To The Daily Sun,
As a fellow veteran (and strong supporter of Veterans' programs), I respectfully disagree with my friend Bob Jones in his letter attacking our two congressional representatives for their vote not to separately fund the VA during the government shutdown. In fact, both supported a bill to fund ALL agencies, including the VA, but it was deemed "not germane" (huh!!) by the Republican leadership and blocked from reaching the floor.
The bill in question is part of a cynical effort by the right wing of the Republican party (read, Tea party) to pit groups needing support against one another. We saw this in their pitiful actions at the WWII memorial with Tea Party minions rushing in to exploit Veterans for political gain an effort which the veteran's groups wisely and quickly shut down.
Yes, veterans need and deserve full support from all Americans but anyone who knows veterans know that they would never place their needs above those of a hungry child or a critically ill mother. As is all too often the case, veterans are being used as political pawns in the destructive political tug-of-war in Washington in which right wing Republicans are cherry-picking support for those with the loudest political voices for their own myopic gain.
It is ironic that the Tea Party literally cheered when the government shut down, with their darling Michele Bachman saying "it's exactly what we wanted...and we got it". Their stated goal is to bring the government of the United States of America to its knees. Sounds much like another terrorist group we are fighting doesn't it?
Now that the heat is on, they are claiming that the shutdown wasn't their fault it was someone (anyone) else's fault and they are scurrying for cover with selected funding exceptions. To show how ridiculous all of this is, they have now voted back-pay for all furloughed workers. If we are paying them anyway, why are they not immediately put back to work helping all Americans, including veterans?
And no, I am not one of those "liberal lefties" that the right wing loves to attack. I am fiercely independent. But I am opposed to the juvenile actions of the increasingly strident Tea Party. The funding issue can be resolved easily and quickly but the House speaker refuses to take the simple action of putting a funding bill without political strings attached to the vote, largely because he is also being blackmailed by the Tea Party. And some of these same dimwits think that a debt default is a good thing and will have no deleterious consequences.
Both of our congressional representatives have a record of exceptionally strong support for veterans' programs. They are just not willing to play along with the Tea Party charade. Whether I do or do not vote for either of the two current congressional candidates in the next election will be based on substantive issues, not the irresponsible behavior of the Tea Party during this unnecessary and destructive government shutdown.
(Formerly of Gilford)