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Sen. Jon Kyl Admits to Lying to His Fellow Americans

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Journalists have only their personal credibility to rely on. After all, once a reporter is known to fabricate their stories, why and how would you ever again believe what he or she ever says?

The same holds true, or at least should hold true, for politicians and legislators. Although politicians may be granted some limited poetic license to make their case, at the end of the day, Americans expect their elected leaders to be straight with them, and to make laws based on fact and reality.

This is the basic public trust now that Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona admits to have broken. He admits, essentially, to not only lying on the Senate floor,  but also to trying to enact a law based on his falsehood.

In the lead-up to Friday’s deadline to avert a government shutdown, Kyl and his fellow Republicans were trying to dig in to protect their measure to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood.  Kyl stood up, and with CSPAN’s cameras carrying his statement nationwide, told Americans that “90 percent” of Planned Parenthood’s activities are abortion-related.  That’s poppycock, of course. And MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell so eloquently corrected the record just hours after Kyl tried to get away with this horrible lie. The truth is that just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortion-related. Moreover, none of those services are federally funded because of the Hyde Amendment which has been the law of the land for more than 30 years. O’Donnell tearfully read an email from a woman of such modest means that she must rely on Planned Parenthood for a variety of her basic medical services, such as mammograms.

Jon Kyl not only wanted to deprive this woman, and all the other men and women who depend on Planned Parenthood services, of access to care, he was willing to make up lies and whatever inaccurate stories he could get away with in order to do it. Kyl was caught in his lie, of course. Rather than claim that he was given incorrect information, he announced that his “remark was not intended to be a factual statement.” Kyl admitted that he was, just basically making stuff up as he went along. He may be Arizona’s junior senator, but Kyl is no newbie. He is the second highest ranking Republican in the Senate. He should know better than just lying, bald-faced as he did, on the Senate floor. How would Kyl feel if he were to vote a certain way on a piece of legislation only to find other senators had lied to him in order to do so?

Kyl maintains a sizable staff of aides. The senator and his team would do well to hire researchers for these positions, and not the aspiring novelists and fantasy writers he apparently currently pays to write his speeches. This time Kyl got caught. How many other times during his long career has Kyl lied and gotten away with it? How many laws has the senator successfully seen enacted into law based on his other make-believe?

It’s just as shameful to think Kyl is willing to lie to the same taxpayers who pay his generous federal salary! Do you think the Arizonans who repeatedly elected this man voted for such shenanigans? Let’s be clear, Senator Kyl broke no laws and there will be no ethics investigation of the incident. But he did violate the public trust.

Jon Kyl is a liar and a national disgrace.

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About Scott Nance

  • Boeke

    The journalists should keep them honest (maybe politicians are simply hopeless liars) by (1) knowing the facts of the subject matter thoroughly, and (2) bracing the pol when he strays off the facts blatantly.

    Because the journalists and interviewers are so poor I have simply quit watching them. The sunday morning whores are particularly bad. All they do is trot out a series of practiced liars with canned Talking Points. Wasting time watching them has a negative information effect.

  • Clavos


    I actually agree with much of what you say above, but I think your comment is more pertinent to Scott’s article than it is to what I said in my comment.


  • By the way, you can tell when politicians are lying. Their lips are moving.


  • The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    H. L. Mencken

  • It’s quite a bit beyond ‘exaggeration.’ It’s part of the demonization of Planned Parenthood — a cousin to the demonization of NPR, public employee unions, Acorn, Nancy Pelosi…any person or entity that can be hanged in effigy to help shameless pols score with their rabid base.

    So much easier and more fun than actually debating the issues factually.

    [No doubt there are examples of the left doing this as well. I won’t defend them.]

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Can you point out a human being who never lies? I haven’t met one yet…but I’ve met many who do their utmost to keep their lies to a minimum. I married one – and to this day I’m amazed at how she (and her family) place a much greater priority on telling the truth than any other group of people I’ve known in my life.

    And so it goes with politicians, for they are just as human as you. Like the rest of us, some of them place no value in telling the truth. But some of them do, although they – like the most honest of the rest of us – lie sometimes for very good reason.

    The challenge, then, is to find those who lie the least, who do try to stick as much as they practically can to the truth, to the facts.

    If you want to get rid of everyone who lies, there probably wouldn’t be anyone older than the age of two left on earth. So find the ones who lie the least, who do try to give priority to the facts…and there are some in the Republican party.

    But in my experience, Democratic politicans do lie, but Republican politicians lie more often – and IMO it’s a function that is more linked to the differences in the psychological makeup of liberals and conservatives as I described in this article.

    But who to trust? Find those who lie the least, who at least make a solid effort to stick to the facts…and most importantly, who aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong!

  • Clavos

    Jon Kyl is a liar and a national disgrace.

    As yours always are, this is a well-written and interesting essay.

    But, while I certainly don’t condone any politicians’ lying on the job, I do think you’ve made a bit of a mountain out of a molehill today.

    On any given day, if you listen to C-Span or any of the news outlets who regularly feature pols, you’re going to hear hyperbole and outright lies out of their mouths.

    It’s what politicians do.

    It’s what they’ve always done.

    It’s what they always will do.

    Yes, Kyl “lied.” (or maybe just exaggerated)

    Agreed that he shouldn’t.

    But, in my opinion, O’Donnell reporting Kyl’s lie “tearfully,” is also dishonest and part of the whole spin cycle universally practiced in Washington.

    They all lie, Scott.