When the Washington Post gives a Democrat “Four Pinocchios” on a claim, you know it’s a whopper of a lie. When they give that rating of shame to President Obama, it’s a lie of such magnitude that even the fiercest of his liberal defenders could not pretend to back him up. That’s a pretty big lie.
But that’s what happened after Obama claimed two weeks ago that his administration had done a great job cleaning up the Department of Veterans Affairs since the scandal broke two years ago.
At a CNN Town Hall meeting that aired in late September, Obama said, “I don’t want to, in any way, pretend that we are where we need to be but we have, in fact, fired a whole bunch of people who are in charge of these facilities.”
The Washington Post determined there was no way their fact checkers could spin this one for the president:
The Obama administration seems set on misleading the public about the number of people held accountable for the wait-time scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Secretary Robert McDonald has twice received Four Pinocchio rulings for claims about how many people his agency fired or proposed disciplinary action against.
The Post found that though thousands of VA employees had been fired since the scandal first erupted, only a handful of senior executives had been let go in a direct attempt to clean up the department. As of October 3, the paper found that only three employees had been fired under legislation passed by Congress intended to expedite reform. Another one served out a 15-day suspension, three retired, five resigned to avoid disciplinary action, and another two were temporarily demoted.
It’s up to Obama and VA Secretary Robert McDonald to fix the department on behalf of ailing veterans. If they can’t do that, then they must at least be honest with the American people about their failures.
Of course, they don’t want to do that – especially not in this election season, when Donald Trump has made supporting the vets a primary issue in his campaign. They would prefer to spend Obama’s political capital telling lies that sound just middling enough to fly under the radar. “Oh, we’re almost there, but we’ve got a little ways to go…”
The truth is, this administration has had plenty of time to improve on this unconscionable failure, and they have almost nothing to show for it.