Mark Kirk's Non-Existent Navy Commendation

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Ask an average voter what they think of politicians, and you'll likely hear an angry diatribe about "crooks and liars." So when Mark Kirk, Republican candidate for Illinois Senate, was found to have claimed the the fictional title of the Navy's "Intelligence Officer of the Year" in 1998, people were furious, especially with the dispute over Richard Blumenthal's war record so fresh on the mind:

Liberal blogger Steve Benen smells potential legal trouble for Kirk down the road. "This comes on the heels of Hatch's proposal to make it a crime for someone to knowingly make 'a fraudulent statement or representation' regarding his or her record of military service 'for the purposes of gaining recognition, honorarium, official office, or other position of authority, employment or other benefit,'" notes Benen. "The point, it seemed, was Hatch targeting Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D), who misspoke about his service record in a speech eight years ago....Kirk repeatedly made false claims about his service record, as part of his pitch to voters about his qualifications. Did he make "a fraudulent statement" for the purposes of gaining official office? It's hardly a stretch to make that case"

Taking a less analytical path, liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos asks a cynical question: "He's a Republican. He's been busted with a huge lie. Will he: ... Claim victimhood status, blab about his Democratic opponent being a 'mobster banker', and shoot off a fundraising email asking his supporters to reward his dishonesty?"

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