Odds are that unless you live in Arizona, you either don’t know or don’t pay a lot of attention to Kyl, but he’s gotten some serious media airtime in the last year and a half for a few choice comments that I’ve rarely heard from even his most conservative brethren.
Kyl had some truthy “facts” about Planned Parenthood in the run up to the recent government shutdown crisis, that he later said were never meant to be factual. He contended in a well-covered Senate floor speech that Planned Parenthood spends more than 90 percent of its funds providing abortions, when, in reality, it’s only around three percent. Then, as many politicians famously do, he semi-apologized because he “misspoke” and lamented that he never intended for his facts to be factual. (Pssst – that’s Washington, D.C.-speak for lying). And then, since he had the power, he had his purposely made-up non-facts expunged from the Congressional Record.
It’s no secret that Kyl doesn’t want federal money spent on Planned Parenthood, even if the services being provided are Pap tests or birth control. But outrageous “misstatements” like Kyl’s make me wonder why he makes them? Is there something about women needing appointments with OB/GYNs that offends his sensibilities? Or is there more to it than that? After all, it’s not the first time that Kyl has made it clear that he couldn’t care less about the facts when it comes to women’s health.
Kyl also famously protested on the record that since he has no need for maternity care, he shouldn’t have to pay for it in his insurance policy, suggesting that others shouldn’t be forced to either. Fortunately, Senator Debbie Stabenow was on hand during that episode with a sharp one-liner retort to remind him that women in his own family probably felt differently.
There are plenty of other things Kyl doesn’t want women to have – he doesn’t like U.N. funding to help women and girls globally on family planning issues, he voted against increased funding to help teens get information about contraception, and he voted to end certain government programs to assist women-owned businesses.
Since Kyl has announced that he’s not running again for his Senate seat, maybe this is all much ado about nothing. Someone else will be in that seat after 2102, so why sweat his neanderthal views on women? Because he’s made no secret that he gladly would accept a bid to be vice president if the GOP candidate in 2012 asks him. That’s just what we need regardless of political party — a vice president who would be OK with a government that would deny his wife, daughter and granddaughters, and the rest of us, a little help because of gender.
I just wish I could figure out why he’s got it in for the ladies. Because if you’re a man with women and girls in your immediate family, it just doesn’t make any sense.