Put Shinseki in perspective

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Concerning the huge controversy over the ineptness, apathy and incompetence of the bureaucracy of this Big Government-run military health system, and in the wake of the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, I offer the following:

Shinseki has a long history of honorable service to our country, and I believe him to be sincere in his desire to clean up the system.

However, he has had five years to work on the myriad problems associated with this bureaucracy, yet we have our veterans still suffering from waiting to get into the system.

Possibly, Shinseki had not attuned himself to the ways of the federal government’s system. In the military, a general officer simply calls a staff meeting, writes a memo to his subordinates or otherwise indicates that he wants something done in a particular way, and it becomes standing operating procedure. Essentially, it becomes law for everyone under his command! Not so for civilians in any federal bureaucracy! The “general” first must get their attention. He has to consider that they are protected by a union! It is very difficult to fire them and/or relieve them of their positions as opposed to the military.

A proposal that has passed the House would have allowed Shinseki the ability to hire and fire civilian employees. It’s now in the Senate. Perhaps that is something that can be done to clean up the VA’s act!

William Zimmerman


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deestafford 05/31/14 - 10:17 am
Mr. Zimmerman is making an excellent point.....

Mr. Zimmerman is making an excellent point. When a military leader gives an order he expects it to be carried out because all those in the organization have the same goal---accomplishing the mission.

In the civilian world a different kind of leadership is required if you are a CEO or the head of a government agency. In the latter the subordinates are many times more concerned with protecting their rear ends than they are in accomplishing the organization's mission and goals. They also know they will be there for years or decades whereas the the appointed leader will be there only a few years.

What is needed at the VA is someone who has experience of turn struggling organizations around. Particularly big organizations. Unfortunately, Obama is not big enough man or leader to pick the man who can do that---MITT ROMNEY. The man has a proven track record of successfully turning companies around and he could do it with the VA if it can be done.

Bizkit 05/31/14 - 08:35 am
Most bills sent from the

Most bills sent from the House to Senate have been tabled by Reid. How is anything going to get done with a Senate of NO!!!!!!

harley_52 05/31/14 - 09:13 am
"Perhaps that is something that can be done...

...to clean up the VA’s act!"

My old golfing buddy has nailed it again.

Shinseki was guilty of believing that when he gave an order, his troops would honestly and faithfully follow it. He failed to notice that Civil Service regulations and labor union contracts made THESE soldiers different than those with whom he had served. His failing, in my opinion, was to NOT explain that to Congress and the public, thereby leaving himself an easy target for blame.

I also agree with @deestafford that MITT Romney would make an excellent choice, but I'm not sure he'd accept the job. Frankly, I'm not sure why anyone would under the current Administration.

harley_52 05/31/14 - 09:15 am
How is anything going to get done with a Senate of NO!!!!!!

I don't think Reid can stop this train.

edcushman 06/03/14 - 09:22 am
"Civil Service regulations

"Civil Service regulations and labor union contracts"
A big part of the problem.

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