It’s been a tough few weeks for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-professed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats. As chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee, Sanders is perhaps the lawmaker best positioned to investigate and root out the corruption and mismanagement driving the Veterans Administration’s growing health-care scandal.
But Sanders loves sprawling bureaucracies like the VA. And to admit that massive appointment backlogs and criminal attempts at cover-up are inevitable wherever competition is lacking is a bridge too far for any red-blooded leftist. What’s a good socialist to do?
After reviewing Sanders’ media appearances between May 13 — a few days after the scandal first broke — to May 28, it looks like the senator has taken a page from Baghdad Bob, Saddam Hussein’s spokesman during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Even as U.S. troops encircled and then entered the capital, the Iraqi propagandist declared the Americans were dying in droves and that ultimate victory was near at hand.
Likewise, the good Vermont senator doesn’t let something like facts stand in the way of his talking points. His endless assertions that the VA provides excellent care, his excuses that things are even worse in the private sector and his accusation that the scandal is just a Koch brothers plot would all do Baghdad Bob proud.