In a valuable account of the various things Republicans have done to reduce veterans funding before suddenly become the Vet’s best friend in order attack the Obama administration for problems with the VA health system, TNR’s Alec MacGillis offers this pertinent question after citing data on rapidly increasing brain injury claims:

Something, it appears, happened around 2003 that caused the rate of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. military to spike. Now what could that have been? Whatever it was, it happened while Barack Obama was in the Illinois state Senate, giving an obscure speech against invading Iraq. He is now having to reckon with the fallout from that event, as is his responsibility to do as commander in chief. But you’d think that those who had actually played a part in bringing about that event would have enough self-awareness to resist scoring political points off of the years-later fallout. Apparently, though, even that is too much to ask.

Rand Paul and Walter Jones can proceed with sharp questions about the overloading of the VA health system. Other Republicans, and quite a few Democrats, need to give this one a pass.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.