As President Obama signed a bill into law late Thursday that was passed by the Senate and passed in the House of Representatives by a unanimous vote that will pay death benefits to the families of fallen soldiers, it did little to ease the continuously sharpening condemnations of what many of his harshest, conservative critics see as a gross mishandling of the issue for the sake of politics.
Because also on Thursday evening, Brit Hume, senior political analyst for Fox News; appeared on The O’Reilly Factor with host Bill O’Reilly, as the two pundits really went after the Obama administration, President Obama specifically, blaming him for not signing an executive order sooner to fix this problem—describing it as a lack of leadership on his part.
This all began when Fox’s Ed Henry grilled White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over his inability or his unwillingness to supply the press with a specific date as to when Obama first found out about death benefits being furloughed.
Henry asked Carney:
“Jay, when did the President learn specifically that the military death benefits would not be paid?”
“Ed, I don’t know specifically. I can tell you that when he learned that these benefits were not explicitly dealt with in the Pay Our Military Act, he was very disturbed, and he asked for the OMB and his lawyers to take action.”
And because of Carney’s void in place of a precise answer, it has left the Watergate door of comparisons open for conservatives to speculate that the Obama administration knew about the furlough of death benefits for days and did nothing, while other parts of the administration decided to play politics with it.
Hume told O’Reilly that the Obama administration and the Democrats are hell-bent on inflicting as much damage to the Republicans as possible by making sure that the political lacerations from this shutdown run deep and are far-reaching.
Hume said that it is very possible that parts of the Obama administration like the Department of Justice lollygagged on this information about furloughed, military, death benefits or purposely took a non-cooperative stance to try and allow it to hit military families on a hard, personal level, which implies that these families, along with the public, will become enraged and further blame the Republicans for the shutdown and in turn punish them in 2014 at the ballot box!
“Bill, keep in mind what they may believe their leader, President Obama, is trying to accomplish in this shutdown.”
“We’ve seen all of this monkeyshines with the National Park Service and the closing of open-air monuments and things that are plainly unnecessary—designed to make the government shutdown hit as hard as possible. It is not inconceivable that this (furloughed military death benefits) was part of that.”
“If it was, then President Obama is in big trouble,” replied O’Reilly!
“Bill, I can’t prove that. I’m just saying!” replied Hume
A livid O’Reilly erupted, as he completely tore into Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel demanding that he be removed from office for the injustices of his ineptitude.
O’Reilly then mocked Hagel as he chanted loudly about how no one can find Hagel on this issue, which implies that he (Hagel) is hiding out in political shame as his incompetence has been exposed for the entire world to see.
Now even though Hagel has voiced his displeasure at this situation by saying that he was “embarrassed” that something like this has happened, O’Reilly was apparently not satisfied as he yelled condescendingly into the camera for Hagel.
“Where is Chuck Hagel? Have you seen Chuck Hagel around? Where is he—where? Where is this man—the Department of Defense Secretary?”
“This guy should be fired immediately! He has no right to be there. He’s lost all credibility with the military. Get out of here! They are not leaders!”
O’Reilly also went after Carney as he said:
“Carney, what’s the matter with Carney? He knows when President Obama knew about it! So he’s stonewalling!”
“You (Hume) covered Nixon (President Nixon). You know what the Nixon people did. Carney is doing exactly what they did.”
And in an odd turn of events, before and after the Hume segment, O’Reilly continuously proclaimed that the real winner in this entire government fiasco is Hillary Clinton, as she will benefit from the destruction of the country that will be unfairly blamed on the Republicans, as she makes her 2016 presidential run.
So even amidst all of the yahooing about the political travesty surrounding unpaid benefits to slain soldier’s families, the assumed, oncoming storm of Clinton’s Madam Presidency era appears to have lost none of its political steam, which proves that no matter how emotionally invested the patriotic rhetoric sounds, politics as usual is almost always bubbling just beneath the surface of the next big election.