Ronny Jackson is in serious trouble
By now you’ve likely heard that White House physician, and Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Ronny Jackson, is in some hot water.
A number of whistleblowers have stepped forward with claims that Jackson dispenses prescription drugs to staff with such abandon he is called “the candy man,” and that Jackson has been drunk on the job to the point that the Secret Service had to intervene to stop him from banging on the door or a female aide during one of President Obama’s foreign trips.
These allegations not only call into question Jackson’s fitness to be VA secretary, they also raise serious concerns about Jackson’s current employment as White House physician, his continued use of his medical license, and a possible military court martial.
Illegally-dispensing prescription drugs and being publicly drunk on the job are court martialable offenses. Especially when your job is protecting the life of the president of the United States. There is no margin of error in that kind of a commission. (Any normal service member would be in a whole heap of Trump for doing what Jackson is alleged to have done, so it’s almost – almost – not even relevant just high-level his job really is, other than its sets a horrible example for, sends an awful message to, the troops.)
Now, we don’t know yet whether these allegations are true. We do know, however, that there is no way this nomination should move forward, and it’s bizarre that Jackson has yet to remove his name from consideration. In politics, this is a no-brainer. Sometimes nominations get to the point where they are so damaging to the administration, the nominee, and their family, that the nominee simply must step down. Jackson’s nomination reached that point last night. Yet today, the White House is still vociferously defending his “impeccable” credentials, and Jackson has yet to do the right thing.
And that is pure Trump. I suspect that Jackson tried to offer pulling the nomination, and perhaps even his own resignation, but Trump said “no way, we’re gonna fight this!” But Trump’s ignorant and amoral exuberance is no excuse for Jackson going along for the ride. Anyone with a modicum of self-awareness and self-respect would have pulled their nomination and resigned hours ago.
In the end, the question confronting us isn’t whether Jackson should still be Secretary of Veterans’ affairs. The real question is why he still has a job at the White House and a security clearance, and whether he now loses his medical license, military commission, and freedom to boot.
Had a service member of lesser-rank stood accused of public drunkeness on the job while working directly for the commander in chief, sexually harassing a woman on the job and while under the influence, and illegally dispensing prescription drugs, they’d find themselves facing a court martial investigation.