The Cure for Jim Bunning

So, Senator Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, has decided to go on a rampage of crazy. He’s blocking an extension to unemployment benefits. This has been a fairly uncontroversial extension that was expected to pass, having garnered that old magic feeling: bi-partisan support and compromise. Instead, Bunning has put a hold on the whole she-bang, and not with a principled speech demonstrating his reasons but with a single raised finger directed at the press and, one guesses, perhaps at every unemployed person in America. Fuck you guys, he’s got a job.

Kevin Drum at MotherJones is upset by this because no one in the Republican Party has stepped up to call Bunning out. This, he says, points to an unexpected nihilism on the part of the GOP — who he blames for the mess.

Yeah, fine, the party holds some of the blame. And Bunning really should be held to account for this mess — what exactly is the Whip doing with all his time? More broadly, though, I blame the Democrats. It’s not like Jim Bunning’s particular flavor of crazy is a surprise. He’s been an obstructionist for years. The question, now, isn’t what should have been done with Jim Bunning, but what will we do?

What I wish the Democrats would do: find one unemployed grandmother in Kentucky who was counting on her check to buy bread, milk, and her medications, get her on video, and run that tape spliced with an image of him flipping off the cameras every day until the next election.

What they will probably do: Nothing. It’s a hard habit to break.

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