Why are we not really shocked that the Beltway drone that the Beltway dredged up to continue mismanaging the Veterans Administration is a Stolen Valor character, specifically, a Special Forces poseur?
McDonald graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975 and completed Army Ranger training before being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division until his retirement in 1980. According to the Huffington Post, while McDonald was formally recognized as a graduate of Ranger School, he never actually served in a Ranger battalion or other special operations unit.
“I have no excuse,” the website quoted McDonald as saying in its report. “I was not in special forces.”
Mac, “I have no excuse” worked when you were being braced by an upperclassman for violating some nit noy Point regulation or custom. What you have violated here is neither trivial nor excusable. It reveals a collossal lack of respect for those that you are ostensibly assisting. The only acceptable outcome is resignation or dismissal.
Funny thing: it almost certainly was a line he threw out in the direction of another phony.
In a statement released Monday by the VA, McDonald said: “While I was in Los Angeles, engaging a homeless individual to determine his veteran status, I asked the man where he had served in the military. He responded that he had served in special forces. I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces.
Like most Special Forces vets, we run into so many phonies that we’re pleasantly surprised when the guy with the SF hat, shirt or claim turns out to be the real thing. We have never encountered a homeless bum whose claims of veteran status were entirely true, and never encountered one who actually served in any SOF capacity. This is not saying that there are none, just that most veteran claims among the homeless are bullshit.
Kind of like McDonald’s, actually.
“That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement.”
“Inaccurate?” “Misstatement?” Bullshit, Mac. It was a lie. To put it in terms even a brainwashed Academy mind can understand, it was an Honor Code Violation. Remember that? It goes something like this:
“A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”
Let us explain how this works. You just blew it spectacularly on the first clause, and now the rest of us implement the second. You are lost. Your soul is forfeit. You are unfit for your position. You must resign. You may not believe it, serving as you do an Administration that had no qualms about a Secretary of State who also slung cross-border bullshit about his military career, another who “remembered” being under fire (but never was), and a Secretary of the Treasury who was a serial and decadelong tax chiseler.
You probably can’t understand this, in your monumental, towering self-regard, but you’ve blown it on this to a much greater level than if you simply were a greedy, crooked tax cheat like Timothy Geithner. This goes to your fitness for any job, but it goes doubly for your fitness for this job.
McDonald told the Huffington Post that he had “reacted spontaneously and … wrongly” in response to the homeless man’s claim.
What. The. Prevarication. “Reacted spontaneously?” Let’s throw some comparisons out there so you all can see what this really is.
When I met Richard Petty, I reacted spontaneously and told him I, too, was a NASCAR legend.
When I visited the Little Sisters of the Poor, I couldn’t resist telling my press retinue about my own formative period in a religious mendicant order.
When I ran in to Clint Eastwood out the back gate of DLI, I reacted spontaneously and told him I had three Oscars.
On touring Studio Two at Abbey Road, I was pleased to see they still had my guitar in the corner.
When Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey came to town, I reacted spontaneously and told a press conference I was the Flying Wallendas.
Something’s flying here, and it’s not Wallendas. No doubt they’re flying in Sarasota, getting ready for the season, and not lying about what they did and didn’t do. Which makes any one of them a better choice for Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs than McDonald.
What this is, of course, is narcissism writ so large that it’s swallowed the guy’s actual accomplishments, which are not trivial — if we can trust anything else he’s uttered. And there you see the reason for the Honor Code: it sheaths the credibility of a cadet and graduate of the Academy in the armor of righteousness. But that armor is hard to the point of brittleness: one crack and the whole thing goes. Q.E.D.
(The SF Honor Code, by the way, is nothing formal, but is what sociologists call “in-group morality,” aligning well with the Rogers Rangers Standing Order — as given in the mid-20th-Century book and movie Northwest Passage: “You can tell other folks anything you want about the Rangers, but don’t never lie to a Ranger nor officer.”)
Returning to the subject, we have never seen longterm good come out of employing narcissists. (“Spotlight Rangers” is an in-group term for ‘em). In a way, they’re a leader’s delight: keep the spotlight on ‘em, they perform highly. Easy! But they’re corrosive to trust in the ranks and up and down the chain of command.
The Navy frequently reports that it has sacked some captain or admiral because they have lost confidence in his or her ability to command. It’s been a cold end to many storied careers. Recently, the flailing Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, went to the politically friendly Gannett newspapers with a story that says the Army has relieved 139 battalion and brigade commanders over the last 10 years of so. (These are lieutenant colonels and colonels. For civilians, “relieved” is like being dropped from a particular management job, but it usually carries with it a delayed-action end of service. Our guess is about 10% of these reliefs have been performance problems, 50% have been conduct problems — diddling the help, and drinking-and-driving, mostly — and 40% have been failures of political correctness). The Army uses a rationale much like the Sea Service does: a colonel who has stepped on his Johnson in a public way has a hard time maintaining the confidence of troops and/or political leaders, so it’s time for that officer to go.
Secretary McDonald, what time is it?
But wait, he’s not done making excuses for himself.
“As I thought about it later, I knew that this was wrong,” McDonald said of his false statement.
What. The. — Wait, we already said that. Lord love a duck! You need to think about it later to understand that lying about your attainments is wrong? What else is AFU in that guy’s values and morals? What else is he lying about?
In our experience, with Stolen Valor guys it’s never just one incident and it’s never the only thing they’re bent about. There’s a lot of comorbidity with other kinds of corruption and crime. The only possible answer is dismissal.
Well, at least an Administration that’s stayed in practice by sacking scores and hundreds of ship skippers and battalion COs for lapses of PC will have no trouble firing the guy, right?
The White House released a statement Monday evening saying that it had accepted McDonald’s explanation.
“Secretary McDonald has apologized for the misstatement and noted that he never intended to misrepresent his military service,” the statement said. “We take him at his word and expect that this will not impact the important work he’s doing to promote the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans.”
Hey, because Stolen Valor doesn’t matter to them, either.
McDonald is a fraud, a poser and a phony. He’s fundamentally dishonest at something that goes to the core of his character and his fitness for this position.
If there was a strand of the Military Academy Cadet left inside him, he’d already have killed himself. But since there isn’t, McDonald must resign.
via VA Secretary Robert McDonald admits lying about Special Forces service | Fox News.