In a memorable passage from Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” he was confessing to a friend that he had lost his faith. The friend responded “Does that mean you have become a Protestant then?” to which he responded “I said I had lost my faith, not my mind.”
Lately I have been feeling pretty disappointed in the Obama administration – well, not lately. In fact, like many of my fellow progressives I have been disappointed with the inaction for a long time. It’s just that the past week was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
The news that the VA in Phoenix (and apparently many other cities) have been covering up delays in the treatment of veterans, resulting in numerous deaths, has been intolerable. Although the Veteran’s Administration has long been the most entrenched bureaucracy in the government, his response has been notably characteristic in its weakness. The bottom line is that Obama has not been effective in this regard. Consider the following “scandals” and his response:
• An Attorney General who has failed to prosecute any Wall Strett bankers for the massive crime wave that nearly crashed the economy.
• A DEA Chief who considers marijuana no different from crack cocaine and prioritizes medical marijuana growers over heroin dealers.
• An EPA Chief who has granted more fracking, mountain top mining, and oil drilling permits than eight years under George W. Bush.
• A Chief of the National Transportation and Safety Board who has failed to force recalls of unsafe products even after hundreds of documented deaths.
• A Health and Human Services Chief who nearly single-handedly sabotaged “Obamacare.”
• A Treasury Chief who has refused to investigate banking scandals involving laundering of money from drug cartels and terrorists.
• The continuing inaction on Syria, even with numerous episodes of chemical attacks.
• The NSA illegal spying on American citizens.
• Cutting benefits for veterans, and a callous lack of concern for the epidemic of suicides among veterans (more returning vets have died from suicide than have died in combat in Afghanistan).
• Drone killings of American citizens without any due process.
• Expansion of secret special operations killings on a scale that dwarfs W’s.
• The unprecedented prosecution of government whistle-blowers.
• The lack of any credible response to Russian aggression in the Crimea and Ukraine.
• Allowing the evisceration of the social safety net.
• More deportation of primarily Latin Americans than the previous 12 years.
Those are not Benghazi type fake scandals, those are real scandals reflecting not only a lack of good judgment but also a lack of willingness to hold anyone accountable. No, I haven’t lost my mind and became a Republican. I have just lost faith.