The Campaign Spot

The Man With No Name . . . Other Than ‘Jim Bunning’

From this Wednesday’s edition of Morning Jolt:

It’s Like That Old Saying, ‘Never Play Russian Roulette with a Retiring Kentucky Senator’

For a man who’s supposed to be doing the party terrible harm by opposing an extension of unemployment benefits, there seems to be a lot of love for Sen. Jim Bunning in the conservative blogosphere. Perhaps we’re building up an immunity to the usual “think of the unemployed who have to go without benefits” cries. Perhaps the furlough of 2,000 federal workers doesn’t pull at the heartstrings the way it did when unemployment was below 6 percent. Perhaps the federal government having to figure out where to cut about $10 billion doesn’t seem as unreasonable as Harry Reid tries to make it sound.  Or perhaps everyone on the right is relishing how absolutely meaningless the much-trumpeted pledges of pay-as-you-go are turning out to be.

Ed Morrissey: “Bunning isn’t even opposing the bill, or at least not its purpose.  He’s objecting to the financing, which violates the pay-go rules Democrats just imposed. Pay attention to the misreporting on this issue, because it will happen again when Republicans begin using the same process to slow down reconciliation . . . Bunning isn’t filibustering.  If Democrats want to get to a vote, they can with or without unanimous consent.  If their bill is well supported, it will eventually pass.  But after the scolding a few weeks ago from Obama on deficit spending and the Democrats’ victory dance on pay-go, the real reason Democrats are unhappy about Bunning’s action isn’t because it’s a filibuster, but because it shows their hypocrisy on deficit spending.  And the American media needs to do its research on Senate procedure before declaring the withholding of unanimous consent a ‘filibuster.’”

Michelle Malkin: “Sen. Bunning’s move to unmask pay-go hypocrisy has been dismissed by the White House as ’irrational.’ His GOP colleagues are backing away. But if Republicans can’t stand up and question the permanent Nanny State and can’t point out the unintended consequences of liberal intentions without folding like card tables, what good are they?”

Tara Lynn Thompson of RightPundits appears to have found her hero: “The road is dusty and dry, his boots stirring the grit with each solid step. A puff of dingy orange soot follows his path, clings to his worn jeans, sticks to the air in a haze. All is silence, save the clink, clink, clink of his boot spurs. When the wind picks up, a gust exhales the dirt aside and there stands (R-KY) Sen. Jim Bunning, tall and pristine haired, his hat sitting low and crooked on his furrowed brow,  sweat dampening his collar and his narrowing glint. He has one bullet. One only. And there he stands, staring down a monstrosity of opposition, an entire arsenal of government politicians with their bully pulpit and their heresy. What they want is destruction, the crippling of an entire nation, the indebtedness and economic slavery of every American present and future. Only Bunning is standing against them. He knows the spending has to stop. The money can’t keep flowing. The nation is hanging in the balance behind him, yet the road is clear of support. He is alone. (cue The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly theme song).”

I take it that in this scenario, Jonathan Karl is the saloon pianist who dives behind the bar when the shooting starts, huh?

Rick Moran notes that this is just a microcosm of what most of our future political debates will look like: “Ten billion dollars. Ten lousy billion dollars held up by Jim Bunning and Washington explodes in tears, hand wringing, and vituperative finger pointing at the retiring senator, the author of all this pain

. . . Welcome to the future. This is how it will be when even minimal, nonsensical, irrelevant, and paltry cuts in federal spending are attempted. It can be argued – and I am happy to do so – that Bunning chose the wrong time, the wrong place, and the wrong bill to fight for fiscal sanity . . . What in God’s name is wrong with this country? By the reaction, you would think that Bunning was trying to throw poor people out into the street, force grandma and grandpa to eat Meow Mix, strip soldiers naked and send them into battle, while singlehandedly increasing his carbon footprint to the point that the ocean drowns Los Angeles in a wave of melting arctic ice due to global warming.”

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