GOP Sen Burr steps into minefield over VA scandal. Why do we keep doing this?

Last week, Senator Richard Burr, the ranking Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, wrote a letter condemning staff at various veterans groups including the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), for not condemning VA secretary Eric Shinseki strongly enough.

Burr said more groups should call for Shinseki’s resignation – I believe many indeed have – but he went on to say these groups are more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members.” Burr really stepped into a minefield with this one.

According to POLITICO, the VVA has fired back, saying that specific claim “is blatantly false and, in reality, is perhaps more reflective of your lack of knowledge of the character, integrity and honor of these fine people who serve their membership.”

The group added that his comments do not help veterans. “Your letter of May 23 and its tone do absolutely nothing to serve the health-care interests of America’s veterans,” the group said to Burr. “Your ugly comments and false accusations about VSOs and their staff will not resolve any of the VA’s problems. VVA believes it is not the time, at this crucial juncture, for throwing stones or issuing caustic statements.”

Several other veterans’ organizations have responded angrily to Burr’s letter. Top officials at the Veterans of Foreign Wars called his comments a “monumental cheap shot.” The Paralyzed Veterans of America said the senator “clearly represent[s] the worst of politics in this country.”

Being a veteran and having served on the House Armed Services Committee, subcommittee on Military Personnel, I can attest that in my time on the Hill I witnessed our VSOs, Veteran Service Organizations, fighting strongly and being quite vocal. I remember the VSO visits to Capitol Hill and their specific advocacy on VA wait times, especially for the claims process. I receive mail from several VSOs including VFW, American Legion, and ROA and their focus on reforming the VA system.

So it does seem very surprising that the Senate ranking member would put out a statement which was not cosigned by the House Chairman on Veterans Affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla).

Unfortunately, now Sen. Burr has provided plenty of ready ammo for the liberal progressive media who can now paint him as the “focal point bad guy” on the issue. Instead of working with the VSOs to develop solutions to rectify this horrific issue and pressuring Attorney General Eric Holder to open up an independent investigation, Burr instead attacked veterans. Truly a brilliant well-conceived move on his part — not!

So for the rest of the news cycle this week, the attention will be on the nasty ol’ Republican who demeaned and denigrated veterans groups. The emphasis will not be on the failures of the Obama administration in reference to the VA scandal.

One just has to ask, why do Republicans seem to have incurable foot in mouth disease, especially when the Democrats are proving themselves to be incompetent, nefarious, scandalous, coercive liars?

My recommendation is that Senator Burr join with House Chairman Miller and craft recommendations to improve the plight and at the VA. But apparently Senator Burr is standing his ground, saying “The VSOs’ [veterans’ service organizations] response is a rousing defense of the status quo at VA,” he said. “It’s clear that my open letter to America’s veterans has outraged some VSOs more than the scandals at VA — I believe their testimony stands on its own.”

Well, I have a message to Sen. Burr: when you find yourself in a minefield you retrace your steps to get out — you don’t start jumping up and down, and your certainly don’t start kicking.

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14 Comments on "GOP Sen Burr steps into minefield over VA scandal. Why do we keep doing this?"

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JoeCasepack
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I don’t see the point of condemning Shinseki when he has announced his retirement.

Stick this one on Obama.. he swore up and down six years ago he would address this VA issue and guys like Burr are helping Obama shift the blame to others like Shinseki.

I swear, I don’t trust either party when guys like Burr try to be so helpful to Obama.

kelly9107
Guest

You are right. Obama doesn’t answer for anything.I live in North Carolina. I hope we can get Burr and Hagan both out next election.

Toni Rose
Guest

you got that right ! I too live in NC.

Ken Largent II
Guest

To me, Senator Burr represents the status quo old-guard Republican that has allowed our great nation to progress towards socialism. His actions indicate that he has no intention of fixing the problems by providing legislation. He would rather blame the victims of a poorly managed administration. He makes all Republicans look bad. Y’all oughta kick the bastard out of the party.

Smee
Guest

In nature, it’s up to the top dog to watch out for the pack. Our “top dog” is to busy chasing his own tail to watch out for his pack. We have to get a new top dog!

Glen Saunders
Guest

There’s nothing unfortunate about an assmaggot showing his true colors. He’s a RINO and does what they do……Blame someone else for their own inability to do their job. They all need to go. I cannot say that enough. This is a do nothing bunch of retards and America deserves better. The candy asses created the Veterans with politics and now want to end their lives with the same politics……

Antionus
Guest

Perhaps Mr Burr should have done something about the well documented problems at the VA in his capacity as the ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee himself. But when cornered, a rat always blames the cheese.

Craig1748
Guest

Senator Burr, as well as most members of Congress, have failed in their duty to the veterans of America. Problems have existed for many years at the VA and are well documented and none of them, including Senator Burr, have come in with a solution and made it stick!

richard
Guest

What an idiot, this scum bag needs to go. Either respect our veterans are get the hell out of the country. I propose it become a hate crime and a felony for making any disparaging remarks to or about our servicemen. And if you do so while acting in any political capacity it becomes a treasonable offense.

sgthappyg
Guest

Try to stay focused. The Senator is not the idiot. He did not show any disrespect for our veterans. ( and I am one) He showed disrespect to the organizations that are not treating our veterans with respect and as he stated – their letter just wants to continue the status quo and does not address any of the original problems that created the need for the Senator’s remarks. You need to direct your anger and charge the veteran’s organizations with “treasonable offenses.”

Rally Ann
Guest

Makes me so proud to be a North Carolinian! NOT!

constitutionalist
Guest

His comments were wrong and very untimely but the question remains, what have these VSO’s done about the problems with the VA. I have heard none of them screaming about the scandal or the problems faced by the VA over the past 5+ years. Has anyone heard anything from the VVA VFW or any of them complaining or pushing legislation over the VA? I haven’t.

Earl Lee
Guest

Only thing Republicans are interested in is scoring POLITICAL POINTS! They are and were not interested in ANYTHING going on previously to this.

MotherBatherick
Guest

A lot of us are sick of azz-wagons in the Senate. Harry Reid is at the top of the list.