Daily Show host Jon Stewart did not hide his disgust toward Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and other political figures on Monday for years of professing their admiration for veterans in the face of more damaging revelations about the clinics designed to help them.
“It’s clear love and respect ain’t getting the job done,” Stewart said. “So there’s really only one way to put our government’s full resources behind anything: If they really want to improve the lives of these veterans, I’m afraid we have to declare war on them. Congress, write a blank check to fund Operation Enduring Waitlist: A war on error. Because if you want Americans to feel shock and awe, you’ll fix this f*cking thing.”
With VA clinics in eight states allegedly tampering with their records to conceal lengthy patient wait times, Stewart brought back his swear jar to scoff at Shinseki for telling lawmakers he was “mad as hell” about the reported misconduct and regretting he could not use stronger language.
“No, I think that would be an appropriate use of stronger language,” Stewart said, before opening the jar for a second and letting some invective out. “‘Motherf*cking sh*t’ does seem appropriate.”
The burgeoning scandal, Stewart pointed out, was forecast by VA officials in 2010 — just one year into Shinseki’s tenure. Stewart also noted that President Barack Obama was talking about the U.S. receiving a “wake-up call” regarding veterans’ care as far back as 2007, when the Walter Reed Army Medical Center faced allegations of poor living conditions and mismanagement.
“Somehow, we as a country were able to ship nearly 300,000 troops halfway across the world in just a few months to fight a war that cost us $2 trillion,” Stewart said. “An amount that didn’t count toward the deficit, because we paid for it somehow under the table. Yet for some reason, it takes longer than that to get someone hurt in that war needed medical care or reimbursement, all while we profess undying love for their service.”
Watch Stewart’s commentary posted online by Hulu: