As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, Deficit Commission co-chair Alan Simpson recently started a political firestorm by complaining that veterans benefits allocated for servicemembers exposed to Agent Orange run “contrary to efforts to control federal spending.” He even went as far as to say that “the irony” is that “the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess.”
Now, veterans advocacy group VoteVets, the nation’s largest progressive veterans organization, is calling on President Obama to fire Alan Simpson. Citing not only his comments about veterans benefits but also his earlier remarks comparing Social Security to a “milk cow with 310 million tits,” VoteVets asks that Obama remove Simpson from “his current position so that the commission can continue its work in a way that will give the military community — and all Americans — confidence in the conclusions it reaches”:
The nation’s largest progressive veterans organization, VoteVets.org, is calling on President Obama to relieve former Senator Alan Simpson from his chairmanship of a deficit reduction commission for defamatory comments about veterans. [...]
His comments came on the heels of outrageous comments about seniors and others on Social Security, as well as women. The veterans pointed to those comments as well, but wrote that Simpson’s attacks on ill veterans compelled them to write. They said firing Simpson was a matter of honoring our veterans. [...] “We ask that you remove [Simpson] from his current position so that the commission can continue its work in a way that will give the military community–and all Americans–confidence in the conclusions it reaches,” the letter concludes.
Additionally, last night on Countdown With Keith Olbermann, Paul Sullivan, executive director of the veterans advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense appeared to call for Simpson to be fired as well, saying he was “absolutely not” the right person to be co-chairing the commission. When Olbermann asked Sullivan if the the ex-senator should be fired, Sullivan replied, “Let me put it to you politely. There’s lots of work for out of work politicians in Washington. I’ll leave it at that.” Watch it: