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Todd Peterson: Response to ‘boy president’ op-ed: Trump reformed the VA

July 20, 2017

The op-ed pages here have been particularly fetid lately. However, Gerard Brooker’s commentary, “The boy president” (The News-Times, July 13) really cries out for some fresh air and sunlight.

Mr. Brooker’s sensibilities are a bit bruised by our 45th president. Like many of his fellow travelers, his sense of outrage is selective, as I will explain.

Mr. B. isn’t fond of President Trump’s (I love typing those words!) use of executive orders referring to him as the “undoing president.” Well, Mr. Obama famously told us that he has a phone and a pen, meaning that the Congress can pound sand while he pretends he’s Emperor Obama. Trouble is that if Hillary didn’t win, his successor could use his or her pen to reverse those orders. Too bad, so sad. By the way, several of Mr. Obama’s orders were reversed by the Supreme Court by unanimous votes. Yes, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsberg actually agreed several times about Mr. Obama’s imperial overreach.

Regarding Mr. B’s assertion that no significant legislation has been passed yet, perhaps the treatment of our veterans isn’t a significant issue to him.

On July 13th in the National Review, Jim Geraghty wrote the following about reforming the Veterans Administration:

“One particular law designed to make the VA more accountable is arguably the most consequential legislation President Trump has signed so far. It establishes speedier procedures for firing employees, gives the department the authority to recoup bonuses and pensions from employees convicted of crimes, adds greater protections for whistleblowers who report errors and scandals, and expands employee training.”

One result of this law is that between President Trump’s inauguration and July 3, the VA had fired 526 employees, demoted another 27, and temporarily suspended another 194 for longer than two weeks.

I don’t recall hearing of anything like that happening in the prior eight years. Perhaps Mr. B. has that info on a thumb drive somewhere.

Mr. B’s concern for the widening gap between the rich and poor is curious given the Obama Administration’s record. The infamous top 1 percent held more of our nation’s wealth at the end of his eight-year reign than it did at the beginning of it. His War on Coal meant that electricity would become more expensive, further punishing the middle class that his party professes to care about so much.

Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was designed to pinch the middle class. How so, you ask? Economist Casey Mulligan, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago wrote a book, “Side Effects and Complications,” about the effects of the ACA on our economy. One of his assertions is the ACA is rooted in the presumption that the middle class just uses too much health care. Stringent mandates causing skyrocketing premiums and deductibles have left the shrinking middle class to have less access to health care. Even though you have that nice card in your wallet or purse, it provides you much less than it used to — by design. Mission accomplished. Perhaps Mr. B. can show us the morality in that policy as I’m not seeing it.

Near the end of his opus he gave us the following chestnut: “If he succeeds, the middle class will shrink, perhaps to a point where the discontent will become volatile. Ironically, think NRA.”

OK, that sentence was just plain scummy.

Does Mr. B. not recall the spate of assassinations of police officers we had not too long ago? How about the campus rioting at Berkeley, Middlebury College, and NYU preventing conservative speakers from even speaking? Perhaps he missed the angry androids of ANTIFA who assaulted, bludgeoned and maced ordinary citizens including young women and elderly men. One might think that someone who was honored with an award named for Mahatma Gandhi would have publicly rebuked these reprobates.

Meh… It’s all Donald’s fault.

In conclusion, Mr. B. dropped the obligatory leftist virtue signal of impeachment. The U.S. Constitution Art. II, Sec. 4 states that the President “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Nothing about mean tweets or sniping at the media here, folks. So sorry!

All in all, it’s just another piece of low information journalism.

Todd Peterson is a resident of Washington Depot.