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.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?
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.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.
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.
As of now, no congressional Republicans have joined Dems on the issue. I don’t know why.
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?