Editorial: Blumenthal dishonors vets
The Connecticut attorney general no longer deserves his party's nomination for Senate.
Connecticut Democrats need a better U.S. Senate candidate than Richard Blumenthal. A man who lies about serving in the military has no place in federal office.
For years, Blumenthal, now Connecticut's attorney general, led people to believe he served in Vietnam during the war. He referenced his service in speeches and let news reports about it stand.
The New York Times this week reported Blumenthal was mistaken about his own military record. He did not serve in Vietnam. He received a number of deferrals and ultimately joined the Marine Reserve, which all but guaranteed he would not head into combat. The paper found all this out thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.
Blumenthal said he misspoke on occasion. "My intention has always been to be completely clear and accurate and straightforward, out of respect to the veterans who served in Vietnam," he told The Times.
Misspeaking is getting a month wrong, saying one headed to Vietnam in March when one really left in April.
Fabricating service where none exists is lying.
Americans rightly hold veterans in some esteem. They risked their lives serving the nation. Some were drafted, some volunteered, but all did their duty. Any attempt to falsely capitalize on that esteem dishonors them.
It is doubly damning when the liar aspires to an office that will have oversight over the armed forces.
This is no private mistake like an affair or drug use. It is a public mistake about public service. Some lies are indeed worse than others.
Maybe Blumenthal saw George W. Bush's rise despite deceptive statements about his military service. The former president once claimed to have served in the Air Force despite having only served in the Texas Air National Guard.
Connecticut Democrats will meet Saturday to choose their Senate nominee. Blumenthal no longer deserves that honor.