Shifting Priorities

There’s an old Soviet-era joke that I remember from when I was a kid.  A Soviet radio station in Minsk was broadcasting a talk show.  The host said “Minsk is the most beautiful city in all of the Soviet Union”.  

A caller rang in, and asked “what do you think of the story that the Americans will be targeting nuclear weapons at all of our biggest, most important cities?”

The host immediately chimed in saying “Smolensk is the most beautiful city on all of the Soviet Union!”.

Two years ago, when the DFL ran former sergeant Steve Sarvi against (retired Marine colonel) John Kline in CD2, and former Marine lawyer Ashwin Madia against Erik Paulsen in CD3, military service was high on the DFL’s list of qualifications.  Very, very high, in fact.

This past year – especially with former Navy fighter pilot Dan Severson running on the GOP slate for Secretary of State, and former Navy helicopter pilot Chip Cravaack running against Jim Oberstar in CD8, that particular meme has disappeared from all DFL chanting.

But I have a hunch it’s going to disappear a lot more:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut finds Blumenthal with just a three-point advantage over Linda McMahon, 48% to 45%. Two weeks ago, he led the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment by 13 percentage points. The New York Times story broke late Monday; the survey was taken Tuesday evening.

Blumenthal is the anointed replacement for Christopher Dodd in Connecticut.  The NYTimes ran a story busting him saying he’d been in Vietnam when he had not.

To be fair, he spent the last years of the Vietnam War in a Marine Reserve unit in DC.

To be even more fair, isn’t that the kind of thing that the left raked George W. Bush and Dan Quayle over for?

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11 thoughts on “Shifting Priorities

  1. Remember this little fib:

    “I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared — seared — in me.”

    Seems Blumenthal has taken a page out of Kerry’s book of deception.

  2. There is a difference in their Guard histories….Bush 43 flew fighter jets over the Gulf of Mexico, Blumenthal did parade’s in DC.

  3. That’s not fair Chuck! They also organized Toys for Tots drives, which in DC at the time counted as hazardous duty.

  4. And coup-de-gras – one of the “Marines” who flanked him yesterday when Prick Blumenthal made his “in” means “during” “clarification” is a known fake vet.

  5. To be even more fair, isn’t that the kind of thing that the left raked George W. Bush and Dan Quayle over for?

    Sure. But the standard of the Good Guys (anywhere along the political spectra) should be higher than that of those who, well, aren’t. And, also to be fair, what Blumenthal is being raked over the coals for is mostly his, err, terminological inexactitude of where he served, not over the notion that there’s something wrong with serving in the Marine Reserve.

    In unrelated news, the Connecticut Attorney General has announced an investigation of WWE. Apparently, there’s a suspicion that some of the fights are fixed.

  6. terminological inexactitude

    exactly which part of “We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” is not exact?

    Better sit down – you must be really dizzy from the spin.

  7. Has there been any instances of GOP candidates, or elected members, having been caught stealing valor? I can’t think of any.

  8. I bet “Two putt” Tommy Johnson remembers walking point on all those harrowing night patrols in the La Drang Valley with Blumenthal.

  9. And, also to be fair, what Blumenthal is being raked over the coals for is mostly his, err, terminological inexactitude of where he served, not over the notion that there’s something wrong with serving in the Marine Reserve.

    Well, yeah, Joel, because he was misrepresenting his service He was saying “In Vietnam.” Now he’s saying “during Vietnam.” To make the degree of, err, terminological inexactitude clear, consider the example I saw yesterday, in which the Village People song title is “During the Navy.”

    And IIRC, Quayle’s supposed sin was being in the National Guard rather than serving active duty. I don’t recall that Quayle ever claimed to have served in Vietnam. So this is worse, doncha think?

  10. I think it’s hard to compare the two. The complaint about Quayle is that, while then (supposedly; I dunno) a strong supporter of the Vietnam war, he arranged to get himself into a safe National Guard spot as a stateside journalist. The (legitimate, it seems to me) complaint about Blumenthal is that he’s puffed his resume in a particularly noisesome and dishonest way. Worse? Probably. But very different.

    It’s good for the comics, though: “even Jane Fonda spent more time in Vietnam than Blumenthal.” And, “yeah, he saw a lot of combat in Vietnam — it was right there, on the tv in his DC apartment.”

    And Swiftee, well, yeah, depending on what your definition is — Ronald Reagan on more than one occasion talked about being a photographer at the death camps, despite having served, honorably but entirely stateside, in the Army Air Corps film unit. (See Lou Cannon’s bio.)

    Just to be clear: I’m not making excuses for Blumenthal, anymore than I would for Spitzer — and for about the same reason: both men have prosecuted people for the sort of behavior that they’ve done, unrepentant ,until caught (or, in Blumenthal’s case, apparently unrepentant after being caught).

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