Dept. of Miserable Human Beings

I try to avoid posting about topics that have already been plastered all over other left-ish blogs and media outlets. If you've read about it at Talking Points Memo, I figure you're probably not interested in what a blogger of notably less prominence has to say. But some things are just so ugly, every voice matters when crying out in anger and dismay.

The case of one Jim Bunning, GOP Senator from Kentucky and partisan obstructionist extraordinaire is one such situation. For those of you unfamiliar with the loathsome Sen. Bunning's recent antics, TPM (of course) has a tidy little collection of posts about him. In short, Sen. Bunning (not to be outdone by his colleague from Alabama) decided to put a hold on legislation that would have extended unemployment benefits to 400,000 people in order to make a point about deficit spending. Over the objections of members of his own party, he decided to make the lives of thousands of people materially worse, more stressful and more disheartening, because he wanted his own petty, doomed-to-fail agenda brought to a vote.

Now, this would be marginally defensible if Bunning was one of those deficit hawks who just absolutely opposed any kind of spending that added to the deficit. Perhaps he's just the kind of incredibly principled fiscal conservative that felt like the suffering of American citizens was worth the price when government spending increases were on the line.


Bunning's record is pretty plain. When it's his own party that wants to spend money like it's going out of style, he's all too willing to play along. Massive increase a government entitlement without bothering to pay for it? Bunning's all in. Gigantic war that the Commander in Chief doesn't even bother to include in the federal budget? Bunning's for it. Ten billion dollars to keep government stimulus funds open and keep the unemployed from having no income to support themselves? Nope.

This man is just the absolute worst kind of heartless ghoul. If there's any silver lining to be found in his rank, shameless obstructionism, it's that even his own party seems to see that the cavalier use of the filibuster has gone too far. I doubt that the people who've spent the last week wondering how they'll pay for food and shelter will find that comforting, however.


  1. ZOMG, can you imagine expecting the Dems to actually play by the pay-as-you-go rules they just passed? It boggles the mind! How can Congress be expected to play by the rules they set themselves when the answer to everything is write another check our children must cash? I mean, Congress is focused like a laser on jobs, jobs, jo... erm, sorry, that's old stuff. The are focused like a laser on making a legacy for Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Jobs for those unemployed can wait while the goat rope of HCR occupies everyone's attention.

    Bunning is a hypocrite, but 100.000% of Congress is in USS Hypocrite with him. At least he was making a reasonable point, that Congress committed itself to paying for increases in essential programs by cutting elsewhere. Tell them to shred up the PAYGO bill that such a fuss was made over, because it is clear that Congress isn't interested in cutting anything to pay for increased spending. They'll always find a reason why it just can't be done now. But that's all right, the Critter is more than willing to pony up his future so Nancy and Harry don't have to make any touch choices. Right, Dan?

    Fie on both sets of crooks.

  2. One more point, while I'm still in a frothy lather. It wasn't a filibuster. One Senator can't filibsuter. Bunning simply refused to agree to bypass the PAYGO rules, and unanimous consent was required to do that.

  3. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

    Yes, you're right. He wasn't using one particular parliamentary tool of obstruction. He was using another one. Fine. Point for you on the distinction, and I'll be sure our judges make a note.

    On the other point, John, I just really don't give a shit. I couldn't possibly care less about which particular point Bunning was trying to make. You wanna make a big deal about PAYGO? Fine. Do it with something else. I have ample confidence that another bill that lacks PAYGO cred will come down the pike any minute now, and maybe that one won't leave hundreds of thousands of unemployed people how the hell they're going to afford to live smack dab in the middle of a massive recession. Government exists first and foremost for the well-being of the citizenry, and if Bunning feels it's more important to make a point about PAYGO than it is to see to it that suffering people have food on their tables, then he's precisely the kind of moral failure I think he is.

  4. That should be "wondering how the hell..." above.

  5. Nice post, Doc. Also, the idea that Jim Bunning is in the Hall of Fame and Burt Blyleven isn't is insane.

    It had to be said.

  6. Dan, if Bunning is bad for failing to address the real needs of the people, what about the Dem leadership, including Pres. Obama, who have wasted going on a year now in an Ahab level obsession with HCR? We are long past the campaign promise reverses, long past looking for anything but a "fifty plus one" victory the President said would render the country ungovernable. And still they are twisting arms and making unsavory looking deals. It ought to be clear by now all this effort isn't for the people. This is for Obama's legacy, and Reid and Pelosi's legacy. It is hurting unemployment to have the Feds so obsessed that no one can predict what bribe or political trick they'll stoop to next in an effort to ram a politically unpopular bill down the throats of everyone. Bunning is small potatoes next to the stupendous waste that HCR has become under Pres. Obama.

    When you get hot about that, let me know.