Josh Mandel's MIlitary Service Attacked!
Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel, in his never-ending quest to exploit his military service for political gain, has moved from parroting “I was a Marine” over and over as a substitute for policy ideas and his record in office to accusing the Sherrod Brown campaign of attacking his military service, presenting himself as the noble, wronged victim.
The Plain Dealer’s PolitiFact feature took on the charge, parsing something a retired major general, Dennis Laich, working on behalf of Sherrod Brown, said. Laich was explaining the difference between serving in the military at a “tactical” level and serving in the U.S. Senate on a “strategic” level. He wasn't attacking Mandel's service.
In a mailer, Mandel’s campaign screeched that "It is outrageous for Sherrod Brown’s campaign to say that enlisted military service with infantry battalions in Iraq doesn’t prepare you for leadership.” It referred to the general’s factual and measured response to a reporter’s question as “scummy smear tactics.”
PolitiFact found Mandel’s accusation “mostly false.” But if you read their technical micro-dissection of this comment, you rapidly came to the conclusion it should have been another “Pants on Fire,” and PolitiFact just didn’t want to run up Mandel’s flaming pants total still higher.
(Warning: this particular PolitiFact is so twisty-turny and contained so many irrelevant detours it will make your head hurt.)
But it’s true. Mandel’s military service IS being attacked — by Josh Mandel.
The Marine motto is “Semper Fi,” short for “Semper Fidelis,” which means “always faithful.” One thing Josh Mandel is not faithful to is the truth. And every time he invokes his service as a Marine in virtually the same breath that he lies about his opponent Senator Sherrod Brown, he reflects poorly on the Marines, demonstrating his lack of honor, truthfulness, and decency.
The issue isn’t Mandel’s military service. I have nothing to say about that because I don’t know anything about it. None of us does. And I don’t consider military service in and of itself any more special than being a social worker, a teacher, or a doctor. All serve society in crucial ways, all can be “prepared for leadership,” and all could be highly qualified — or not — to serve in the U.S. Senate.
What DOES matter is Mandel’s record in plain sight — his record in elected office. We have a right to assess his leadership as an elected official. We have a right to point out that as a state legislator he was widely known in both parties as a non-leader — a guy who did not stand out as an advocate for issues or legislation. We have a right to notice that he has displayed virtually no interest in his elected job as state treasurer and has bailed on his duties to focus on his Senate campaign. And we have a right to attack his shameful campaign tactics and those of his big-money friends who have engaged in the politics of personal destruction on steroids — based on lies.
And every time Mandel lies, every time he displays arrogance toward the voters he would serve (in theory) if elected, every time he ignores his job to pursue a bigger, better one, every time one of the secret big-money groups backing him drags Sherrod Brown’s reputation through the mud on false grounds and Mandel does not condemn their scummy smear tactics, Mandel taints the Marines and besmirches his own service in the Corps.
Look in the mirror, Josh, if you want to see who is attacking your military service.