President Obama is “madder than hell” about the scandal at the Veterans Administration. How do we know? Dennis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff, told us so.
Between fundraisers and golf outings, the president took time from his “busy” schedule to inform his chief of staff aside how angry he was that his administration was, in effect, issuing death sentences to veterans by hiding them on secret wait lists so as not to endanger performance bonuses bureaucrats receive for ensuring those vets did not, in fact, die.
The president must be so angry he’s lost the ability to speak – at least for two weeks when he couldn't be bothered to say or tweet a word about the mistreatment of veterans by his team. Finally forced to break his silence Wednesday, he delivered a statement filled with all the passion of a bag of dirty laundry. But I’m not here to complain about the president’s failed leadership – at this point it’s commonplace, his “style,” and God only knows how much worse things would be if he decided to be “hands on.”
No, I’m not going to mock him since it’s hard to mock a parody anyway. Nor am I going to run through the litany of things “the smartest guy to ever become president” has found out about through media reports and not his paid staff whose very job it is to keep him informed of the happenings in his administration. (The great Washington Free Beacon has a video of some of them worth watching here.)
No, others can do that much better than I. But there is one thing I noticed in the McDonough distract-a-thon over the weekend that I found to be incredibly telling, not just about the president, but about liberalism in general.
When McDonough was on CNN with Jake Tapper, he was confronted with proof the White House knew for years about the hidden VA wait times and the consequences of that act. Rather than offer an apology or simply admit the truth, he offered what is standard fare for liberals – a distraction. But the distraction in this case is the crystallization of liberalism.
McDonough told Tapper, “The president has seen dramatically expanded investments in Veteran’s Administration operations over the course of these last five years … year-on-year historic increases in that budget. At a time, by the way Jake, when we’ve seen budgets under intense pressure, we will continue to make those investments.”
Did you catch it? The president has spent more money on the VA than anyone else has, and to liberals that’s the solution. No concern for how the money is spent – whether it is being spent effectively, being wasted or stolen - just that it’s being spent. The appearance of caring, coupled with a big check, is enough.
We see this not only in the Veteran’s Administration, but in just about everything liberals touch. Washington, D.C., spends nearly $30,000 per student and fully 83 percent aren’t proficient in something as basic as reading.
In Maryland, another big-spending state, Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley is gearing up for a presidential run by touting how the Old Line State is No.1 in national reading tests. What he leaves out is that’s in large part because Maryland exempts more students who would score lower on that test that any other state – by a lot. As the Washington Post put it, “The state led the nation in excluding students on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, posting rates that were five times the national average and more than double the rate of any other state.” (Emphasis added.)
As I’ve said before, when you choose the unit of measure, or invent one out of whole cloth (jobs saved or created), you’ll always come out on top. When it comes to caring, liberals have set that unit of measure as money – always other people’s money. With that as the yardstick, no one cares more than liberals. But, like a distant rich parent in movies and novels that raise horrible children, a bottomless checkbook is no substitute for results. And when it comes to results, at least in the real world, be it health care, education, anti-poverty programs, the Veterans Administration, or anything else big government attempts to “fix,” liberals are sadly lacking.