They said that?

One of the mysteries of politics is how politicians so easily forget a key point. Most of what they say is recorded. So, when they change a position, it can be shown they are at odds with their earlier views.

One of my personal favorites is both former Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are on video saying climate change is real and man-influenced and we need to do something about it. It should be noted that McConnell recently signed a letter with 22 senators saying we should withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Accord.

While on climate change, we should not forget the double flip-flop of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He first said it was a hoax. Then, he did a national TV commercial with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he was wrong about climate change and we need to do something about it. Then he ran for President and said he was wrong to say he was wrong.

The sad part about the above is it did not do much harm to the three politicians. Others have not been as lucky. President George HW Bush was punished in a subsequent election after he promised “Read my lips, no new taxes,” and then later raised taxes. President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House for his lying under oath that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

President Ronald Reagan was almost impeached when he lied on TV that he was not aware of weapons being sold to Iran to fund the Contras in Central America. He later went on TV and said he had misled America. And, President Barack Obama oversold the ACA saying that if you want to keep your doctor you could, without recognizing networks don’t work that way.

Yet, our current President has set a new standard for untruths and misstatements. They are rampant, occurring daily and sometimes hourly. When he recently said he would testify under oath, his attorney probably had a stroke. The attorney likely recalls how Trump testified under oath a few years ago and was forced to admit he lied 30 times.

Yet, let me conclude with a priceless quote from former Senator John Kyl which is indicative. When a reporter caught him in a lie, Kyl responded that “your problem is confusing what I said with the truth.” Yes, it is our fault for believing what you say.

33 thoughts on “They said that?

  1. Dear Keith,

    If you fail to be truthful out of habit, it is impossible to remember past misstatements. And these politicians are victims of what happens when you prevaricate too often to suit the occasion and the audience.
    And then they wonder why the country gives them poor marks for doing their jobs.
    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, that is clearly a key shortcoming of the President. He lies so much, he may not know where the lies stop and the truth begins. I have always felt that McConnell and Harry Reid on the Democrat side are poster children for what is wrong with Washington. McConnell or Reid would be hypercritical of the other when the other was the Majority leader and then do the same thing when he became leader. McConnell does not lie as much as Trump, as no one can, but I tend to have doubt when he talks. As for Boehner, I have tended to feel sorry for him as his untruths were more to cover his rear when the party extremists held Congress hostage. Keith

  2. I suppose they rely on this canon
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to meanโ€”neither more nor less.” …

    • Roger, unfortunately these politicians’ careers are not as fragile as Mr. Dumpty’s. They have far more resilience not unlike The Wizard of Oz. Keith

      • We can but hope.
        Lesson from the UK: Theresa May a few months ago was the Unassailable Reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher. (Then as we say is our house, ‘along came Mr. Hugh Bris’)

      • That guy Hugh Bris has sunk many a person. PM May violated the most basic piece of advice – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Our leader here has not learned the basic lesson from Mark Twain, “It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

      • All very true.
        And bearing in mind the non-relationship with the established press, the adage “Admit your own mistakes before some else exaggerates them”

      • Urban legends and ridiculous conspiracy junk are spawned by warping the most obvious and rational narratives so goodness knows what’s being made up about the crew cluttering up The Whitehouse (not that you actually need to make anything up)

      • Roger, to your point, just yesterday a man was sentenced to four years in prison after believing one of Alex Jones’ latest conspiracies that Hillary Clinton was running a child trafficking ring from a pizza parlor in Washington. They man showed up with an assault weapon and now is going to jail.

        While this is sad enough, it is only reprentative of Jones’ work, which includes one Donald J. Trump, not only as a fan, but a guest. It should be noted the White House gave Jones’ network a press pass to his briefings.


      • It is difficult to separate the genuine fools who have gathered bigger fools about them, and the charlatans.
        Just to clarify I was talking about those who peddle conspiracy theories.
        Not the current Whitehouse.
        It needed clarification as the two are similar.
        God Help America.

      • Thanks for the clarification and well wishes for our country. Unfortunately, he is in a position to impact more than just us.

      • Talented and capable holders of the office have suffered when they stepped into the International Waters, this individual can’t even swim.
        I leave the rest of the scenario to your imagination Keith.

  3. Note to Readers: I should clarify that President Reagan committed an impeachable offense with the clandestine arms sale to Iran, not that he lied about it on TV. As for President Clinton, he lied under oath testifying to a House Committee. Given our President’s proclivity toward lying, he may want to avoid testifying under oath to any formal body.

    • I think that ‘under oath’ has no particular meaning to Trump … ore to most of his advisors. he has, after all, violated the oath he took on January 20th more than once. I wouldn’t put any more faith in anything he said under oath than I do in his tweets. I think the definition of ‘truth’ is far different than mine and yours.

  4. Note to Readers: There are so many Trump lies to pull from, but one of the most blatant came when he finally was going to say Obama was born in this country. The man who kept the birther issue going for several years going on TV to grandstand did admit Obama was born here. Then, he blamed Hillary
    Clinton for starting it.

    • This whole ‘birther’ issue is a game he plays, similar in nature to the one about the tapes of his conversations with James Comey … he likes to play guessing games … at other people’s expense. These are games for grade-school playgrounds, not for the highest office in the nation.

  5. What a circus. The lies are so easy to track because of the plethora of recording devices these days. And yet we are under the power of the most egregious liar of the century!

    • Linda, the circus may have stopped touring, but the clowns are still getting elected. We are owed the truth and we are not getting it from the White House and others on a consistent enough basis. Keith

      • Sorry to say, but that is the understatement of this crazy year. Political obfuscation has always existed, and at times, necessarily so. But what is going in now raises obfuscation to a completely new and heinous level.

      • Linda, you are so correct about obfuscation being around as long as politicians have been in power. With the hyper tribalism and misinformation to meet one’s belief system, the obfuscation has more air cover. Keith

  6. Note to Readers: In response to a subpoena for any tape recordings, the President was forced to admit there are no tapes. This was an unforced error on his part and helped pave the way for a special prosecutor. The best line James Comey offered in response at his testimony is “Lord, I hope there are tapes.”

  7. โ€œyour problem is confusing what I said with the truth.โ€ — that is a gem and so aptly defines the philosophy of everyone in the current administration. Good post, Keith … sadly true. Despite months of research, asking questions, seeking answers, I still cannot understand how so many have fallen under the spell of this ‘man’ who has no conscience, no values, little intelligence … yes, I know people were feeling ‘disenfranchised’, but the country was not really in such bad shape, and now, five months into his presidency, it should be so obvious to all that he is not planning to make the country “great again”, but only his own coffers, and yet he still has ardent supporters. One of life’s great mysteries, I suppose.

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