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18 May 2010

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Ken

"Politicians lie..." It's the nature of the beast.

Thank you Founding Fathers for the first amendment and freedom of the press.

Matthew

Col: Let us hope so.

The beaver

Col.

It is not only the Vietnam war- my dad who volunteered for WWII witnessed quite a few of those "Pseudo-WWII the big One" vets also in the 60's ( when we didn't have Internet). After a few times of listening to their lies, he used to challenge them to come out clean......

Lord Curzon

The man is clearly a Walter Mitty of epic proportions, and isn't fit to lick the boots of those who've served and died in that faraway place.

walrus

The British call them "Walts" - Walter Mittys.

We get a few of them every year around Anzac Day.

greg0

It's a lie that doesn't make much sense according to Nate Silver at 538.com.
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/05/in-connecticut-dems-may-need-to-draft.html

Cynthia

I already know that many of our politicians are chickenhawks:

http://www.awolbush.com/whoserved.html

But what I'd like to know is how many of our multi-starred generals running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are chickenhawks as well. Something tells me, though I don't know for sure, that very few of them have ever put their lives directly on the line in real-life combat -- minus any of that play stuff they do on weekends from time to time.

This leads me to say that I think as long as the US is thought of as having the most powerful military on the planet, we'll continue to keep our generals in power, even if none of them can win a war against an enemy whose firepower is far beneath ours. If we don't, we'll be sending a message to the world that having a military that dwarfs all others by a long shot is not what it's cracked up to be, forcing us to give up many our military (mis)adventures around the globe. Something similar can be said about our banking system. As long as the US is thought of as the world's leader in finance, we'll keep our bankers rolling in the dough, if even the vast majority of them are lousy at investing. If we don't, we'll be sending a message to the world that our banking system is no longer up to snuff, forcing us to hand some of our financial power over to one or several of the BRIC countries.

The Moar You Know

Stolen Valor is a great book.

As to the why, well, I run into people who do this all the time. They usually have a drink in their hand or close by. They usually talk tough and obviously are not fit enough to walk up a hill. They usually have large gun collections. And for some reason, it's always Vietnam that they claim to have served in, despite quite a few of these folks being far too young to have served there. Most of those could more convincingly claim the Gulf War, but they don't. I have some theories as to why.

The most important common denominator is that they are, regardless of what they have or have not achieved in life, horribly, profoundly insecure.

Blumenthal is done. I'm sorry about the resources that my party put into trying to run him; maybe they'll do some basic background investigation of candidate claims next time.

Nancy K

He was also inconsistent, in a speech he gave earlier this year, he clearly stated he had never served in Vietnam, yet he has also stated that he had. The only thing worse that a liar is a bad liar.

par4

Five deferments just like Dick Cheney and Saxby Chambliss. Served in Nixon administration.Switched to Democrat to run in Connecticut.When I don't know,but apparently he's just another professional politician that will do anything to get elected.

Jan P

Let us hope his political career is dead. This isn't the only thing;there was an article about him that touted his being captain on the Harvard swim team. Except Harvard has no record of his having been on the swim team. Not what the country or his state needs.

The Moar You Know

I hate doing a walkback, but I've got to. This is apparently the only time he has stated that he served in Vietnam. He has previously stated, often, that he served DURING Vietnam, not that he was there.

Facts are important, and I jumped on the bandwagon sooner than I should have, without due diligence.

Cato the Censor

This phenomenon is apparently universal and at least as old as Homer. I had a Cuban high school Spanish teacher decades ago who claimed to be a veteran of the Bay of Pigs. Recently, with my curiosity prompted by a recent book about Fidel Castro's health, I checked several online rosters of the membership of Battalion 2506. My teacher wasn't on any of them. This did me no real harm, but I really don't appreciate the guy lying like that to me and bunch of other, naive 16-year old kids.

graywolf

I lived in Conn. for 26 years.
Do NOT under-estimate the far left politics prevalent there.
In America, Blumenthal is a never-was.
In Conn., maybe not.
Who knows...he might get an honorary degree from Yale.

different clue

It must be some kind of emotional or psychological problem. Someone as smart as Blumenthal would have to know that a mere resume-padding lie would be discovered. But a Walter Mittystyle fantasy reconstruction of a life one wishes one would have lived can dissolve the mental barrier between did and woulda.

And as The Moar You Know points out, he usually described himself as having served "during" the Vietnam War. Perhaps overtiredness broke down his normal caution-based separation of the remembered and the wished-for.

RA15665805

I served(Army) and proud of it.My age(67) could lead to some thinking I am a Vietnam Vet.I was discharged Oct.64 and have ALWAYS and AUTOMATICALY said that I wasn't there and NEVER even hinted that I might have been.Those who lie are always caught out,sometimes within a few minutes.Some would say to feel sorry for them,but I cannot........A Navy Vietnam Vet I know laughs about making Ice Cream for 6 months aboard ship.

matt

I really liked what Matt Yglesias had to say about this today:

US Senate elections are not nearly as complicated as voters generally seem to think. If you live in Connecticut and you generally like Barack Obama’s legislative agenda that Blumenthal—or almost any other Democrat for that matter—can be counted on to reliably support said agenda, with some exceptions for idiosyncratic Connecticut-related concerns. Conversely, even a relatively moderate Republican like Rob Simmons will mostly act to obstruct said agenda and will generally vote in favor of the agenda of the next Republican president. Which is just to say that partisanship predicts a lot about legislative behavior and past military service or past baffling and opportunistic deception predicts very little. But of course the famed swing voter doesn’t see things that way.

WILL

This could a blessing in disguise if it knocks him out of the senate race. Richard B. appears to be a churner of lawsuits.

JM

There are something like 9 "personality disorders" in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

According to my wife the psychoanalyst, all of us exhibit (to varying degrees of course) one or more of the "symptoms" of one or more of the 9 disorders.

A person is "personality disordered" when they exhibit enough "symptoms", and severely enough, that their behavior becomes dysfunctional.

Long way of saying that Blumenthal needs therapy. And he doesn't need to be a leader.

Redhand

What's especially galling is this clown's Cheney-like string of five deferments before landing a sinecure in the USMC Reserve, where the most warlike thing he ever did was take part in their "Toys-for-Tots" mission.

And he has the nerve to call himself a Vietnam Vet? What a jerk!

R Whitman

I am with RA above. I served in the Army after Korea and before Vietnam.

I did my overseas service in Louisiana.

I meet a number of the "truthiness" tellers at the target range each month. Invariably they own an AR15, SKS, AK47 or AK74.

J

Blumenthal needs to be dropped in sheep-dip!

Bart

I'm confused about the reserves back during Viet Nam. I was in the Marines for three years in the late 1950s peacetime. Afterwards I had a reserve obligation of some kind and remember being uneasy in the mid-60s even though I was by then into my 30s. Wasn't Viet Nam sucking up many reservists?

Norm Mosher

Hey, JM, I wonder what your wife says about Sarah Palin and narcissistic personality disorder?

Norman Rogers

This incident revealed to me that there really are things you can get away with in the eyes of certain bloggers on the Left, specifically the ones who rushed to defend Blumenthal by using the argument that "other politicians have done the same thing."

That's not a valid defense. It's an intellectually dishonest excuse for a career-ending bit of resume enhancement. There will be Republicans and Democrats who will probably try this in the future. How they are treated will be determined by what party they're in. And that's a crap sandwich, served open faced.

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