A FAREWELL LETTER TO JIM NICHOLSON


Dear Jim,

Well, you've had your day in the sun. You've played with the Big Boys, which is something you've wanted to do for a long time, isn't it!

Rest assured that you will not be remembered by anyone but an angry crowd of veterans who will mutter your name in utter disdain. You sold them out for the price of having your easily forgotten, temporarily stenciled name on an office door.

A few of us actually realize that you didn't create the bulk of the problems that plague the Department of Veterans Affairs. Those were created by other incompetent lackeys that preceded you, but you did add a few kinks that have caused significant heartache and legal turmoil, which the veteran community definitely didn't need.

What you didn't do was solve any of the existing problems. In the two short years you so faithfully represented everyone but your sworn-to constituency, you managed to set veteran causes back several years in their quest for equality and justice under the law. We'll gain that back in the long run. But we'll also bring to light the true extent of your involvement in any questionable dealings you may have been involved in.

You claimed pride in your work with land acquisition in Denver that was actually finished before you ever took office. Or did you perhaps play some role in those dealings at an earlier time? We're looking into that, and we'll sort it out.

You're putting up for sale some of the sacred land of veteran cemeteries, and we'll also look into that. And when there are any questions that arise, we promise to bring you back out into the spotlight in a heart beat. You may escape jail time, but you won't escape our scrutiny and a public pillorying. You'll actually be forgotten all the sooner proportionate to the depth of the hole you dug for yourself in what's left of the moral fabric of America.

I sometimes have read press releases that said you did something or other. But from here on the street, I can honestly confirm that those announcements were nothing but a ruse -- a smoke screen thrown up to cover your ineptitude.

The most significant problem with your time in office, Jim, was that you knew you were being used and you were willing to let that happen in your mindless and spineless commitment to a fleeting moment of pseudo-glory. It is people who commit such cowardly acts that history quickly relegates to where they belong; to the rubbish heap of public abuse and dishonesty. You were, quite simply, a clueless, uncaring, indifferent and selfish public servant. I consider that description to be a very kind summary of the best of your term.

You never gave a thought to donning the mantle of responsibility your office required. You seemed to concentrate more on ways to duck the responsibilities of your alleged position of authority. But all that missing data didn't help much, although you still kept your head down, which was exactly the wrong response.

You served your time as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in a truly meretricious manner. Such is the price of politics. You've paved your own way to unnameable misery with your Faustian Deal. Don't ever expect any veteran to come to your aid in this life or any other.

As you put another phony career behind you, rest assured that the only hard to deal with effects you've left behind are with the printers who need to typeset a new name on the DVA letterhead and the scraping sound of the painter removing your name from the door.


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