As we talked about a couple of months ago, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) isn't exactly going out on top of his game. The far-right Arizonan is wrapping up his lengthy congressional career at the end of the year, but he's departing on the heels of several sour notes, which have made him appear, at various times, dishonest, confused, and obstinate.
Yesterday, Kyl's standing slipped from bad to worse.
Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second ranking Republican, lambasted the embassy statement, which was released before the deaths in Benghazi and was critical of the anti-Islamic video.
"I don't know if you've ever been involved in victims' rights, but this is like a judge telling the woman that got raped, 'you asked for it because of the way you dressed,' " Mr. Kyl said. "That's the same thing. 'Well America, you should be the ones to apologize. You should have known this would happen'," he said. "For a member of our State Department to put out a statement like that, it had to be cleared by somebody. They don't just do that at the spur of the moment."
In context, Kyl was trying to condemn a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which, six hours before Egyptian protests, criticized anti-Muslim bigotry in a fringe YouTube video. It was consistent with a bipartisan tradition of diplomacy that was common throughout the Bush/Cheney era.
It didn't say America apologizes; it didn't say America should apologize; and it didn't say we "should have known this would happen." (Kyl didn't specify what "this" he was referring to.)
And for crying out loud, it's no way similar to saying rape victims deserved to be attacked based on their clothing. Go ahead and read the statement -- it's about respect for religious diversity; not blaming anyone for attacks that hadn't taken place yet.
Indeed, given that it came hours before the protests, Kyl's rape analogy is strikingly dumb, but his incoherent chronology is obvious nonsense.
Maybe this wasn't "intended to be a factual statement"?