Two Democratic Congressmen are now the first members of their party to call upon Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign.
Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) released a statement saying:
Unfortunately, this administration has fallen short in providing the kind of care that our veterans have earned. While I don’t think a change in leadership will immediately solve the serious problems that plague the VA, I do think it’s time to give someone else an opportunity to lead the agency and begin the rebuilding process to ensure these issues never happen again. Secretary Shinseki deserves the utmost respect for his service, but it’s time for someone new to get to the bottom of what’s happened on his watch.
Barrow was joined by Rep. David Scott (D-GA), who echoed:
The first person we need to fire is the secretary of Veterans Affairs. We respect him, we respect his sacrifice for his country and everything else, but the buck stops at the top… I listened to the president today, and I was very disappointed with President Obama today. There was no urgency. Mr. President, we need urgency.
The two Georgia Democrats are not heeding the call from other congressional Democrats, who have largely avoided criticizing Shinseki, choosing loyalty to the Obama administration over justice. Those Democrats have simply called for a re-examination of how the VA does business after the revelations of the VA hospitals’ secret waitlists and the delay in the opportunity for veterans to receive care.
Barack Obama, in typical “I’ll-feel-bad-but not-pursue-justice” mode, stated after a meeting with Shinseki, “If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it.”
Barrow has survived as the only white Democrat in the Deep South by being recalcitrant with the Obama administration. Scott comes from a safe Democratic district. Former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays, a Democrat who is running for Congress, stated Obama should have “demanded the immediate resignation” of Shinseki.