May
19

Semper Cry, Baby, And Other Tales

I really want to believe that the lipstick on Richard Blumenthal's collar is there as a result of the dry cleaner's carelessness, I really do. He has for so long proclaimed his love for the people of the state of Connecticut that I had come to hope he was as good as his sound bytes. But he looks like such a liar claiming to have served in Vietnam. Are all politicians dogs?

Blumenthal is a liar. Susan Bysiewicz is thrown out of the race for Attorney General, but keeps on swinging. A former spy for the Central Intelligence Agency stands on the sidelines calling everyone liars. Suddenly the campaign for U.S. Senate of a wresting promoter seems almost credible. I'm even getting calls suggesting that I run for something.

I know how Dorothy felt when she realized she was no longer in Kansas.

Blumenthal's press conference in the wake of The New York Time's front page story on his false claims to have served in Vietnam and to have been captain of Harvard's swim team was as depressing a read as I can remember. The man's resume glitters, in a predictable sort of way. Harvard. Yale law. Yale Law Journal. The White House. Cambridge University. Wealth. Why the almost compulsive need to lie?

Of course, he claims it was no lie at all. He merely misspoke, he says. And just maybe Bill Clinton did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. What is "is" anyway?

Blumenthal's defiant claim that he will not permit anyone to impugn his record of service sounded like the good, old-fashioned, self-righteous Dick we've all come to know and wince over on the television screen. Blumenthal's moral outrage is sound and fury signifying an empty suit. We don't have to impugn his service record. After five deferments during the Vietnam War, his role as a Marine reservist passing out Toys for Tots while lesser mortals died speaks for itself.

Semper Cry, baby.

But as bad as he looked, he didn't really look any worse than Bysiewicz. After she was tossed out of the attorney general's race by the state Supreme Court because she could not satisfy the statutory requirement of ten year's experience practicing law, she is rumored to have set her sites on yet another statewide office, comptroller. She overestimates the esteem in which she is held by voters.

First, she was considering a run for governor. Then she decided to become attorney general. Now she wants to remain Secretary of the State. She's behaving as though she were to the manor born, and has only to decide which castle she should inhabit.

Bysiewicz has always been an optimist. Why, she observes, no less a lawyer than Elena Kagan, Supreme Court nominee, would be ineligible to serve as attorney general in Connecticut. After all, Kagan is about as familiar with a courtroom as Blumenthal is with a fox hole. We've a soft spot for ingenue's in Connecticut. Why Robert Chatigny was appointed to the federal bench without ever having tried a case to a verdict, and now he's slated for a promotion to the Second Circuit. I believe in miracles.

And what of Rob Simmons, candidate 007? He spent the week calling everyone a liar. I suppose he knows a little bit about truth. He spent a decade as a spy employed by the CIA. At least this is one candidate who is candid about having made a living telling lies. But that doesn't make him a national hero. It just makes him a man who knows that the truth can be bent to serve larger purposes.

At least Republican Senate hopeful Linda McMahon is honest about being a show woman. The queen of the World Wrestling Federation knows we are suckers. Nero's twin sister is alive and well and in Connecticut.

The only breath of fresh air in this swamp is the late entry of Ross Garber into the race for attorney general. But I almost afraid to pin any hopes on him. I'm afraid he might be a fox hole buddy of Dick's. Please, Ross. Don't be another hologram.

If this is the state of the politics in Connecticut, I want to move to Roswell, New Mexico. Area 54 and aliens seem mighty familiar just now.

Reprinted courtesy of the Connecticut Law Tribune.
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About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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I believe that the state is a necessary fiction and that failing to combat it is the first step toward tyranny.
– Norm Pattis

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