Rachel Maddow responded to Republicans calling on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign with a forceful defense Wednesday night, shining light on an event that occurred even before President Obama stepped into office.
On Tuesday, President Obama gave a speech at a press conference addressing the recent scandal surrounding the wrongdoing at VA hospitals -- following allegations of corruption and unnecessary deaths at veterans hospitals -- claiming that he would work with VA Secretary Shinseki to "solve the problem." Republicans responded loudly that Obama's response should be to fire Shinseki.
"The system today has brought things to a crisis point where the President personally had to address it," she said. "But the system that is broken today was broken a long time before today."
Maddow highlighted one day in February 2003, when Shinseki testified before the US' invasion of Iraq that several hundred thousand troops would be necessary to maintain order in Iraq even after the war. Shinseki was thrown out of Washington by the Bush administration not long after making those claims, which, over time, ended up being right about on target.
Using this example, Maddow slammed Republicans who once again want Shinseki thrown out of office, arguing that his ousting will not solve the problem-- just as it did not solve the problem in 2003. The real problem, Maddow said, is cuts made to the VA's budget more than 10 years ago by the same Republicans now outraged over the health care controversy.
“Whether or not you want Eric Shinseki to keep his job, what would it take to fix the problem?” she said. "Are we just a country that dysmorphically cannot see the magnitude of the financial and governmental resources that it will take to keep our commitments to this country's millions of veterans?"
Watch the video for the full clip from MSNBC.
(h/t: Raw Story)