Senator Kyl’s Legacy

This year, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona announced that he would not run for his seat in the Senate in 2012.  Following his announcement, the Arizona media was filled with people (Republicans, teabaggers and other conservatives) extolling Senator Kyl’s mostly forgettable accomplishments.

As the conservative mouthpiece in the Senate, Kyl was given lots of attention by the media.  And he was very good at capitalizing on it.  During the Bush administration, he became one of the administration’s most visible apologists.  And during the Obama administration, he has railed against virtually every administration initiative.

But those actions won’t serve as his lasting legacy.  Instead, he’ll be remembered for two events that took place on the Senate floor.  The first was his objections to approximately 80 appointments by President Obama.  As Senate Democrats called the names of individuals who had been appointed as judges, Kyl stood at the microphone and repeated the words “I object” for each and every one.

More recently, in arguing against the funding of Planned Parenthood, Kyl stated that abortion is “more than 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”  Of course, he was wrong.  The actual percentage of abortions provided by Planned Parenthood represents less than 3 percent of its budget.  When confronted with this discrepency, Kyl’s office announced that his statement “wasn’t intended to be factual!”  Of course, that came as no surprise to those of us who have been following Senator Kyl for some time.  He has seldom told the truth about anything regarding Democratic proposals or Democratic-supported initiatives.

Thanks to public ridicule led by Stephen Colbert and other comedians, Senator Kyl has since amended the Congressional Record to remove the inaccurate percentage.  The Record has been changed to read, “… you go to Planned Parenthood for abortions because that’s what Planned Parenthood does.”

So now Kyl’s statement in the Congressional Record implies that abortion is the only service provided by Planned Parenthood.  Apparently Kyl really doesn’t intend for his statements to be factual.  Even when he has an opportunity to correct them.