John Dickerson: Living at ‘peak outrage’ belittles veterans’ scandal
Now, imagine if you experienced it with the inefficiency of the worst experience you’ve ever had with customer service. That’s what’s happening in some cases at Veteran Affairs clinics and hospitals around the country: People at their most acute moments of need are being ignored and forgotten. This is an outrage to be outraged about. But does anyone have faith that this outrage will be answered by serious action?
What makes the VA scandal different is not only that it affected people at their most desperate moment of need — and continues to affect them at subpar facilities. It’s also a failure of one of the most basic transactions government is supposed to perform: keeping a promise to those who were asked to protect our very form of government.
When the wait times were long and those promises were being broken to veterans, administrators then lied about it. It appears this was true across the country.
Unlike some other debates, this one can’t be delayed by a conversation over whether caring for veterans is the proper responsibility of the federal government.
The politicians are to blame for that fact, but so are we. Genuine outrage — sustained outrage — is required to move politicians. Every time we let politicians claim we’re facing another Watergate, or partisan pundits inflame us on Facebook, or Twitter trolls play on our emotions, we spoil our ability to respond to the outrages that really matter.
Unlike the phony outrages that get addressed and forgotten, improving service at the VA is going to take time. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the VA was a more difficult bureaucracy than the Pentagon.
READER COMMENTS: 27
- A mom's bail: Getting it right - 0
- Clooney gets it: Sony attack was not a 'crime' - 12
- Proof of Santa here: Hooksett's Dick Marshall, for one - 0
- Christmas spirit: Do you have more than a homeless man? - 1
- The Sony hack: Kim's judgment of Obama - 47
- Obama gets smoked: Castros celebrate in Havana - 38
- On naming the victim: It is Kibby's story now - 0
- After Newtown: A gun rights revival - 39
- Vermont's disaster: An Obamedy of errors - 15
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Two Manchester women arrested in separate shoplifting incidents in Hooksett - 1
- Maine police search car belonging to husband of Londonderry shooting victim - 0
- Man arrested after chase, threatening to shoot police in Bow - 0
- Good Samaritan pins Manchester purse snatcher - 0
- Homeless man who saved woman from river: 'I don't consider myself a hero' - 9
- High School Basketball: Rivalries renewed in QCIBT - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Will they get everything on their list? - 0
- Tuohy brothers add new restaurant in familiar spot - 0
- New Horizons volunteers deliver groceries and good cheer, making Christmas special - 0
Londonderry schools placed on lockdown after soldier's unplanned visit to high school causes alarm
Police say woman tried to steal 15 iPads