Scandal crosses partisan divide

Political shame showed a distinctly bipartisan stripe this week. Ah, what a great week it was.

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, became a champion of sexual abstinence. He would lecture teenagers about the dangers of sexual activity. He pontificated about the dangers of extramartial sex. Why, he even did a public service announcement with a young woman who “interviewed” him about why abstinence is such a valuable weapon in the fight against sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy.

But, d’oh, he’s a hypocrite.

Seems that Souder was philandering on the side — with the very same young woman with whom he appeared on that PSA. This one might rate as my favorite political sex scandal to date: Righteous pol preaches moral rectitude all the while behaving in precisely the manner he said others should avoid.

He quit his House seat on the spot. Good riddance.

Now we have a Democrat who was caught lying, and that’s what we’ll call it, about his military service record.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal had said repeatedly over many years that he had served “in” Vietnam. He made some remark about being spat upon as he returned from the war. Nope. Didn’t happen. He served “during” the Vietnam War. But he never set foot in country while the bullets were flying. Now we have learned he received several student deferments and enlisted finally in the Marine Corps Reserve to avoid going to war. Hey, I don’t begrudge him for that. I surely do begrudge him, though, for lying about his record.

Blumenthal — who’s running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Christopher Dodd — says he “misspoke.” Huh? But why didn’t he correct the record when media would report over the course of many years that he had served “in” ‘Nam? He didn’t. He let the lie fester and grow.

Then he lashed out at the messenger, namely the New York Times, which broke the story, for “impugning my record of public service.” No one did anything of the kind, Mr. Attorney General. The Times merely looked up his service record and found that it didn’t square with what he’d been saying about himself over a span of many years.

Vietnam veterans, such as yours truly, are outraged. But they shouldn’t be alone. The outrage also belongs to Connecticut voters who have been deceived in a most dishonorable way.