Bender: They were misquoted
One of the insidious things the Fake News Media does is to misquote politicians and make them look like disingenuous weasels putting party above country — or in the president's case, putting himself above absolutely everyone. In some instances, the media's even faked video to make it appear as if he said things he clearly didn't say.
We must begin to correct the record. Here are some widely misquoted quotes followed by what they probably really said.
• Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND: "It is a blatantly partisan impeachment process. This so-called whistleblower seems to have no firsthand knowledge of what it is they’re claiming."
Possible quote: "As I often say during Bible Study, you can't believe in something if you weren't there to see it. Sure, the summary shows my home boy shaking down Ukraine like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, but the whistleblower wasn't actually there. Pics, or it didn't happen! And can we really trust the administration's summary? No quid pro quo! Nolo contendere! E Pluribus Unum and other Latin words!"
• Sen. Moscow Mitch McConnell, R-KY: "The President would seek to win at any cost. (Even) if it meant lying to the American people. Do we want to retain President Clinton in office, or do we want to retain our honor, our principle, and our moral authority? …I choose honor."
Potential quote: "Honor, principles and morals are wildly overrated. Does it really matter whether you betray your country for political and personal gain? Nyet! If we impeach the president for something as piddly as treason, it'll be the end of the America we know and pillage."
• Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND: "I believe there’s not grounds there for impeachment. We should focus on getting the work done that serves the American people."
Probable unredacted full statement: "I also believe in unicorns and that Elvis is alive. Please ignore the large man in a trench coat standing behind me. And let me say of my own free will that we should focus on doing whatever this president wants if we know what's good for us. As the president is fond of saying, 'It's a nice country we have here. It'd be a pity if it descended into a civil war.' Now, if that doesn't show how much he loves America, I don't know what does."
• Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC: "Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office."
• Likely quote: "Impeachment's like an enema. An Enema of the People. It's about cleaning out the a-holes."
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-ND: "(Impeachment's) burning up time when we could be working on other things."
• Rumored quote: "As a defense attorney, I've come to the conclusion that far too much time is wasted on prosecuting criminal behavior. No one cares if our president sold out to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey or even China — that he's some kind of Muscovian Candidate. Instead of asking unfair gotcha questions about loyalty and patriotism, we could be doing other things that would be less embarrassing for Republicans, like stripping people of their healthcare, decimating agriculture, abandoning our allies, stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. In fact, that sounds like a great campaign slogan: Let's Do Other Things!"
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.