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Sen. Orrin Hatch is a hardcore old-school conservative. For much of recent history he was considered a conservative stalwart in the senate. That's not good enough for modern conservatism, however, which is predicated on being so absolutely batshit regressive that Ronald Reagan looks like a communist by comparison, and so Hatch has had his work cut out for him lately trying to placate a base that considers him a traitor to the cause.

Which might explain statements like this, from Hatch:

Look, we all know that Planned Parenthood does 400,000 abortions a year or more, and yet that's supported by the federal government. They claim that money isn't, uh, they don't use federal funds, well, about 95 percent of all they do, from what I understand, is abortion.
Oh! In the senate playbook we call that "Pulling a Kyl." Last year, on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Jon Kyl famously declared abortion was "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." It was an assertion so obviously and profoundly false that his office could do nothing but issue a now-famous press statement that his claim was "not intended to be a factual statement." Then, after becoming a national laughingstock (well, more so, anyway) Kyl "revised his remarks" in the congressional record to erase the claim, which you can do if you are a senator, and which I think senators believe alters the fabric of spacetime in such a way as to make the thing not have ever happened.

Orrin Hatch has one-upped crackpot Jon Kyl here, however: last year Kyl said abortion was "90 percent" of what Planned Parenthood does, but according to Hatch's new conservative-colored glasses it's now "about 95 percent." (By next year, it will be 110 percent, and then by 2014 it will be 300 percent, and by 2016 all industry in America will revolve around abortions. Planned Parenthood, like other conservative boogeymen like Sesame Street, ACORN, and that reporter that James O'Keefe tried to assault with a boat full of dildos, no-literally-look-it-up, is just that powerful.)

According to Planned Parenthood itself, the figure is about three percent, so when Orrin Hatch says "from what I understand," he means that he does not understand at all, or is making it up, or remembered what Jon Kyl said and just went with it because golly, a fellow conservative senator would never make contrafactual statements on the floor of the Senate, or—well, I don't know. Far be it from me to know what lurks in the dark recesses of Orrin Hatch's mind. I expect he's just trying to get reelected.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 06:15 PM PST.

Also republished by Pro Choice and Abortion.

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