Another Democrat falls, another Senate seat opens up for the Republicans

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s crusading Attorney General who had been considered a shoo-in for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Christopher Dodd, has ceased being a shoo-in and may be finished. For many years he has told constituents, reporters, and veterans’ groups that he had served as a Marine in the Vietnam War, when in fact all his service was stateside in the Marine Corps Reserve. As astonishing as the story is its venue: the New York Times. And the treatment Blumenthal gets in the article is merciless, basically destroying the political future of this prominent liberal Democrat. Is this a new New York Times?

But what drives people to tell lies about their record that can so easily be found out? Remember Hillary Clinton’s tale of running from a helicopter under gunfire at an airport in the Balkans—as though anyone would have put the U.S. President’s wife in such danger? And what about the estimable historian Joseph Ellis, who made up a non-existent background as a Vietnam vet? There is something about wanting to make the best impression possible on other people, especially when one is in the public eye, that irresistibly leads some individuals to make up personal exploits that never occurred.

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Richard W. writes:

The question to ask about the New York Times outing of Blumenthal is “who benefits”. I’m not in New York, but I assume this was done before the primary, so some other candidate may now win the nomination. I would assume, that for whatever reason, that candidate is the one favored by the NY Times.

I believe these powerful media organizations keep some stories “queued up” to push elections. Remember the Bush ‘drunk driving’ story broke a few days before W’s first election. I believe the LA Times tried to do the same thing to Arnold a few days back.

Who benefits? I am sure the answer will show that it’s not the GOP candidate.

NP writes:

Not to defend the man, but as anyone who knows Connecticut politics knows, Blumenthal speaks constantly. Isn’t it possible that out of the hundres of times he mentioned his career he mispoke a time or two? Of course what I find suspicious is that these occasions appear to be at patriotic and veterans’ events.

BTW, is it true that soldiers were spit on, etc. when returning from Vietnam? It reminds me of the “Irish need not apply” signs and posters that no one has been able to find.

LA replies:

Re your last point, I just read a posted at who said that when he came back from Vietnam, via California, all the men changed to civilian clothes at that point. Here it is:

Reply 7 - Posted by: lazyman, 5/18/2010 6:50:26 AM

Funny, when I came back from Vietnam in late 1972, I was discharged from California. We all put civilian clothes on to get home because we didn’t want to deal with anyone. The press had controlled many to hate us. Now since the press likes vets this jerk wants to use Vietnam to advance himself, Connecticut gets what it deserves.

Kristor writes:

Richard W. asks who benefits from the NY Times squealing on Richard Blumenthal. The Democrats do. The Times could have sat on the story, but they figured it would come out eventually. If they sat on it, “eventually” would most likely be after Blumenthal had captured the Democratic nomination. That would totally destroy any chance the Democrats had to retain the Dodd seat. They destroyed Blumenthal pre-emptively, so that some other Dem with less of a tainted past could get the nod and run unencumbered by ethics issues.

LA replies:

Enlightened self-interest driving people to behave in an ethical manner? What is the world coming to?

Kristor replies:

Ethical? Yeah, ethical like Machiavelli.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 18, 2010 12:02 AM | Send

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