Skip to main content

U.S. Senator Richard Burr speaks during the National Rifle Association's 139th annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina May 14, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Keane (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR2DVZ2
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Veterans groups are blasting Sen. Richard Burr for his open letter claiming that they hadn't called for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation because they were too "interested in defending the status quo within V.A., protecting their relationships within the agency, and securing their access to the secretary and his inner circle." If the North Carolina Republican expected groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America to hang their heads in shame and apologize for not carrying out his partisan wishes, he had another thing coming.
“For years, the V.F.W. has come to Congress with hat in hand, and for years we’ve heard the same old story,” the heads of the veterans group wrote to Mr. Burr. “You can be assured, Senator, that you’ve done a superb job in showing us the error in our ways. You can also be assured that in the future, we will spend a substantial percentage of our time seeking to inform our members and our constituents of the repeated failure to act by our elected officials.”

To that sentiment, the national president and the executive director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America added, “Perhaps you should have shared with all veterans in your ‘open’ letter that you cared so much about their health care that you were not actually present during the testimony that the V.S.O. representatives provided, and you did not ask a single question.” V.S.O. stands for veterans service organizations.

It got harsher from there. According to the president and executive director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Burr "clearly represent[s] the worst of politics in this country." According to the commander in chief and adjutant general of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, "this is clearly one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we’ve witnessed in more than forty years of involvement with the veteran community and breaches the standards of the United States Senate." And so on.

Remember, the howling Republican outrage over problems at the V.A. is coming just months after they filibustered better health care for veterans. That bill "would have bolstered health and dental care, authorized 27 new clinics and medical facilities, added to veterans education programs, and dealt with veterans who suffered sexual trauma while in the military." Republicans, as is their habit, are looking to privatize veterans' care, as if your friendly local primary care doctor is an expert at handling traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Republicans contend that the V.A. has plenty of money and is just being inefficient with it—apparently they don't get that it's not easy to scale up by the hundreds of thousands of patients a year still being introduced into the V.A. system by George W. Bush's wars.

In any case, while Burr is still all bravado, claiming that the response to his letter shows not that he represents the worst of politics in this country but that he "hit a nerve," presumably his fellow Republicans will at least pause before lecturing veterans groups on how to respond to veterans' issues.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue May 27, 2014 at 07:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site