While my fellow bloggers explore the philosophical foundations of libertarianism, let me turn to matters more
pedestrian: elections. Having been a resident of the nutmeg state for the past two decades, Richard Blumenthal has been as constant and as exciting a presence as steamed cheeseburgers (believe it or not, they do that in some parts of Connecticut).
With Senator Chris Dodd’s retirement from the Senate, it appeared that Attorney General Blumenthal would have a cakewalk as the next Democratic Senator from Connecticut.
Today’s New York Times reports that Blumenthal has misrepresented his Vietnam era service. Here is one of many examples. When he proclaimed: “We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” he meant the days he served in the Marine Reserves where he “conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive.”
The Times reports that Blumenthal responded to the findings by saying that he lied “misspoke” on this and other occasions. “My intention has always been to be completely clear and accurate and straightforward, out of respect to the veterans who served in Vietnam.”
Will any of this matter? Only time will tell. The capacity to “misspeak” and dissemble appears to be a prerequisite for service in Washington (note to self: only Republicans routinely lie). If Blumenthal survives the next few days and reports for duty in the next Congress, he will already have proven that he has the skills necessary to frankly address the looming entitlement crisis and many other problems that will challenge policymakers of both parties in decades to come.
Mike Allen and Alexander Burns (Politico) have an interesting piece linking the revelations to the campaign of World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder Linda McMahon, who hopes to be the Republican nominee in the Senate race.
A candidate who misleads the public about his days in Vietnam versus a candidate who made untold millions from staging fake wrestling matches. Either would undoubtedly have the skill set necessary for the twenty-first century Senate.
God Save the Republic