Democrats have spoken: Lying is not disqualifying for the U.S. Senate

Connecticut Democrats took a stand Friday: they nominated Attorney General Richard Blumenthal by voice vote as their candidate for the U. S. Senate. Lying about having served in Vietnam. No problem.


Is Blumenthal sorry? Not on your life. Instead of apologizing he said, “I may have misspoken—I did misspeak on a few occasions out of hundreds, and I will not allow anyone to take a few of those misplaced words and impugn my record of service.”


Misspoken? Misspeaking is calling one grandchild by another grandchild’s name. Misspeaking is saying 2009 when you mean 2010. Misspeaking is NOT saying he served in Vietnam when he didn’t, or saying “When we came back, we were spat on; we couldn’t wear our uniforms. Those are lies.

Not a big problem for his party, however. From White House spokesman Robert Gibbs:

I have not heard anything from the (White House) political shop that would lead me to believe anything other than our continued support.”

From Democratic Senate Campaign chairman Robert Menendez: I’ll take a crusading attorney general who DID serve in the Marines, vs. [Republican] candidate, Linda McMahon, who actually operated the World Wrestling Entertainment, which became a dirty business.


Searching for a leading Democrat who actually express unqualified disapproval of Blumenthal’s lies, I could find nobody more prominent that ex-Dem National Committee member Robert Zimmerman, who said, “It’s unconscionable for [him] not to have set the record straight with all the misstatements about his military service in the past. It’s unconscionable for him to repeat those statements – false statements about his military service, and I think very frankly the Democrats of Connecticut have got to make it clear to him that he has to apologize, and I’m not following – by the way, I’m differentiating myself from many of the Democratic pundits who are following the party talking points.”


Hooray for Zimmerman, whoever he is. At least there’s one ethical Democrat in public life. Too bad there aren’t more.

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11 Responses to “Democrats have spoken: Lying is not disqualifying for the U.S. Senate”

  1. Jack Marshall Says:

    Bob, I am so disheartened by this. I would expect either party to regard this level of long-term misrepresentation, especially on this topic, to be a pure disqualification. I can’t believe there are not honest and qualified Democrats that would carry the party’s banner honorably in November. A party that won’t reject such a candidate endorses his character as its own. The message: honestly isn’t really that important to us. Good to know.

    The media partisans also are disgracing themselves: Maureen Dowd’s column attempted to explain Blumenthal’s lies as “wishful thinking” rather than efforts to deceive, and attempted to minimize them by citing other’s who have misrepresented themselves—Hillary, Biden, Gore—who (according to her) distinguished themselves later. The old “not all liars are bad” defense. Pathetic.

    Of course, I wouldn’t trust any of them, but none (with the exception, perhaps, of our Sec. of State) come close to matching Blumenthal.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    I’m distressed too. I thought that the Connecticut Dems would be m,ore honorable. Maybe they still will–there’s talk of Delaurp or Kennedy replacing Blumenthal. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

    I think Biden’s “plagiarism” wasn’t really a sin, more an honest mistake–he credited the Brit many times, just missed once. I can’t imagine what was in Clinton’s mind in the Bosnia lie. And I’m not sure what Gore’s misrepresentation you’re referring to. But Blumenthal’s lie–terrible–and no apology or acknowledgement. Ugh.

  3. Jack Marshall Says:

    I have decided, after watching and listening to Joe Biden, that he is the one politician from whom the “I misspoke” excuse is credible, even with the Kinnock speech. Biden says such mind-blowing things with such regularity that I think almost any verbal mistake is possible, including declaring that he is Marie of Rumania. I think Joe is an honest guy. I don’t know what to make of Gore, who is one of the more tragic/complex/fascinating figures of our times. He has a penchant for exaggerating, as in his role in “creating” the internet, his and Tipper being “models” for “Love Story.” I can’t forgive him for his over-the-top praise of Clinton on the day he was impeached (He paid the price, for sure.)

  4. Ethics Bob Says:

    Gore IS fascinating. I worked for him for six years, very closely for three. He was a terrific boss, trusting his staff, inviting disagreement and truth-telling, making people laugh, listening intently, and working harder than anyone. His impeachment day defense of Clinton was horrifying and demoralizing to many of us.

    I think it was his sense of duty overpowering his sense of right and wrong. He attempted to correct this by excluding Clinton from his Presidential campaign, and even distancing himself from the many achievements of the Clinton Presidency. It cost Gore the Presidency, in my opinion.

    The internet thing is a bad rap. I could never find any evidence that he claimed to have invented the internet or anything close to that claim. He tried to laugh it off, but it dogs him to this day.

  5. Jack Marshall Says:

    It definite cost him the presidency, and I’m sure he knows it. I’ll cut Al a break any time I can—to be one of the four Presidential candidates to lose despite winning the popular vote (and only one of two not to become President eventually anyway) has to be an incredible burden. Any excess or error he commits from then on has to be received with some empathy, if not approval. His concession speech to Bush was one of the finest moments any politician has every had; his Saturday Night Live appearance was hands down the strangest.

  6. Ethics Bob Says:

    Missed him on SNL. My favorite was his appearance on Letterman in Sept 1993–I gave him the government ashtray, made to a twenty-page government spec, which he “destructively tested” by smashing it.

  7. Jack Marshall Says:

    You have to find a way to see Gore on SNL. They will be using that in civics and psychology classes until the end of time.

  8. Ethics Bob Says:

    I tracked it down. It’s super-wonderful–the guy that I knew: http://www.funlol.com/8570/Al_Gore_on_SNL!.html

  9. Ethics Bob Says:

    Or did you mean this one, with Seth Meyers from 2009–it’s cute, but rather bland: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/22/al-gore-on-saturday-night_n_366792.html

  10. Jack Marshall Says:

    You have to see the whole show…he hosted. In particular, the skit in which he visits the West Wing set and sits alone in the “Oval Office”, pretending to answer the Red Phone. It was funny, disturbing, brave, and sad.

  11. Two follow-ups: Muslims near Ground Zero in New York City, and Connecticut voter reaction to Blumenthal’s lies « Ethics Bob Says:

    […] poll of Connecticut voters showed only 33 percent were less likely to vote for Blumenthal after he lied about serving as a Marine in Vietnam. Sixty-one percent said it doesn’t make a difference. […]

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