Saturday, May 24, 2014



Flashback: ‘Patriotic’ Republicans Block VA Health Care Funds (Video)

In America, we are great at sending our troops to war. We’re even better, as a nation, at waving our little flags and repeating the mantra, “Support Our Troops,” while lauding their every effort on behalf of all of us–whether we agree with the cause, or not. But what happens after they come home? Do we still care after the uniforms are off and the guns are laid down, or do we simply forget about them?
Our nation as a whole–Democrats and Republicans alike–has traditionally been awful when it comes to really supporting our troops at home. We can pretend it’s always been Republicans, if we would like, but that would be disingenuous. The truth is that WE have not done enough. WE have failed those who have chosen to serve their nation.
Lately, however, we have been seeing a gigantic push on the part of Democrats to do something to help these men and women who have taken the path of self-sacrifice in order to ensure that our nation is free. We have seen them misused as attack dogs for corporate America, abused, ill-equipped, and forgotten. For the first time in America’s recent history, we have a strong segment of our population that has chosen to care about our troops–really care.
Unfortunately, the other guys, Republicans, have been blocking nearly every attempt to help these fine men and women who have done so much for our country–and whose country has done so little for them. Lately, the VA scandal (yes, finally, a real scandal) has Republicans up in arms about how President Obama has failed our troops–how President Obama is to blame for the VA backlog that leaves so many waiting seemingly in vain for the care they so desperately need.
Unfortunately, they are correct to some degree. President Obama has been no more effective than President Bush in resolving the situation–but it is not his fault, either. Ever since the President has been in office, Republicans have  continued to wave their flags. They have continued to mindlessly recite “Support Our Troops.” What has been missing, though, is any real desire to help them. Instead, we have seen the brave men and women who have served our nation become but a mere talking point as their woes are pointedly forgotten in favor of the potential political gain Republicans can enjoy by simply allowing them to continue to suffer.
One such time was in February, when Senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation that would improve veterans’ access to health and dental care, as well as expand educational opportunities and, yes, help the VA address the disability claims backlog that Republicans are currently using as a talking point in their continues effort to discredit the President. The bill was endorsed by every major veterans’ organization…and received only two Republican votes.
Republicans blocked the legislation. Had they allowed it to pass, the woes of our nation’s heroes would not be such a convenient talking point in the political games that have become the core value of the Republican party. Had they allowed it to pass, they would have had to admit that something was done under the administration of a man they hate so much that they are willing to allow America to burn simply to claim that the President started the fire.
It’s easy to forget what these men and women do for us. It’s easy for those of us who have not served, or have forgotten what true patriotism is, to dismiss these heroes as political pawns. We, as a nation, need to forget about partisanship, political chess, and the games we play back and forth just for a moment. If we can afford to send these men and women to war for any reason, we can afford to take care of them once they are home. Period.
Watch a video, courtesy of Senator Bernie Sanders, that highlights exactly what was done to our troops: