White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was called out Monday for, on the one hand, asserting that the “investigation” at the Veterans Affairs Department must continue – a key defense for not firing Secretary Shinseki – and on the other suggesting that the resignation of VA Undersecretary Robert Petzel was related to the scandal.
On the issue of Dr. Petzel, I would hope that you had noted that the top official in charge — he was — of the veterans health system was requested to resign by the American Legion, and he did so the day that — one day after his Senate testimony.
The American Legion said that the group looks at Petzel’s resignation as a “step towards addressing the leadership problem at the VA.” So I think that undercuts the assertion that that is not a meaningful development.
On the broader issue of accountability, we are of the view that the kinds of allegations that we have seen need to be investigated rigorously. And once we know all the facts, it is absolutely appropriate that accountable individuals ought to be held to account.
But we are not of the view, as a general matter, that the latter comes before the former.
This commentary contains not a trace of logic. Petzel either resigned as a matter of course – the investigation continues, remember? – or he was held accountable. Which is it?
Spock is shocked. Such inconsistency does not compute, except at the White House.
Chuck Todd reins in Carney’s attempt to play cute with the American public.