Over the weekend, Democrats gathered around a bunch of spades to dig the first shovels-full of dirt marking the rise of a new $300 million Veterans hospital in Aurora.
It took ten years to get there, eight of them during the Republican George W. Bush administration, but only eight months since the election of Barack Obama.
According to the Denver Post, actual construction on the project won't start until June, which may be a better time to celebrate the decision of the federal government to build the hospital, given the history of the project.
Before I left ColoradoBiz (in 2007), I had a writer do a profile of then Veteran's Administration head Jim Nicholson who was one of the several VA secretaries to go round and round on the project, but Nicholson did his job for local vets by getting it back on track.
Unfortunately, Nicholson's successor put it off track again, and Saturday's groundbreaking was the closest point yet veterans from the region have come to being assured the new hospital will be there for them if they live long enough to be served in it.
The federal commitment is an example of how Democrats just do it, rather than yak, yak, yak about it, like Republicans want to do on health-care reform, in order to keep the federal government from spending money.
Building a state-of-the-art hospital for vets from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as vets from the first Iraq war, the Korean War, Vietnam, and many of the conflicts in between, helps fulfill one of Obama's campaign promises: To get Iraq and Afghanistan wounded proper and on-going treatment. But you won't hear many bipartisans making that point.
Still, it is what Democrats do, besides tax and spend, as they are constantly accused of doing. They tax, yes. But they also spend tax money on government service to its people. Even when they have to borrow billions of dollars to do it.
Democrats believe the people they serve are worth government support. It's time Republican elected officials begin to do the same.