The treatment of retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) by the left is nothing if not remarkable. It's not remarkable for its intellectual honesty, but remarkable for its complete lack of intellect and seriousness. We're being told that Bunning is holding up extending $10 billion in unemployment benefits for those who have been out of work for some time. The $10 billion the Democrats want us to spend doesn't exist; it's more borrowed money. Bunning wants the money to come from unspent Porkulus funds that are still out there (H/T: Another Black Conservative).
ABC's Jonathan Karl and a producer tried to corner Bunning on this, demanding the Senator explain his reasoning, despite the fact that Bunning already had done so. As noted at Wizbang, the left is apoplectic:
- Steve Benen: HE'S FLIPPING OFF MORE THAN JUST JOURNALISTS
- HuffPo #1: Bunning Objects To Extending Unemployment Insurance AGAIN
- HuffPo #2:Jim Bunning Talking Points: Democrats Blast Bunning's Antics
- Think Progress: Refusing to explain his obstruction of unemployment benefits, Bunning shoots reporter the middle finger.
- Crooks and Liars #1: Sen. Bunning, the Unemployment Filibuster King, tells ABC: 'This Is a Senators Only Elevator!'
- Crooks and Liars #2: Dana Bash: It Could Take a Couple of Weeks for Democrats to Work Around Bunning's Obstruction
- Alan Colmes: Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning Reacts Angrily When Asked Why He’s Blocking The Jobs Bill
- Taylor Marsh: Bunning: ‘Excuse me! This is a Senators only elevator!’
Benen actually does the best job of actually explaining why Bunning is doing this. Unfortunately, even he gets stuck on stupid [emphasis mine]:
I received an email earlier suggesting I haven't been entirely fair -- Bunning has a rationale for screwing over all of these struggling Americans, and it's only right to let people know. OK, here it goes: Bunning wants the funding to come from the stimulus, instead of being added to the deficit. He wants to see the money follow pay-as-you-go rules (PAYGO), instead of making an exception.
But here are the details Bunning hopes you'll forget: he opposes PAYGO, and has repeatedly voted to extend unemployment benefits through deficit spending before.
This is an argument? Of course we already know it isn't; it's a way for Benen to engage in some name-calling in the next paragraph.
What none of these unserious people seem to understand that it ain't Bunning who is holding anything up, but Democrats who refuse to live under their own rules. Reid could have fixed this last week and refused, UTTERLY REFUSED, to do so. But you'll never hear lefties saying such thing.
Worse, there aren't enough Republicans who are backing up Bunning, with the exception of maybe a couple. Get on their cases.
(Hat tip: Memeorandum)