, man up and take responsibility .but it doesn't cause it's a coward and a socialist monster

Barack Obama is the executive branch

where are our protests to call for this tyrant Obama’s resignation, from we the people ,from our so called conservative leaders like Rush, Levin, Savage , coulter , Palin etc? no where after a million scandals, the IRS , benghazi , VA etc etc.

I call for barack Obama’s resignation . who will join me in calling for this communist to step down NOW?

8 posted on 05/23/2014 9:01:40 PM PDT by Democrat_media (Obama ordered IRS to rig 2012 election and must resign)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
which needlessly sentenced an unknown number of American veterans to death through their combination of managerial incompetence, medical malpractice, and monstrously cruel indifference to their clients.

It would be nice if someone in the press (and by that I include people like Sean Hannity) questioned whether actual incompetence was involved in this or if this is how gov't normally operates. Maybe that is too hard a fact to face, but it would be nice if some conservative commentators actually posed the question.

9 posted on 05/23/2014 9:04:31 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

While I grieve for our dead veterans I am no longer surprised at anything this traitorous boob says or does.


10 posted on 05/23/2014 9:04:54 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think Shinseki’s BOSS should resign.


11 posted on 05/23/2014 9:06:31 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Obama's smidgens are coming home to roost.)
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To: realcleanguy
General to General Population


12 posted on 05/23/2014 9:13:07 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; ...

Active Duty/Retiree VA ping.


13 posted on 05/23/2014 9:14:07 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Poor Obama may be forced to skip a round of golf to address this matter.


14 posted on 05/23/2014 9:20:28 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: Jet Jaguar
Of course he (Obama) should resign! Unfortunately, he has not the simple dignity to do so. Rather than fall on his sword, he's the kind of guy, like the officers on that Korean ferry, who pushed their way past their passengers, to whom they owed a duty to rescue, but chose instead to take the prime seats in the lifeboats.

What a sad excuse for a President! What a sad excuse for a leader! What a sad excuse for a man!



America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!

O stranger, tell the Lacedaemonians that we lie here, obedient to their command.

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

15 posted on 05/23/2014 9:22:13 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Mlichael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
General Shinseki has nothing in front of him but degradation...

No, no, no, no! He has important things to do, like; designing a spiffy new beret for all VA staff. It could even be made in Red China.

But something so trivial would never occupy the time of an important General. Especially when his VA medical system is being destroyed.

Would it?!

16 posted on 05/23/2014 9:31:24 PM PDT by DakotaGator (Weep for the lost Republic! And keep your powder dry!!)
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To: ConorMacNessa

Well put.


17 posted on 05/23/2014 9:31:26 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Japan style....a true story

Mishima....the final act

18 posted on 05/23/2014 9:39:25 PM PDT by spokeshave (OMG.......Schadenfreude overload is not covered under Obamacare :-()
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
If no one resigns, there was no scandal.

Leftest are good at circular logic. One reinforces the other. No resignations, nothing to report.

19 posted on 05/23/2014 9:56:11 PM PDT by DB
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

for instance by finding the time to take the occasional meeting with General Shinseki, a task the president had not undertaken in more than two years. <<

Shinseki should have taken up golf....


20 posted on 05/23/2014 10:17:47 PM PDT by M-cubed
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To: M-cubed

He almost certainly plays golf. But he’s not a young, cute homosexual.


21 posted on 05/23/2014 10:18:42 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: sefarkas

You gave me a sudden thought.

Biden wants to be President, yet if Hillary runs she’ll get the nomination. Unless, of course, Biden is already acting as President at the time - say if Obama were to be impeached?

I have never bought in to Biden being stupid, most of his gaffes and misstatements seem too perfect. Makes you wonder where some of these leaks come from, right?


22 posted on 05/24/2014 2:04:35 AM PDT by EC1
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They appoint people with bulls eyes on thier back to tke the fall for them


23 posted on 05/24/2014 4:55:32 AM PDT by ronnie raygun
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To: ronnie raygun

If anyone thinks odumbo would resign, they are definitely insane.


24 posted on 05/24/2014 6:20:15 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Traitor” POTUS Obama, deserter & accomplice of USA “Benghazi” “terrorist, murdered public servants, killer of USA “VA” veterans......deserter of innocent USA Marine being held in a Mexican prison!!! What to do, America???.....Fire and impeach him!!! Shinseki must go immediately!!! He has the blood of innocent USA veterans on his “Obamabot’ hands!!!


25 posted on 05/24/2014 6:40:00 AM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX ( My only objective is to defeat and destroy Obama & his Democrat Party, politically!!!.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Barack Obama is bitterly clinging to the remains of his second term. Just because he is presiding over his administration's friendly fire in the deaths of veterans waiting for needed services does not mean he would step down and become a regular citizen again.

Unless Barry and Bill trade wives for a while? Ankles or thighs?

26 posted on 05/24/2014 6:49:46 AM PDT by Bernard (The Road To Hell is not paved with good results.)
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