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‘Mistaken’ is a cushier word than ‘wrong’

Alternative facts seem to be the soup de jour not only at the national level but also right here on Maui. And here’s a prime example:

After insisting the police were wrong and that he was just sitting in his car outside his Kihei residence and not driving it illegally on South Kihei Road when he was arrested last July, our newly re-elected South Maui state Representative, Kaniela Ing, now concedes the officer who arrested him was correct — he was in fact driving the car (The Maui News, Jan. 26). This comes months after his arrest and after getting his court appearance postponed until after the August primary election, then again until after the November general election, and then again until after the swearing-in at the opening of the legislative session on Oahu on Jan. 18. Now all of a sudden, Ing says in court on Jan. 25, “I was mistaken.” Not, you’ll notice, “I lied.”

What bugs the dickens out of me is that he doesn’t seem capable of admitting he was flat out wrong. “Mistaken” is a much cushier word than “wrong.” It implies an innocent oversight instead of what was obvious denial, obfuscation and dishonesty. Saying you’re wrong is a simple thing and far better than slippery sidestepping double talk.

And another thing, rather than grandstanding on Kauai trying to engage billionaire Mark Zuckerberg over land issues there, it would serve his constituents better if Ing concentrated on his own district of South Maui where there are pressing issues requiring his full attention.

Mary Lawrence

Kihei

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