Patterico's Pontifications

2/27/2010

Bunning’s Line in the Sand

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 4:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Senator Jim Bunning has single-handedly halted extensions of unemployment insurance and Cobra health benefits for some unemployed Americans. He says the government should first say how it plans to pay for the extensions:

“Bunning is furious about increased spending in the Senate – but he’s waging a lonely battle to stop it. The senior senator from his state, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, with whom he has a frosty relationship, is not backing him up. If he refuses to relent, Democrats will have to file cloture to shut down debate, pushing back final action until next week.

But Democrats are eager to have this fight; even though they know that Bunning remains largely by himself, they know that hammering away at the Kentucky Republican will drill home their argument that the GOP is out to obstruct progress.”

Bunning did share some colorful language with his irritated colleagues:

“In a colloquy with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeff Merkley, a freshman Democrat from Oregon, was pleading for Bunning to drop his objection, when the Kentucky Republican got fed up.

“Tough s—t,” Bunning said as he was seated in the back row, overheard by the floor staff and others in attendance.”

It’s not quite the equal of General McAuliffe’s “Nuts” in response to a German surrender demand, but it’s the same sentiment.

— DRJ

25 Responses to “Bunning’s Line in the Sand”

  1. as an (f)unemployed American, who knows that part of the economic problem is cause by runaway government spending, i applaud this unprecedented move towards fiscal sanity.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. I read elswhere that this is a situation similar to the proverbial “unnecessary roughness” call in football; the second act is witnessed and penalized while the inciting incident was missed by most people.

    Supposedly this material was part of another bill, which may have had more balanced effects, but the Dems killed it. So, in retaliation, Bunning is taking a stand to block the Dems plan to get what they want on the cheap.

    I eagerly admit that I do not know all of the facts in this situation or if I would understand it if I did. If someone does know about this perspective, to support or deny, I’d be happy to see it.

    Perhaps Bunning is thinking more along the lines of those Mountain Men of prior ages at the Alamo. Something to be said about having the freedom to stand by principle rather than reelection desires.

    MD in Philly (e347b2)

  3. I heard that this is part of a tiff that Bunning has with Reid, and that Reid killed the original bill that had stuff in it that Bunning wanted, and this replacement doesn’t.
    So…

    The United States Senate, home of the 100 most precious egos in the land.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7d5017)

  4. Bunning wants to use leftover Stimulus money to pay for the benefits. Plus I hope he’s just mad at all this spending.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  5. The Democrats really don’t understand how upset people are with their out of control spending.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. Plus, he’s a lame duck.
    What are they going to do, deny him re-election?

    AD - RtR/OS! (7d5017)

  7. I guess they missed the meaning of “unanimous consent” — just like they did on “consent of the governed.”

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  8. I note that Dish and DirecTV viewers in remote areas are upset because the authorization for “distant network” retransmission over satellite will expire as a result of this objection. If their local station isn’t carried on the sat, and they cannot get it over-the-air, they’re SOL. The West Coast and East Coast feeds turn off on Sunday.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  9. Thanks for the additional info.

    Maybe a write in reelection campaign will get started.

    MD in Philly (e347b2)

  10. Bunning may be right on the merits.

    But it is nuts to let one Senator block legislation or nominations.

    NCC (996c34)

  11. He is not stopping a cloture vote. Reid can do that whenever he wishes, no?

    JD (4c20e2)

  12. I think they can vote on cloture and overrule Bunning’s objection but they may want to milk it for awhile. The White House certainly does.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  13. Unfortunately Bunning’s stand will just be more validation of the Republicans are Obstructionist meme. And a convenient political tool in the hands of the administration. It’s almost as if the substance of his argument is superfluous…at least to some.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  14. I think they asked for a voice vote, assuming (?) everyone would be “OK” with it, but if just one person is against, then they have to do the vote formally. So Bunning is just saying, “You won’t get by on the sly that easily”

    So he wants to use stimulus money that was meant to (help create jobs and) provide support for those out of work to support those out of work? Enough of that kind of rational thinking!!

    MD in Philly (e347b2)

  15. Wrong fight to pick. If you won’t spend taxpayers’ money on the unemployed and the soon to be uninsured, what justification do you have for spending it on anything else?

    nk (db4a41)

  16. fine by me nk…. let them stop spending. other than national defense and safeguarding the borders, how much of what the USG does is *really* necessary?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  17. First fill their bellies, then teach them virtue. We’re fighting against socialism, but people who cannot bring money home to feed their kids and who cannot pay their doctor when their kids get sick are not going to be interested in our rugged individualist philosophy.

    The fact is that people are tough when the going is easy. When the going gets tough they vote for a hand up.

    nk (db4a41)

  18. I’m not prescribing, I’m describing. And the evidence is on my side.

    nk (db4a41)

  19. That’s true, nk, but as more and more things that used to be luxuries are now considered necessities, there may never be the right place to draw a line in the sand.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  20. Sigh. I know that, DRJ.

    And I understand Jim Bunning. His success came from talent and hard work.

    nk (db4a41)

  21. #

    as an (f)unemployed American, who knows that part of the economic problem is cause by runaway government spending, i applaud this unprecedented move towards fiscal sanity.

    Comment by redc1c4 — 2/27/2010 @ 5:32 pm

    Same situation with me. I voluntarily dropped my unemployment benefits when the Feds extended the duration last year without cutting spending elsewhere. Integrity’s gotta start somewhere.

    in_awe (44fed5)

  22. And I understand Jim Bunning. His success came from talent and hard work.

    The guy never worked a real job in his life. He’s had a fairytale existence, from baseball to the Senate and for what? Was he really more gifted or a more passionate law-maker than others in Kentucky? I doubt it. Was he really such an amazing baseball player or did he have the luxury to just play ball and forget about the misery of real life and bills and working for a miserable wage for people who think they’re doing you a favor for treating you like shit.

    Sort of what he’s doing.

    Bunning deserves just about some of the most potent disgust possible. The man is a pig. A liar and a hypocrite and a pig who is also, it happens losing his fu8king marbles to senility.

    Christ, you know where you can stick that blowhard Randian fantasy of rugged individualism ….

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  23. And I understand Jim Bunning. His success came from talent and hard work.

    The guy never worked a real job in his life. He’s had a fairytale existence, from baseball to the Senate and for what? Was he really more gifted or a more passionate law-maker than others in Kentucky? I doubt it. Was he really such an amazing baseball player or did he have the luxury to just play ball and forget about the misery of real life and bills and working for a miserable wage for people who think they’re doing you a favor for treating you like shit.

    Sort of what he’s doing.

    Bunning deserves just about some of the most potent disgust possible. The man is a pig. A liar and a hypocrite and a pig who is also, it happens losing his fu8king marbles to senility.

    Christ, you know where you can stick that blowhard Randian fantasy of rugged individualism ….

    Assclown dooderheads (f0d390)

  24. And I understand Jim Bunning. His success came from talent and hard work.

    The guy never worked a real job in his life. He’s had a fairytale existence, from baseball to the Senate and for what? Was he really more gifted or a more passionate law-maker than others in Kentucky? I doubt it. Was he really such an amazing baseball player or did he have the luxury to just play ball and forget about the misery of real life and bills and working for a miserable wage for people who think they’re doing you a favor for treating you like sh*t.

    Sort of what he’s doing.

    Bunning deserves just about some of the most potent disgust possible. The man is a pig. A liar and a hypocrite and a pig who is also, it happens losing his fu8king marbles to senility.

    Christ, you know where you can stick that blowhard Randian fantasy of rugged individualism ….

    Assclown dooderheads (f0d390)


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