Saturday, September 29, 2018

Blumenthal’s Glass House

"Hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue,” said La Rochefoucauld. The hypocrite who hypocritically says one thing yet does the opposite is paying a tribute to virtue because deep down he knows what is right, though he lacks the moral fortitude to act upon it. There likely is a Latin translation floating around somewhere; moral admonitions sound so much better in Latin.

U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal used an unfortunate Latin expression in questioning Supreme Court prospect – over Blumenthal’s dead body! – Brett Kavanaugh.  He asked Kavanaugh, whose repute now lies in  tatters  thanks to a triumvirate of leading Senate muckrakers --  Blumenthal, Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer -- Kavanaugh was familiar with the Latin phrase “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,” a rough translation of which is: “False in one thing, false in all things.” The implication is that if one misrepresents objective reality even once, everything one has said previously is false; indeed, everything one may say AFTER the presumed falsehood is also false.

This is what Kavanaugh, always on his best manners, did not answer in response: Now, look here Blumenthal, the standard set by this aphorism is a trifle severe, wouldn’t you agree, particularly in your own case? You lied several times concerning your military service. Not just once – several times. In different forums among different sets of people, you said or strongly intimated that you had served in Vietnam, when you had not done so. Applying the standard to yourself, anything you have said AFTER the false declarations – including everything you have said about me, grotesquely distorted when not objectively false -- must also be counted as false, because falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

The New York Times  in 2010 called Blumenthal out on his false representations of service as a marine in Vietnam, reporting that after he had exhausted several military deferments, he landed a spot in the military reserves and was sent to the rice paddies of Washington DC.

Blumenthal played more than a walk on role in a documentary on stolen valor that ran on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) called “Heroes, Frauds and Impostors,” still available on YouTube. Blumenthal enters the Fraud and Imposters documentary at around 18:44. The documentary contains the most hilarious 30 seconds of a smarmy politician avoiding a reporter’s legitimate question.

Many would argue that Blumenthal, who never offered a sufficient apology for having been false in his many declarations, is lying still, because he said, soon after he was outed, that he had “misspoke” – it cannot be too often repeated -- several times among different sets of people. Assistant Attorney General Richard Hines, who served as a lawyer in the Marine Corps Reserve, reports in the video that Blumenthal told him he had served in Vietnam.

“He personally claimed to me,” Hines said, “that he had served in Vietnam – face to face. He was in the reserves as a sergeant. He was in a public affairs unit in Washington D.C., and it’s my understanding they collected Toys for Tots and repaired playgrounds in the inner city. He ought to resign as Attorney General, because he is one of the chief law enforcement [officers] here in the state of Connecticut – and he has no problem lying.”

CTWatchdog reporter George Gombossy interviewed Hines in 2010.

The “Heroes, Frauds and Impostors” video includes a clip from the Rachel Maddow show in which Blumenthal tries desperately – he was running for election to the Senate – to shed the implications of the inflexible rule he flung in Kavanaugh's  face: Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. Surrounded by a few veterans, there to lend moral unction, Blumenthal says, “I may have misspoken. I did misspeak, on a few occasions out of hundreds that I have attended, whether events or ceremonies. And I will not allow anyone to take a few of those misplaced words and impugn my record of service.”

May have misspoken,’ says Blumenthal. “Misplaced words,” says Blumenthal. Pray, where did the senator misplace the words? Under the bed? Under the couch? In the pantry beside the peanut jar? How many times did the senator make false representations concerning  stolen valor references to his non-service in Vietnam? "Only a few," says Blumenthal, out of the "hundreds of occasions" when he did NOT falsely claim service in Vietnam. Infinite are the number of occasions Blumenthal did not broach the subject at all during his countless media appearances, more numerous than the stars in the dark heavens.  And how dare anyone impugn Blumenthal’s record of service.

Right, right. The rule Blumenthal insists upon when his reputation justly comes under fire applies only to HIM – not Judge Kavanaugh. In Kavanaugh’s case, Blumenthal dares. In Blumenthal's view,  people who say the truth are impudent only when the truth tells against moral frauds and imposters such as Saint Blumenthal.

No comments: