The media outlets had plenty of political antics to chew on over Memorial Day weekend and just after, thanks to the hilariously poor timing of a GOP senator.
Recent hearings about the troubles at the Veterans Administration included speakers from various veterans groups and organizations. Richard Burr, who has never served in the armed forces, is the GOP’s ranking member on the Armed Services Committee. That would not be so shocking or unusual, if not for what occurred over the weekend.
Burr got up from the committee hearing and left while the various veterans groups spoke. He returned in time to make his one and only statement to them, which just to tell them he’d heard enough (which was none, really) and dismiss them.
He subsequently, over the Memorial Day weekend, bizarrely picked a fight with veterans by publishing an open letter to them (published to the general public, of course, to ensure a wide audience) and admonished them for not agreeing with his position on the veterans issues. In particular, he wanted those groups to call for the resignation of Eric Shinseki. He further cited his disappointment in their testimony (which is he pointedly ignored) .
Many of the veterans groups issued scathing statements in response.
“Your allegations are ugly and mean-spirited in every sense of the words and are profoundly wrong, both logically and morally. Quite frankly Senator, you should be ashamed,” the Veterans of Foreign Wars statement said.
“You clearly represent the worst of politics of this country,” was included in statements from two top officials of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Further comments from representatives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars include, “an absolutely disgusting ambush style of politics” and a “monumental cheap shot.”
And this was how a US Senator managed to start a fight with veterans and create political theater on the major news networks and in print, over a holiday weekend that is meant to honor fallen veterans.