Share this story...
Latest News

Former Phoenix VA director suing for her job shows a lack of shame

(AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)

Nobody has shame anymore. It’s the only thing that explains what the hell is going on.

I guess we’ve been told that shame is a bad thing by counselors, psychologist and, in some cases, by our own parents. Shame is a corrosive force on our psyche. Thinking one has done anything wrong makes it wrong.

At least part of this thinking is fueled by our “teach-self-esteem-at-all-costs” attitude in schools. You know, the “everybody gets a trophy” crowd?

Maybe I’m clamoring here, but what else could possibly explain Sharon Helman — the disgraced former head of the Veterans Affairs office in Phoenix — suing to get her job back except for a complete lack of shame?

This woman didn’t just do a bad job, she took crappy to a whole new level. She played a part in an intricate conspiracy to make sure that she and others didn’t look bad because of their crappiness. She did so at a time when veterans were dying because of the crappy job she and others (all under her management) were doing.

Lack of shame and self-awareness might explain why she thinks she deserves to be back in her job, but I’m still not sure what possibly could explain the Obama administration’s stance that they’re not going to stand in her way (at least on one major point) to sue us, the taxpayers, to get her cushy gig back.

Of course, many of those taxpayers she’s suing are veterans that she doesn’t give a hill of beans about.

Irony encapsulated.

After news broke back in 2014 that dozens of veterans had died while waiting to get treated at the Phoenix VA Medical Center and that officials had created an elaborate scheme to hide long wait times, Congress took action and passed the Veterans Choice Act.

Hellman was one of the first people that was fired under provisions of that act that simplified the firing process for VA executives if their incompetence or indifference led to veterans dying.

Hellman claims that the part of the law is unconstitutional. Attorney General Loretta Lynch agrees with her, so they’re not going fight Helman on it.

That’s a shame.

It’s a shame because this is the exact same law that President Barack Obama enthusiastically signed while saying,”If you engage in an unethical practice, if you cover up a serious problem, you should be fired. Period.”

Sounds to me like he was on board with the law. Saying “period” means he really, really meant it, right?

One would think that if he, or anyone in his administration (like, say, I don’t know, the attorney general?), had a constitutional bone to pick with the law, then they might have brought it up while the law was being crafted. Not after Helman feels empowered to sue for her job (She probably got empowered after only receiving a slap on the wrist for her malfeasance at VA).

Maybe Obama really does believe that people who do unethical things and go to great lengths to cover them up should be held accountable, unless they’re the bureaucrats and federal workers so many Democrats count on in order to get elected.


Arizona Sen. John McCain, who sponsored the Veterans Care Act in the Senate, is livid. He should be.

And what he said in a statement after learning of the administration’s decision is dead-on: “… for President Obama and Attorney General (Loretta) Lynch, the sanctity of a federal bureaucrat’s job is far more important than the health and well-being of our veterans.”

For shame.

Related Links