In today's Washington post, Kathleen Parker ponders over the case of the US Senate Democratic candidate, "...Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general recently infamous for exaggerating his role as a Marine reservist during the Vietnam era. At various times, he has accurately said that he wore the uniform during that period; other times, he has said that he wore the uniform in Vietnam. In fact, he received several draft deferments while a student at Harvard and Cambridge and enlisted in the Marines only when those deferments were running out. "
"And, he did falsely and knowingly imply that he was a combat veteran. The question is: Why? ..."
My answer is so he can play the victim to Democrats, the combat vetern to Republicans, and both to independents. In the clips I've seen, such as the one below (H/T CDR Salamander) he was clearly playing the victim... he's the suffering veteran, sent by his nation to fight an unpopular misbegotten war then mistreated and discarded once he got home. Now he's promising government care for all those other poor tormented souls who have been lied to and sent to fight another unpopular misbegotten war, and would be discarded too (like the
Then there is the added bonus for liberals of showing their patriotism (helping war veterans, see I love America) while simultaneously maligning the nation (America went men to war then failed it's veteran, America is bad)
On the other side, being a Vietnam veteran, means you did your duty, served honorably when the country called. Republicans like this. Southern Republicans anyway.
Being a Democrat in liberal Connecticut, I would give more weight to the reason up top. This guy is not stealing valor, he actually served and he is not claiming to be a war hero. He doesn't seem care about that. He is stealing victim status. That's what plays to his base.
Ms. Parker finally asks "Who knows what motivated Blumenthal to stretch his truth? Perhaps it was survivor's guilt."
Guilt assumes some sense of right and wrong. Survivor's guilt implies that he went through a harrowing experience where others died. He didn't.
Perhaps it was his desire to get votes.