03/05/2007 02:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Right Explains the Walter Reed Scandal

There's no reason for the Walter Reed scandal to be a partisan affair, but over the last couple of weeks, it has been. Seriously wounded troops have been badly mistreated. The country hasn't been serving them as well as they served us. It's a national disgrace in desperate need of an immediate remedy.

But the outrage seems to be largely one-sided. When lawmakers started offering proposals to address the controversy, they were all Dems. When bloggers started expressing outrage, most were on the left. While the media reported on the conditions recuperating troops have to deal with, Fox News decided it didn't want to talk about it. Why does support for wounded veterans have to be limited to our side of the aisle?

I suspect it's become rather reflexive. Troops are being seriously injured in a war Bush launched and are being mistreated by facilities Bush is ultimately responsible for. To condemn the mistreatment is, necessarily, to cast aspersions on the administration. Apparently, that still isn't something that comes easily to the right.

But they can't very well say nothing about a massive scandal about mistreated veterans. What they need is a way to fit the scandal into the right-wing talking points, so their ideological worldview can stay intact. Exhibit A, by way of Michelle Malkin.

Newsflash: Government-run health care sucks

The Washington Post is back today with another story about the pitfalls of the military health care system. Like I said when the WaPo series was launched, these failures are damnable -- and nothing new. [...]

Will the Bush-bashers join with free-market critics to effect real change and help the troops who need and deserve better care? We'll see

Alas, Malkin and others who've been making this argument have gotten the story entirely backwards.