Richard Blumenthal served in Vietnam -- or at least he told the American people that he did. According to people who know Blumenthal, his war record grew over the years. That hapless tool of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, the New York Times, found no less than eight articles between 2003 and 2009 in which Blumenthal spoke of his service in Vietnam. Now, it seems, the Connecticut Democrat politician did not serve in Vietnam at all. In fact, Blumenthal took extraordinary steps to avoid service in Vietnam.
Lying about military service is bad, but what Blumenthal said in response to the New York Times story is uglier. In damage control mode, Blumenthal whined, "On a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service, and I regret that. But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to my country." Blumenthal, of course, did not "misspeak." He did more than lie about his military service: He lied about lying. This is a special moral pathology of the left.
Think John Edwards, the man whom Democrats wished to be our vice president, the man who might have won the presidency in 2012. In October 2007, when confronted with allegations that he had had an affair with Rielle Hunter, Edwards said, "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous." In July 2008, Edwards admitted to having an affair with Hunter, but denied paternity of a love child with her, offering to take a paternity test. One of his staffers, Andrew Young, a married man with three children, said that he fathered Hunter's child. When confronted with a photo showing Edwards holding Hunter's baby, Edwards said "I don't know anything about the photograph; I don't know who that baby is." Then in January 2010, Edwards admitted to having fathered Francis Quinn Hunter with Rielle Hunter. Edwards denied the truth at every turn and attacked those who spoke the truth. The John Edwards story is not about marital infidelity. It is the surreal tale of pathological lying. What would it have been like to have a pathological liar like Edwards in the White House? We need not guess; we know. On January 26, 1998, an angry Bill Clinton addressed the rumors of his affair with Monica Lewinsky. He looked straight into the television camera and said, "I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm not going to say it again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never." Clinton might have admitted the affair. He might have dodged the issue. He chose neither course. Instead, Clinton issued an adamant, clear statement denying his dishonesty and compounding his lies.
These lies of Blumenthal, Edwards, and Clinton are not the sort of lies usually bandied about in political battles. Their lies were not lies about health care, Iraq, global warming, unemployment rates, or any of the accepted free fire zones of partisan rhetoric. Honest people can differ on these sorts of issues. Indeed, arguments about these issues are the very stuff of political debates. The lies of Blumenthal, Edwards, and Clinton did not involve ideology or policy at all. Clinton was, as Bob Kerry once advised, a "very good liar" on policy matters, but that is something different. The lies of these four Democrats were wholly personal and self-serving.
The lies smell like John Kerry's repeated statements over many years about his service in Indochina, in which he claimed that he spent Christmas 1968 in Cambodia under Nixon (October 14, 1979); that he was on a gunboat in Cambodia on Christmas 1968 (March 27, 1986); that upon orders, he took his swift boat in Cambodia on Christmas 1968 (1992 AP story); and that he executed combat missions into Cambodia (May 2000). John Kerry never fought in Cambodia at all. Richard Nixon was not president in December 1968.
Was this just a mistake? Was Kerry's memory at fault? Kerry himself said that this 1968 Christmas in Cambodia was "seared in his memory." How did Kerry respond to being caught in blatant lies about his military service? His operatives coined the term "swift-boating" as a pejorative for those who destroy reputations by defamation -- even though what these veterans stated was true.
There is a pattern to this misbehavior. Blumenthal, Edwards, Clinton, and Kerry lied about their personal lives, hiding sins or inventing heroism. Each man was very specific in his false statements. All four of these men were lawyers, and three out of four were married to lawyers. Two of the four -- Clinton and Blumenthal -- were chosen as Attorney General for their home states, a position that should be held by scrupulously honest men.
All of these four lying Democrats are leftists. None of the four admitted their lies until they were caught. Even then, all four used lawyerly weasel words to cloud their clear dishonesty and attack those who discovered their lies. Is it worth noting that three of these four -- Clinton, Kerry, and Edwards -- were chosen by Democrats to run on their national ticket? Does it mean something that Blumenthal was intended to fill the seat of Chris Dodd, another leftist Democrat lawyer who was up to his neck in unethical behavior? Serial liars like these men are quickly known to their colleagues and co-partisans. That fact speaks as much to the party whose standard they bear as it does to the liars themselves. Which party? The Liars' Party.