The Phillie Phanatic Strikes Again
"What happened last night was an absolute disgrace. There is a time and a place a purpose for debate on deficit reduction, but you don't make your stand on the back of the unemployed. It is ill-informed, counter productive and just cruel." - Judi Conti, lobbyist for the National Employment Law Project (NELP)
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Tough Shit) may be the only man in the history of the United States Senate to get thrown out of both the higher chamber and Cooperstown. The reason is by now well-documented:
Over the last couple of days, Bunning has taken a page from his obstructionist buddy, Kentucky's senior senator Mitch McConnell (R-Cabbage Patch) and had staged a one man filibuster to block a vital unemployment benefits extension for many jobless people about to lose it tomorrow.
So where was Bunning's opposition to funding two hyper expensive quagmires in central Asia and the Middle East? And what about other budget-busting measures that were championed by Republicans both when they were in charge and in the minority?
"The Republicans did not filibuster to pay for the tax cuts they handed out for the wealthiest of the wealthy in America," said Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkely. "And yet when our workers are down it is the Republican filibuster that is used to kick them."
It's the kind of action that a lame duck senator who no longer gives a shit what his constituents think, one forced out by his own party, would do, sort of the way a conquering army does when they torch a village just before leaving. It was Sen. Merkely to whom Bunning said, "Tough shit," when the Oregon Senator pleaded for him to drop his needless filibuster and adopt unanimous consent.
To add insult to injury, Bunning even had the nerve to complain about missing a basketball game because of his own filibuster, which kind of reminds me of that Billy Crystal SNL character who says, "You know how when you get naked and roll around on broken glass and then rub salt in your wounds? I hate when that happens!"
Predictably, Bunning's one man filibuster, while not officially spelled by anyone, has the support of other Republican organ donors like John Cornyn (R-Exxon). But I can't imagine the GOP, starting with the same Mitch McConnell who was mercilessly slammed by Bunning just last year, is very happy about Bunning further damaging a brand name that's already enjoying the worse reputation since Ford's Edsel and Pinto.
But this is what you can expect of a guy who plainly doesn't give a shit about millions of unemployed workers about to lose their benefits and sole source of income, damaging his party's future and cares more about a basketball game than he does anything else.
If Bunning wants to rail about how unemployment extensions will extend the deficit, then maybe he shouldn't have voted for those tax cuts for the wealthy during the Bush era.