Jon Stewart started going after the Obama administration's management of the Veterans Administration a year ago; at around the same time, Paul Rieckhoff of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America made a number of appearances on Rachel Maddow's show to discuss the VA's problems. In the right-wing media? This was a nothingburger -- as desperate as conservatives were to find any stick to beat President Obama with, they gave this a pass. Why? Because liberals had beaten them to it? Because (as I hypothesized last week) the remedy in this case would be more government social spending, which is anathema to the right, even when it's on behalf of the troops?
Well, the right's lack of interest in this story is starting to change. The right is talking about the VA now. No, let me correct that: the right is talking about President Obama in relation to the VA. That's the hook. This isn't a scandal about mistreatment of veterans -- it's a scandal about Obama.
Here's the headline at Hot Air:
ABC, National Journal: White House fumbling VA scandalOh, perfect. (Veterans? What veterans?)
Meanwhile, David Martosko, the former Daily Caller editor hired by England's Daily Mail a while back to write conservative linkbait for U.S. readers, is going with this:
White House says Obama only learned of VA wait-list scandal on TV (just like the IRS, Fast and Furious and reporter snooping scandals)And at The Washington Times?
He KNEW! Obama told of Veterans Affairs health care debacle as far back as 2008Right-wingers don't give a damn about veterans who've been mistreated, any more than they give a damn about "four dead Americans" in Benghazi.
Jonah Goldberg is one of the rare right-wingers not to make this all about Obama -- but that's because, as Roy Edroso notes, Goldberg uses the VA's problems as an excuse to bash liberalism in the abstract, and to call for more privatization of government services.
(Says Roy of the VA's responsibilities: "Who's going to take them over, the guys who run the outsourced prison industry? As I've said before, normal people can easily imagine what a for-profit medical corporation would do with uninsured veterans -- shove their gurneys in the general direction of a county hospital, probably, or secretly grind them down into pet food.")
Modern conservatism has two aims: maximizing the amount of hate white voters have for all Democrats and liberals, and decreasing the amount of government rich people have to pay for. Fixing the VA, or otherwise ensuring the proper execution of any government function, will never be on this list.