On the one hand, Pete Hegseth claims he never washes his hands and Brian Kilmeade gestated for nine months in a Folgers can full of bathtub gin*, so the stuff they say is bound to make little to no sense. On the other hand, they’re regulars on Fox & Friends, which is Donald Trump’s favorite show. So, yeah, they’re basically determining government policy.
Which is why the following exchange is particularly alarming.
PETE HEGSETH (FOX NEWS HOST): This is a really complicated discussion. This is about disability ratings, which isn’t always necessarily tied to health care but the idea that this — the health care you get is about service-connected disabilities. If you go to war, and you get injured, we’ll take care of you. So when you come home, they try to rate how disabled you are and that’s how much care you get. Well, I could be rated for 50% right now if I wanted to be. I mean, just to have a totally — and vets know this out there, I could do ear, and ankle, and knee, and back.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Because it’s proportional, right?
HEGSETH: Because it’s proportional for different injuries that you have. Groups out there — vets groups, mostly — encourage vets to apply for every government benefit they can ever get after they leave the service.
DOOCY: Why not?
HEGSETH: Because — well, why not, right, if government’s giving it out. To me, the ethos of service is I served my country because I love my country and I’m going to come home and start the next chapter of my life. And if I’ve got a chronic condition, mental, physical, otherwise, the government better be there for me. But otherwise, I don’t want to be dependent if I don’t have to be.
KILMEADE: You got to have integrity. You got to have personal integrity.
HEGSETH: Well and right now a lot of groups are convincing vets to give — get, take more from the system as opposed to just what you need for the service you gave.
Oh, and Hegseth isn’t just another idiot. He’s an idiot who was once on the short list to become Donald Trump’s secretary of veterans affairs. And knowing Trump, that could still happen.
Now, I’m not a veteran, but if Republicans had sent me off to a war based on false pretenses and I came back with PTSD or any other debilitating condition, I would hope my country would take care of me. But for today’s conservatives, patriotism is apparently just about dry-humping flags and stirring up racial animosity over national anthem protests.
Veterans? Ah, they’re a bunch of entitled layabouts who didn’t have sense enough to pretend to have bone spurs. They need to get off their shrapnel-riddled asses, tout de suite. We have upper-class tax breaks to give out.
What has this country become?
*I don’t know this for a fact, I should make that clear. I heard. Many people are saying.