The liars of the land 174

Richard Blumenthal is Attorney General of Connecticut, and a candidate for election to the Senate.

And he is a liar.

But when politicians are caught out in a lie they don’t call it a lie, they say that they “misspoke”.

Hillary Clinton said that she “misspoke” when she claimed falsely to have been fired on in Bosnia during the war in 1996.

“Misspoke” implies a mere slip of the tongue, or a moment of absent-mindedness – something for which the speaker is not fully responsible. So although the consequences of the wrong – or “misplaced” – words may be bad,  you should not  in fairness blame the person who uttered them.

Even if the same words are repeated several times?

Yes, even then apparently. Richard Blumenthal’s lie was that he had served in Vietnam  and he repeated it often. Caught out, he publicly declared that he took “full responsibility” for having “misspoken”. So it wasn’t the gods, or fate, or microbes interfering with his little grey cells, or any other agency that compelled him to say something that was not the truth. No: he stood there and said, as if to prove he had both courage and honesty, that he took full responsibility for what he’d said. But he added a warning – demonstrating how he was not only courageous and honest but also proud – that he  would not allow anyone (any of us, with our mean inclinations) to “take a few misplaced words” and use them to “impugn his record of service” to his country.

This noble utterance was greeted with enthusiastic applause by a crowd of genuine Vietnam veterans.

Posted under Commentary, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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