Is there any politician out there who’s capable of being honest about his service record?

Republican senatorial candidate for Illinois admits he lied about being named “intelligence officer of the year”. My own father would never say what he did during the war, although I always suspected it was something to do with Naval Intelligence, but it was only the past week that, reflecting on Mr. Blumenthal’s  transgressions, I realized that the Navy wouldn’t have sent a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve over to Japan the day after the surrender, where he was the highest-ranking officer for 24 hours, if he was indeed just what he told us he was.

But my father had sworn an oath of secrecy, which he honored to his death. And he was no braggart. It goes without saying that he was also not a politician.

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13 responses to “Is there any politician out there who’s capable of being honest about his service record?

  1. Priapus

    Do they lie? Stop it.

  2. Old School Grump

    It has always seemed to me that the members of the military and law enforcement who have “stories to tell” do not, in fact, tell those stories.

  3. Anonymous

    Not sure why anyone is surprised

    Only rarely do honest folks aspire to be community organizers or lawyers or salesmen or priests

  4. Peg

    Personally, I prefer trying to under promise and over deliver. But then – I’m not a politician :)

  5. Last Liberal Standing

    I suspect that what happens, in some cases, at least, is that a person “stretches the truth,” keeps telling the same stretcher, and gradually comes to believe his/her own stretched account.

    If you want a low-falutin’ commentary on human beings’ dishonesty, try the very first paragraph of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn:

    YOU don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly — Tom’s Aunt Polly, she is — and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.

  6. Mike

    I think this is more of a traditional resume enhancement-type dishonesty akin to what millions of job-seekers do. Not entirely honorable, but at least he was part of the unit that got the award.

  7. My belief is that anyone who runs for political office and stays in the game as a career politician seeking ever higher office is afflicted to some degree by Narcissistic Personality Disorder some of the symptoms of which follow below:

    Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

    * Believing that you’re better than others
    * Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
    * Exaggerating your achievements or talents
    * Expecting constant praise and admiration
    * Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
    * Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
    * Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
    * Taking advantage of others
    * Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
    * Being jealous of others
    * Believing that others are jealous of you
    * Trouble keeping healthy relationships
    * Setting unrealistic goals
    * Being easily hurt and rejected
    * Having a fragile self-esteem
    * Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

    Don’t take my word for it. This is a Mayo Clinic summary. Here’s the link:

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/ds00652/dsection=symptoms

  8. Why is everyone blaming politicians for lying? Shouldn’t we be blaming the electorate for preferring narcissists to people who speak plainly?

  9. Chinatown

    my Father-in-Law…(God rest his soul)…never once did he talk about being an Army Medic during the invasion of the Philipines…not once…it was not until his passing did we find out what a true hero he was….all his momentos were stuffed away in his drawer…these vets never talked about their heroic action in the service of our country.

    It’s only these delusion of grandeur politicians and other people who make up stories to undermine the true heroes of our country…they should all be defrocked from ever holding office again…and that includes Dickie boy…sorry Dickie boy…even after you got us that oil tank filled for free after that oil company slammed us…

    Happy Memorial Day and God Bless our Troops!

  10. Peg

    Wow. Jeff Hall nailed it.

  11. Off Topic: Fruit of Islam

    Covering Obama, press encounters Nation of Islam
    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    05/30/10 5:56 AM PDT

    President Obama’s home is in the same Chicago neighborhood as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. On Saturday night, the overlapping of Obama’s and Farrakhan’s worlds made for a strange, and sometimes testy, encounter between the Secret Service, the press corps covering the president, and the paramilitary security force, the Fruit of Islam, surrounding Farrakhan.

    The encounter was written up — for distribution to the press, not necessarily for publication — by the New York Times’ Jackie Calmes. It began a little after 4:00 p.m. when Obama and his family walked to the nearby home of longtime friend Marty Nesbitt for a backyard cookout. It just so happens that Nesbitt lives across the street from Farrakhan.

    A few hours after Obama went to Nesbitt’s home, the press pool, including Calmes, was waiting in a bus parked near 49th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, next to Farrakhan’s mansion. The reporters’ Secret Service minder allowed them off the bus to stretch their legs. As they stood on the sidewalk, some of the journalists inadvertently touched the grass next to the sidewalk, and that is when the encounter began. From Calmes’ report:

    Immediately a polite man in jeans and T-shirt emerged to ask us to stay off the grass. Though this grass was the curbside city property, we obliged.

    But it turned out that simply staying off the grass was not enough to satisfy the man in the T-shirt. Calmes continues:

    Soon, however, he was pacing and talking on a cell phone. He went inside the mansion’s black wrought iron fence, crossed the well-landscaped yard, lifted a water bucket behind rose bushes and, voila!, a walkie-talkie. He was heard to refer to “the CIA” once he began speaking into it.

    Soon he approached our [Secret Service] agent, asking him to move the van and its occupants, though your pooler could not hear much else he said. But the agent said, “How is this a security breach?” And he asked if the house was a government property.

    The man said something else and at that point the agent stuck out his hand to shake hands and introduced himself as a Secret Service agent. He added, “Sir, I can assure you that we will do nothing to interfere with whatever is going on in there.”

    It might be assumed that an assurance from the Secret Service would be enough to satisfy any security-minded guardian of Louis Farrakhan. But not in this case. Calmes continues:

    The man is back to pacing and talking on his cell, walkie-talkie in hand.

    A co-pooler searched the Internet for the address and found it listed on a Web site called NotForTourists and another called Taxexemptworld.com. Indeed, another pooler found a county Web site that confirmed this property is tax exempt for being a religious institution.

    Reinforcements arrived — three men in T-shirts reading “Wide or Die!” One surly man has been staring daggers at us. Asked if this is Minister Farrakhan’s house, he just stared at your pooler. Asked again, he said, “I don’t have no comment.”

    At nearly 8 p.m. local time we are still holding while POTUS and family remain at the Nesbitts.

    More time passed. The men in T-shirts were joined by even more men, from the Fruit of Islam, Farrakhan’s security force. From Calmes:

    It’s 8:45 and nearly dark; your pool has retreated back inside the van. We’re outnumbered now by roughly a dozen Fruit of Islam agents for the Nation of Islam. As each casually dressed man arrives, he exchanges elaborate handshake/hug/double air-kisses with others. Two walked by your pooler chanting “Islam.”

    Several have filmed and photographed your poolers, the van and its license plates with their cell phones.

    One came and stood close to a couple poolers and OUR [Secret Service] agent. He asked if he could help. No answer. He asked again. The man said no. The agent said, “Secret Service — Please move away from this group of people.”

    He did. Soon the agent asked us to go in the bus. We did.

    At that point, the Secret Service was badly outnumbered by the Fruit of Islam, who apparently believed that some sort of “security breach” had occurred. Were Farrakhan’s men armed? Were there more on the way? The Secret Service agent called for backup. From Calmes:

    9:20 local time and our agent got reinforcements from three Secret Service agents. One shook hands with one of the 22 Fruit members we now can count from the van. After a short discussion the three Secret Service agents walked away again.

    No word on when we get to leave. We’re guessing POTUS is watching the Blackhawks game at the Nesbitts’ home.

    While this was happening, word of the standoff apparently got around as a result of Calmes’ pool reports (they were sent out piecemeal by email). Someone who had read the reports got in touch with Farrakhan to let the Nation of Islam leader know that the people waiting outside were just covering Obama. From Calmes:

    The power of pool reportage! Standoff ends, apparently with help of intermediary in Detroit:

    Your pooler got a call at about 10:15 local time from a pool report reader who identified himself as the Rev. Gary Hunter, a Baptist minister in Motown who writes and blogs for the Detroit Times. He said he had called Minister Farrakhan and his son and asked them to have the Fruit stand down.

    “I told him you were good people,” Rev. Hunter said. “He said he didn’t know you all were just waiting for the president.”

    As it happens, the Fruit of Islam indeed had mostly gone by then. The Rev. Hunter apparently is remembered by [White House social secretary staffer Samantha] Tubman, and he said he knows our frequent press rustler Ben Finkenbinder from past travels with Obama.

    Anyway, at 10:33 we pulled away and we are at the Obama residence. Never saw POTUS at all.

    And that was the end of it. Some observers will make light of the whole thing — just a little misunderstanding with those weird Nation of Islam guys — but the fact that Farrakhan’s security force is close to the president’s home is likely a matter of continuing concern to the Secret Service. And on Saturday night, the two forces ran into each other.

  12. Last Liberal Standing

    Re: Off Topic: Fruit of Islam

    Off topic, indeed.

    Do we start posting baseball scores and cookbook recipes as comments under “Is there any politician out there who’s capable of being honest about his service record?”

    Kewl.