Bipartisanship for Veterans

 
« Previous story
Next story »
 
Set aside your party bickering and deliver on your promises to our nations veterans as we delivered on our promise to serve our country. Every year, mid-September marks a time that means many things to many people.  The start of the official NFL season, return of children to school, or passage of another year since September 11, 2001 may make your list, but if you’re involved in American Legion legislative matters, it corresponds with the National Commander’s testimony before the House and Senate Veteran Affairs Committees. I’ve been attending for more than seven years now and recall years when the Republicans were in the majority – meetings hosted by Representative Chris Smith where we could seemingly do no wrong – and yet accomplish very little.  I remember when a joint meeting was impossible because of the antagonistic attacks between the two parties.  I’ve also gone the past three years where the Democrats have been in charge, and we can seemingly do no wrong and get almost everything we’ve pursued. But without fail, no matter who is the Chair or Ranking Member you will hear someone proclaim, “Our Committee is a model of bi-partisanship.”  Representative Bozman stated this during the testimony this year.  There have been years this bi-partisanship has been only evident by their presence in the same hearing room, and other years where even that presence was lacking.  On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this year a seven.  Clearly neither party couldn’t help but take a moment to jab the other for recent gaffs, political strategies pursued years ago, or oversights they see in pending legislation.  But why does it have to be this way? Representative Walz stated today a thought held by all no matter their party affiliation, “No one doesn’t want to do the right thing by our veterans.”  I’d agree with Mr. Walz’ attitude and generally agree it is widely held by politicians at all levels of government.  Yet somehow, when it comes to delivering on “doing right,” providing the money, legislative initiatives and programs, doing right is all too often done all wrong. Senator Burr threw out the first partisan criticism when it came to the debate relating to health care and drew a line in the sand proclaiming that any legislation concerning national health care “must acknowledge the autonomy of the VA and Tricare health systems.”  Moments later Rep. Buyer echoed Senator Burr’s comments and pointed out loopholes he saw in pending House legislation that would unfairly burden those veterans and service members using Tricare and VA Healthcare systems.  Chairman Filner rebutted, “This Congress will not pass anything that infringes upon the autonomy of the VA or Tricare Health Systems.” Take a moment, read those again.  Both the Republicans and Democrats have said the same thing – we must respect the “autonomy” and not infringe upon the VA or Tricare health systems.  So if the Committee leaders of both parties agree on this, why can’t they make it happen? Those who follow the issue will point to communication from Chairman Waxman that indicates the “sense of his committee” is to not change or harm the VA healthcare system.  You’d expect them to say this because they want to “do right” by our nations veterans.  Yet if both agree, why not explicitly put the necessary specific language in every single health care bill that is considered.  Start every debate with the understanding, “No matter what else we try to change, the VA healthcare system and Tricare system are not subject to this legislation.” Okay, I admit, I don’t spend my time in D.C. and an annual pilgrimage to the Commander’s testimony gives me just about enough partisan politics to last a year, but we don’t need to be “Pollyanna’s” either.  When we put on uniforms, there was no patch for party affiliation.  When a comrade was hurt or needed our help, we didn’t ask how they felt about the political litmus issues of the day.  And I’ve yet to see a VA card that proclaims your voting record.  So veteran’s benefits should remain equally non-partisan. Our nation’s veterans have given sacrificed much for our country.  Our leaders and elected officials can proclaim they will “do right” by our veterans, and as we saw this year, even agree on the exact same language relating to a veterans issue.  Now it is time for them to act.  Act with unanimity.  Set aside your party bickering and deliver on your promises to our nations veterans as we delivered on our promise to serve our country.
Posted in the burner | 9 comments
 
« Previous story
Next story »

 

* To comment without a Facebook account, please scroll to the bottom.

Comments

Very nicely said Martin Guerre. I too attended the event, but I'm still learning. Thanks for your insight. Oh and happy 90th birthday to The American Legion!

HI, I AM A VIETNAM WAR VETERAN/UNITED STATES MARINE CORP/SEMPER FI.. THAT BEING SAID, I JUST WANT TO PUT IN MY 2-CENTS. I AM A UNITED STATES CITIZEN FOR 62YRS NOW AND GREW UP LIVING AND BELEIVING THAT THE UNITED STATES IS THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, BUT IN TODAYS AGE, WITH THE LACK OF BOTH PARTIES NOT AGREEING ON A SINGLE ISSUE AND THEIR ONLY CONCERN IS FOR THEIR OWN POCKETS AND NOT FOR THE PEOPLE AT ALL. WE ARE SUPPOSE TO BE, WE THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE, NOT WE THE POLITICANS, BY THE POLITICANS AND FOR THE POLITICANS. I AM STILL PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN AND WILL DIE BEING ONE, BUT IN THIS LIFETIME, I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE OUR POLITICANS REALLY REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES AND NOT THEMSELVES. SINCERELY, ROBERT M YATSKO
PS, I JUST BECAME OF THIS WEBSITE AND WILL RETURN TO IT OFTEN, YOU ARE ALSO WELCOME TO EMAIL ME AS WELL.

There is no bi-partisianship when it comes to veterans. Democrats claim they support us but in acuality they want to portray us as victims to increase their voting block. When the bullits are flying, we are used as examples of another party's failings, even though the Democrats contributed by voting us into that position. While in combat, we are victimized and denied the resources for victory, and they make every attempt for our defeat which in no uncertain terms equivicates to our deaths on the battlefield.
Here are some examples of defeatist, anti-military comments from some of those who claim to 'support the troops'. As a veteran, i don't need this kind of support. Time has proven how wrong everyone one of these politicans has been.

“I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and — you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows — that this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq.”
–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., April 19, 2007

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”
-Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL., June 14, 2005 in a Congressional speech regarding the treatment of POW’s at Gitmo.

“… on November 19th, we had an incident in Haditha in Anbar province, where a Marine was killed with an IED. Time magazine reported it, and it's kind of a puzzling report, because they're investigating it right now. Let me tell you what the consequences of this have been.
It's much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that's what the report is going to tell…”
-Congressman John Murtha, D-PA., May 17, 2006

Anchor Wolf Blitzer asked: “Are you not worried, though, that all the gains that have been achieved over the past year might be lost?”

“There haven't been gains, Wolf,” the speaker replied. “The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. This is a failure. This is a failure. The troops have succeeded, God bless them. We owe them the greatest debt of gratitude for their sacrifice, their patriotism, and for their courage and to their families as well.
-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., February 10, 2008

They do not support us in the field when it counts, but they are eager to say they support us when we come back in an effort to gain votes and exagerate veteran program short comings. To them, we are nothing but victims who vote.

I am not a victim!

Money, money, money, money, mon-eeeeeey! The power of the almight dollar is the root cause of partisanship in Congress. Re-election is a top priority and that takes campaign dollars. So many newly-elected Members of Congress arrive with the same goal -- change status quo -- but quickly learn the only thing that is destined to change is their reasons for seeking office. Survivial in the political circus is dependent on voting the party line and raking in cash for the party and personal campaign chest. It is especially obvious when a Member is unchallenged, but still rakes in millions of dollars which he or she redistributes to the party or colleagues. It is the sad, sad truth that issues are not about what is best for the country, but rather what will get someone re-elected or grow their campaign chest. Campaign material is not about what was done to make America better, but rather how much Federal dollars was returned to the congressional district or state. The rich get rich and the rich get richer. Just look at the multi-millionaires in Congress. It is by design, not coincidence. The Founding Fathers designed the system to be run by We, the people not by any one class. The voice of We, the people is muted by dollars and nonsense.

I find it really awful that on a call for bipartisanship to get things done, someone feels the need to come on here and trash the Democrats simply because they didn't believe the invasion of Iraq was justified and committed the terrible sin of thinking torture was a no-go.

Look, Democrats and Republicans have different ways of supporting us, yes. Democrats tend to vote for quality-of-life improvements and veterans care benefits before they vote for weapons programs. Doesn't mean they won't ever vote for weapons programs, just means the former takes precedents. Republicans tend to vote for weapons programs, bullets and beans, before they vote for quality-of-life active duty military issues, or quality-of-care issues for veterans. Doesn't mean they won't vote for the latter, just means the former is their priority.

The problem is that each side is so busy screaming for their priorities that they're not paying attention to the fact that there are some things they both want.

If we made a bipartisan push /as servicemembers and veterans/, I truly think we could influence those politicians. But as long as /we/ remain politically divided, so will they, playing us off each other to get votes.

Great post and I agree completely.Just wanted to post and let you know your site is pretty cool. I'm going to 2 birthday parties tonight and I know a lot of the guys there will be interested in your post

I just wanted to leave a quick comment to thank you for your post! I really enjoyed your blog site!!! I have a Political Satire site of my own at White Rabbit Cult... I will place a link back to your site. Keep up the nice work! Peace!

I REALLY enjoyed your post and blog! It took me a tiny bit to hit upon your site...but I bookmarked it. Would you mind if I threw up a link back to your page? I have a Political Blog site of my own at White Rabbit Cult. Peace!   I enjoyed reading your post!

Good post! I searched around for this... I stumbled upon your site! :) I have a Political News Blog site of my own at White Rabbit Cult... Otherwise would you care if I posted a return link from my blog site to your blog site?

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Have a tip for us? A link that should appear here? Contact us.
News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.