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The Blumenthal Story

By Matthew Yglesias on May 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

"The Blumenthal Story"

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For quite a long time now people have been urging Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to run for hire office, but he always seemed reluctant to go for the prize until this year Chris Dodd’s troubles forced him out of the Connecticut Senate race and Blumenthal in. Today’s New York Times story perhaps tells us what Blumenthal was worried about. It seems that while the Vietnam War was happening, he first sought and received a number of deferments and then, like George W Bush before him, got a relatively cushy stateside assignment (in Blumenthal’s case in the Marine Reserves instead of the Air National Guard) rather than combat duty. At times he’s simply alluded accurately, though arguably misleadingly, to having served in the “Vietnam era” (they actually gave out a medal for this even to people who never went to Vietnam, I believe my uncle Paul has one) but he’s also at times plainly told audiences that he served in Vietnam. He didn’t. It’ll be a blow.

And of course it’ll be a largely irrational blow. 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.

Meanwhile, if you want to see a really crazy story about lying check this guy out.

Update

Think I fixed that last link.

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