In case you missed it in last night’s QOTD, the RNC plucks some low-hanging fruit:
This White House’s “we found out on the news” formulation has become such predictable boilerplate that Allahpundit didn’t even have to spell it out in his earlier headline, and the “anger” charade is its inevitable counterpart. Nobody is madder — “madder than hell” in this case — than the president, you guys. But as MKH noted last week, the president’s ostentatious fury generally recedes into “we can’t comment on an ongoing investigation” territory, followed by “only wing-nuts are still talking about this phony scandal — which, by the way, happened a long time ago, brah.” ABC News’ Jonathan Karl pressed Jay Carney about the Robert Petzel kabuki “resignation” yesterday, which Carney deflected by hiding behind a statement from the American Legion:
Karl specifically asked Carney not to invoke the American Legion in his answer (he’d already done so several times), but the former unbiased journalist did so anyway and decided to “leave it at that.” Punchline: Here. Oh, and for a fun fact about Petzel’s nominated replacement, click through. I wrote an analysis for Townhall explaining why the president’s Renault routine is uniquely problematic for the White House in this instance:
The Washington Times reports that Obama’s 2008 transition team was alerted to concerns about this exact practice years ago, which presents both a headache and an opportunity for the Obama spin team. On one hand, they can Blame Bush — another staple of their crisis management handbook. On the other hand, the fraudulent scheme appears to have metastasized on O’s watch…after he made a big deal out of improving conditions at the VA as a candidate. It was a virtuosic political play at the time, of course. Obama could run against the Bush-tied GOP for starting a war that had grown highly unpopular, while twisting the knife by attacking the outgoing administration for failing to “do right by our veterans.” The unsubtle message: These Republican ‘chicken hawk’ cowboys sent our boys abroad to die in an ill-advised war of choice, then didn’t even have the decency to make sure the maimed were taken care of back home. An Obama administration would be different. No more foolish foreign entanglements that fail to advance American national security interests, plus a new emphasis on restoring our sacred commitment to the men and women who’ve worn the uniform once they’ve returned from the battlefield. That’s a winning message, perfectly suited for the country’s mood. Neither promise has been kept, alas, the latter one especially. If Obama cares as much about fixing the VA’s dysfunction as he’s claimed, his own due diligence would render the “I didn’t know” excuse moot. The other option is that the well-being of our wounded and sick veterans wasn’t quite the priority he wanted us to believe it was. Either choice is ugly.
The media swears that this is the scandal, finally, that will really hurt the administration. They’re all over it. But they were “all over” previous scandals, too, before they lost interest and eventually started playing defense for the administration. Will (at least) dozens of dead veterans hold the press’ attention long enough to leave a lasting mark? We’ll see, but in the meantime, please excuse my skepticism. I’ll leave you with two tweets. You’ve already seen the first one, circa Obama’s first presidential campaign. Four years later, more promises:
“When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency,” said Sen Obama in 07: http://t.co/HlayjGUWsd
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) May 19, 2014
Obama to VFW in July 2012: “The VA will work harder… so new veterans aren’t just piled on to the backlog.” http://t.co/jQnCAyogD2
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 19, 2014
It’s almost as if Team Obama’s pressing and solemn commitment to our veterans becomes somewhat less pressing and solemn after election season passes, at which point numerous recommendations, red flags and overt failures go unnoticed or un-addressed. Without his knowledge, natch. Weird.