Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blumenthal's Handlers

The Handlers
(by R.P.Edwards)

Here’s to the handlers
The masters of words
Crafting a craft
To float the absurd
Taking for granted
The hearers…are dull
Slow of discerning
Too shallow…to mull
Yes, here’s to the handlers!
Their jobs are secure
For they’ll always have truths
To bend…and to blur

I kind of feel sorry for the guy.  Richard Blumenthal; the democratic pick to replace Senator Dodd from Connecticut.  Apparently the attorney general claimed something he oughtn’t, and, since absolutely everything these days is on the record…he got caught.  So, what was his faux pas?  What was, and is “the scandal?”  Simply this; he said he served in Vietnam, when he never left the U.S. of A. 

Now, I don’t know exactly why Mr. Blumenthal did it.  Perhaps he just wanted to “pad” his resume.  Perhaps, in the four decades since; perhaps there’s been a blurring of the lines; an identifying with his brothers in arms who were often treated as “war criminals” instead of wounded warriors.  Maybe it was as simple as…it makes a better story.  But to me, the interesting aside is his response, and the why of it.

Here‘s an excerpt.  The setting: a VFW hall, midday, “Now, on a few occasions I have misspoken about my service, and I regret that, and I take full responsibility.”  Then, curiously, there was a quick deflection supporting the “Reserves” as if the ire aimed at him somehow included that Marine Corp body.  Then, when asked if he should apologize (his supporters shouting, “NO!”), he returned to the word of the day… “misspoke.” 

Here’s my take:  I think Richard B. has been mishandled.  No doubt his ‘counselors’ advised him to use the aforementioned silky synonym (along with ‘misspeak’ and ‘misplaced words’) to soften the offense, plus, there was probably encouragement to employ the standard “bob and weave” technique and, let’s not forget; “deflect, deflect, deflect.” But, for a change, why not be… brutally honest.  Why not bare your heart; expose your soul? Here’s what I would have preferred to hear, “My advisers have told me that in order to stay in this race…I have to somehow diminish what I’ve done.  They told me to use phrases like, “I misspoke,” or “I misplaced some words,” and to deflect the rightful criticism of me…to the military.  Now, I appreciate those who are looking out for me, but, upon reflection, in all honesty, I have to tell you…I lied.  Believe me, it was not my intention to lie.  And I’m not exactly sure why I did it, other than, as I stood before heroes; those who have put themselves in harms way; and, as my appreciation for these has grown over the years, well, I guess I wanted to be a part of them.  I wanted to have a more intimate sharing in their struggle, their perspective…their history.  And so, on a few occasions, I got wrapped up in the moment and…I lied.  And for these errors, sins, if you will, I deeply apologize.  But, having said this, I hope; I HOPE you have room in your hearts for an imperfect man.  I hope you have a place for a public servant who, although made of flesh, will work tirelessly…for you.  And I promise, I PROMISE, I shall strive, daily, DAILY, to never again betray your trust….

Now…couldn’t you vote for a man like that?

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

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