Thursday, May 20, 2010

Parsing the Body Politics in The Nutmeg State

At first I thought Tuesday was just a bad day for the Connecticut Democratic Party. They were confronted by the unhappy news that their presumptive candidate for State Attorney General, the current Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, was ineligible to seek the office because she doesn't meet the requisite legal requirements to be the Attorney General, even though everyone thinks she's really keen. Her party, by the way, meets this weekend to nominate all sorts of people for all kinds of offices, just not her, apparently, for anything. Perhaps we can arrange for her to get a table centerpiece...

But as they say in those infomericals, Wait! There's more! The current Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal who has been making 'I'm running for higher office' noises for about a decade without ever actually doing so, jumped into the contest to replace retiring Senator Christopher Dodd some moths ago and was the instant front runner for the nomination. I, for one, never understood how being the Attorney General qualified you to be a Senator but I'll also admit I'd never realized that forty-three of our fifty states elect people to serve in offices like Attorney General. Here in Connecticut we also elect Probate Judges, and my brother the attorney will smack me for sure this weekend, but I have no idea what that office does or how I can even begin to decide who is better qualified to be the probater or even the amateur (insert your double entendre here).

No matter-none of that is what got Richard Blumenthal jammed up. It turns out it was that damn liberal rag, the New York Times, who reported Mr. Blumenthal had a veracity gap while in uniform and his recollection of where he was and what he did was at variance with what his official personnel folder said. Should I mention that until the feces hit the ventilator on Tuesday, Mr. Blumenthal was quite possibly the cage match opponent of Linda McMahon, a self-made millionaire who is the former Chief Executive Officer of the World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE, and running for the other major party (hey! times are tough. You want Lincoln? Use the WABAC machine). There's a line about a choice between cancer and polio rattling around in that jukebox of a brain I have. Oh yeah, got it now.

Anyway, according to Mr. Blumenthal he didn't clothe himself in false colors when he spoke about his time in the military 'in Vietnam' when what we should have realized was that he meant to say 'during Vietnam.' During Vietnam, Mr. Blumenthal was a Reservist in the US Marine Corps where, it's reported, he helped fix a campground and organize a Toys for Tots collection drive. Mr. Blumenthal during his nationally covered remarks after the story, never used the turn of phrase "I apologize."

Rather, the Attorney General "took full responsibility" which is only fair, I suppose, since he is the one who lied. I'm sorry, I mistyped. I meant to note that it is he who said something that might have been the truth in another dimension at another time, but wasn't in the here and now. It's a miracle, I guess, that so far, Chris Shays hasn't been blamed for all of this since he obviously felt someone should have spoken to Mr. Blumenthal, but no one did.

I blame English, the language, not the people who speak it. We have too darn many parts of speech (eight) and prepositions can get a fella into a peck of trouble. It's hard to know when to use in and when to use during. Jeepers, Wally! During actually has in inside of it! What's a guy to do?

Rule of threes, Sparky-and it'll be as easy as pie. Which one is correct, you decide:
Wilson Pickett's "During the Midnight Hour"?
10 CC and "I'm Not During Love" or, the tie-breaker when all else fails,
Tell me about the rabbits George, before Linda or Richard come back to the brier patch, but choose your words carefully.
-bill kenny

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