"Not intended to be a factual statement."
Within a matter of just a few days those words have become iconic. Just to make sure you're aware of the back story here, that is the excuse Senator John Kyl's office staff gave when asked about a grossly inaccurate statement he made. Right on the floor of the Senate, Senator Kyl said 90% of Planned Parenthood's funding went to abortions. When faced with the truth, that only 3% went to abortions, his staff came back with that reply.
"It was not intended to be a factual statement."
In other words, Senator Kyl knowingly lied to the American people on the Senate Floor. His lie has now been written into the Senate Journal. Maybe Senator Kyl should put out a disclaimer on all of his statements. Let us know which ones are intended to be lies.
The Colbert report has poked a good deal of fun at this comment. Many others have joined in the fun, too. Say anything you want, as a matter of fact. When someone asks about its truthfulness, you can always just say, "it was not intended to be a factual statement."
It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.
The truth has become so scarce that someone actually thought this was a sensible thing to say -- and that would explain this egregious attempt to tell a bold-faced lie to the public from the Senate floor.
An entire industry has grown up around the lie that President Obama is not a citizen and thus is not serving legitimately. Now Donald Trump wants to run for president based on that lie. Joe Farah of the website World Net Daily, which has promoted that lie consistently, admitted to Salon.com this week that his site publishes "some misinformation."
At what point did some of our Republican leaders decide that lying was acceptable?
Senator Patrick Moynihan once commented that we are entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. I agree. We base our own personal decisions on facts; we must have factual information to make our public decisions as well.
That's why something that happened at the state capital recently is so disturbing. Mitch Bean, director of the Non-Partisan House Fiscal Agency, has been going to member's districts teaching citizens of our state about the budget problems we are experiencing, how we got to this spot and how we might find our way out. When he speaks, citizens are suddenly informed and empowered, better able to make good, solid decisions.
Interestingly, Jace Bolger, speaker of the House, has now informed Mitch Bean that he can no longer make these presentations in members' districts. When I contacted Speaker Bolger's office asking why, he didn't even have the guts to respond.
Our forefathers were clear when they put this democracy in place. We must have an informed citizenry if we are to survive. That will be difficult with the Senator Kyls, Joe Farrahs and Speaker Bolgers of the world attempting to shut down the truth.