I'm not a partisan, in the sense that I think everything any one party does is good or everything any one party does is bad. I've been totally fed up with the Republican Party for years now, but, if I'm honest, I spent at least as much time (and probably more) being irritated with the Democratic Party as I do being happy with them. Practically, this means I almost never expect the GOP to do something with which I agree, and rarely expect the Dems to do something with which I agree. All that said, there are still times when I'm utterly flabbergasted by how stark the differences between the two parties can be—most often when there's some issue to which the answer seems so bloody obvious I can't believe there's a partisan divide.

Take the response to the revelations about the appalling conditions in which our wounded veterans have been living.

Almost as disappointing as the expose, however, has been the relatively partisan nature of the response. Democrats, disgusted by the deplorable treatment for the troops, reacted immediately to address the problem and prevent it from happening again. Republicans, perhaps worried that the scandal reflects poorly on the Bush administration, have been unusually quiet.

For their part, Dems got to work.

Several lawmakers are taking action to improve the conditions and care for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Long considered a premier military medical facility, it is now under fire after The Washington Post reported last weekend that parts of the hospital have suffered from extreme neglect.

Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) are sponsoring legislation to improve the lives of recovering veterans at Walter Reed, while Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a cosponsor of the Obama-McCaskill legislation, said that he would explore ways to direct new funds to Walter Reed and make immediate improvements to its veteran housing.

Meanwhile, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) wrote a letter yesterday to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates demanding information on the current state of Walter Reed’s outpatient facilities. She also asked him to explain how conditions were allowed to deteriorate.
In addition, Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates today demanding an inspector general’s investigation into living conditions for the returning soldiers at Walter Reed.

As of now, no congressional Republicans have joined Dems on the issue. I don’t know why.
I don't know why, either. It doesn't seem to make the least bit of sense to me—not from a human perspective, and not from a political perspective. There's clearly a correct way to respond to this issue, and silent inaction ain't it. What on earth can the GOP be thinking?

Meanwhile, when asked if the White House wanted to be on record "with a more emphatic expression of amazement and upset" about the issue, Tony Snow replied, bluntly, "No." They've said they're outraged; what else can they do?


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