Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The almost Vietnam veteran 

It will be very interesting to see what kind of lawyerly language that Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, can use to overcome this article in the New York Times, as he campaigns this year for the U.S. Senate seat.

Uncle Jimbo over at BLACKFIVE is not amused, nor, I suspect, will many other milbloggers rally to Blumenthal's defense.

There is nothing wrong with not having served; there is nothing wrong with having served and not having been deployed overseas or in combat. There is, however, something very wrong when anyone -- especially an elected politician -- outright lies (or makes "plainly untrue" statements, to use the terminology of the NYT) about his service, in an effort to further his career.

I think it is too soon to predict that a Republican could win the seat that Chris Dodd is leaving.

UPDATE: Huffpo has a copy of the talking points that are being circulated in an effort to keep Blumenthal's campaign alive.
-In the past twenty years, Dick has attended literally hundreds of vets events, debates, news conferences where he was clear, honest, and proud about his service in the Marine Corps Reserve. In fact, as recently as the US Senate debate on March 1, 2010, Blumenthal clearly stated "serving in the United States military gave me a perspective as well, even in the reserves. Although I did not serve in Vietnam, I have seen first-hand the affects of military action, and no one wants it to be the first resort, nor do we want to mortgage the countries future...."

-Dick has been a constant champion of veterans and of the military. Today Connecticut veterans will come together to show they have his back, just like he has had theirs.

-On a few occasions out of hundreds, Dick misspoke and he'll be the first to admit that those were mistakes. That doesn't take anything away from Dick's service or his long record of standing up for veterans - he is known throughout the state as a strong advocate for vets services and benefits.

-His opponent's campaign admits they are the ones who cherry-picked the quotes and are behind the hit piece. It is no surprise Linda McMahon would want to smear the Attorney General, considering all of the debauchery at the WWF under her watch, including her attempt to interfere with an investigation into widespread drug abuse.
(Emphasis added)

It's probably the best tactic available to the campaign to try and place his "plainly untrue" statements in an overall context -- that in the vast majority of cases of speaking in public, he told the truth about his military service. That might lead to a good campaign slogan for any politician of any party: I tell the truth most of the time. There might even be a game show or a reality show TV concept in there somewhere.

There is a certain irony that Linda McMahon's campaign evidently fed the story to the NYT. It's not as if World Wrestling Entertainment (the company she has run with her husband Vince) is expert at distinguishing fact from fiction.

CWCID: Hot Air


By Blogger MTF, at Tue May 18, 09:31:00 AM:

If Blumenthal is irretrievably damaged, we'll just see some other Democrat step into the breach.

What's amazing to me about this is that the NYT is the source of the report. Obviously they were forced to print the article, since perhaps their sources were ready to go to the Post or the Daily News if the Times was too reluctant, but even still...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue May 18, 10:05:00 AM:

Yeah, the NYT has always been unconcerned by lies told by eastern democrats. They'd normally leave stories like this for the National Enquirer.
I always thought Dodd would reneg and pull a Lautenberg. After all, he still needs an all weather tennis court and swimming pool for his Irish palace.
And, of course, maybe the NYT outed Blumethal only because that's the pro-Dodd move.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue May 18, 10:44:00 AM:

I suspect this is a non-issue among East Coast Democrats, possibly even a badge of honor.  

By Blogger PD Quig, at Tue May 18, 02:13:00 PM:

On hundreds of occasions I have reported correct information to the IRS. I would readily admit that it was a mistake on my part to have not done so on several occasions.

There, now can't I just move on?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue May 18, 02:55:00 PM:

On further thought, the NYT has only two objectives, to weaken the fabric of American culture and to worship Lord Obama.
The NYT would not have printed this story without first having passed it by the White House. Why would Obama/Obama owners have been willing to take such a shot at Blumenthal? What did he do?  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Wed May 19, 12:56:00 AM:

Blumenthal bears a bit of a resemblance to another guy, no?  

By Anonymous Sally, at Wed May 19, 08:21:00 AM:

It makes it worse in a way, just lying about it some of the time, because it shows his complete disregard not just for the truth but also for any sense that it even mattered. Most guys who invent combat stories at least stay consistent with the lie. But to bounce in and out of the truth when it suited him means he thought he'd never get caught or if he did that he'd be able to lie his way out of it with some convenient explanation. Classic baby boomer behavior.  

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