Yesterday, Sarah Palin, the politician turned television reality star endorsed the television reality star turned presidential candidate, Donald Trump for the presidency. Today, while stumping for Trump, Palin noted that “her son Track’s domestic violence arrest [on Monday] was caused by post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in the U.S. military.” Palin referring to Track’s arrest for a domestic violence incident this week, calling it “an elephant in the room”.
Talking Points Memo details that according to court documents, Track punched his girlfriend in the eye, kicked her and then threatened to shoot himself in the head with an AR-15 assault rifle. He was charged with three misdemeanor counts.
Private First Class Track Palin (1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division’s Combat Team) served overseas in the in the Iraq War and we commend him and all other men and women for their service to our country. We also recognize that post-traumatic stress disorder often provokes volatile and inexplicable behavior in humans who suffer from it. However, like good mothers do, Sarah Palin somehow found a way to politicize his suffering and turn it into a ridiculous cheap shot at President Obama:
“It starts from the top…The question, though, is that comes from our own president where they have to look at him and wonder, ‘Do you know what we go through? Do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America?…When my own son is going through what he goes through coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who kind of feel these ramifications of some PTSD and the woundedness that our soldiers do return with…It makes me realize more than ever it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we have that commander-in-chief who will respect them and honor them.”
Never mind the fact that it was her beloved George W. Bush that sent him off to war in the first place, or that it was President Obama who brought him back. Our commander-in-chief has tried to show respect and honor towards and for our veterans. It is the obstructionist Republican control Congress that has failed to so. Below (in no particular order, but all since President Obama took office) is a short list of the bills the Republican controlled Congress has refused to enact to help our returning military folks.
H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act – This bill would actually provide job security for veterans who are receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered while fighting in defense of their country. It would prohibit employers from terminating employees who miss work while receiving treatment for a service-related disability.
H.R. 1168 — Veterans Retraining Act – This bill would provide for assistance to help veterans who are currently unemployed with their expenses while retraining for the current job market.
H.R. 1172 — Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans, which does nothing more than direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to include information about scholarships for veterans.
H.R. 1293 — Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 – Here’s another bill in support of those who have fought for their country, passed by House Democrats and blocked from becoming law by Republicans.
This would increase the amount paid by the VA to disabled veterans for necessary home structural improvements from $4,100 to $6,800 for those who are more than 50% disabled, and from $1,200 to $2,000 who are less than 50%, disabled. This means, if a veteran lost the use of his legs in service of his country, the country will pay for the wheelchair ramp so that he can live at home.
By the way, the last time this ceiling was lifted was in 1992. There isn’t even a fiscal reason for being against this bill, as the total cost of this bill, according to CBO estimates, would be a “whopping” $20 million. That’s about a quarter (25 cents) per family of four.
H.R. 1803 — Veterans Business Center Act – This bill would set up a Veterans Business Center program within the Small Business Administration, which would specialize in such programs as grants for service-disabled veterans, help them develop business plans and secure business opportunities. In other words, folks, it would create jobs and offer opportunities those who have fought in defense of our country.
H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act – This bill essentially combines a number of other bills that Republicans had blocked in the Senate previously, and adds a few elements. The bill would again establish a Veterans Business Center Program; …. it would establish a Military Entrepreneurs Program.
Let us not forget, as we noted in a post last month that President Obama recently gave the military its largest pay raise in 5 years as the GOP refused to give him credit. Palin is right when she said in reference to her son “Don’t you know who he is? He’s a vet!” But what she fails to recognize, as the list above reflects, that it is Republican obstructionism that has prevented Track from receiving the help he apparently so desperately needs.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.