What Kind of Politician Lies Turn You Off? And Turn You On?


Here's a question for those of you who are not principled non-voters (un-voters?):

What sorts of lies from politicians and candidates really turn you off? To the point that you would never consider voting for someone?

Here are two quick examples.

Delaware GOP senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has plainly misrepresented the hell out of her academic background, work history (or lack thereof), and (likely) anti-masturbation stance. She sets the record straight in a new campaign ad by declaring openly that "I'm not a witch" and that, in fact, "I'm you."

Then there's Connecticut Democratic senate candidate Dick Blumenthal, who has repeatedly lied about his (lack of) Vietnam combat experience, saying or implying that he "served" in the shit. Problem is, he never it made more than a few clicks south of the Nutmeg State:

Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

Blumenthal's lies have given rise to this attack ad, which is kind of weird and effective, though would be even better if Blumenthal strangled kittens or walked on ducklings while wearing golf shoes or something like that:

On the face of it, the Blumenthal lies are more disturbing to me because lying about something like military service just seems more epically insulting and fucked-up than fibbing about your 97 lb. weakling education cred (O'Donnell misrepresented when she got her B.A. and did the same about taking courses at prominent colleges). Yet in the final analysis, it's their actual records (or lack thereof) that worry me more.

O'Donnell doesn't have a record to run on or away from, other than a series of embarrassing appearances on the Bill Maher Show 1.0, robo-calls from disgruntled staffers from her Alan Keyes-level previous bids for office, and a seemingly bogus discrimination lawsuit against a former conservative employer. That's all deeply unsettling, despite her willingness to campaign on a cut-spending platform.

Blumenthal, who serves as Connecticut's attorney general, has a record that can be summed up as "Bullying Busybody for Senate." Whether it's drinking, gambling, guns, you name it, the guy stinks on just about every possible issue and, like most state-level AGs, is constantly looking for the next big score regardless of individual rights, the rule of law, you name it.

O'Donnell's lies suggest she is unhinged from reality, which is generally not a characteristic to be encouraged in politicians. Yet her utter failure so far in life makes her seem less scary and more sad. Blumenthal's lies and long list of disturbing "successes" make me fear him more. He's fabulously wealthy, well-connected, and knows how to get stuff done (shiver!).

But they both end up in the same place for me if I were ever able to throw a ballot lever for either of them: I wouldn't vote for them if they were the only folks running. I'd write in my old friend from high school that I've been trying to get on an FBI watch list for decades now.