Monday, March 1, 2010

A Little Lesson in Civics Thanks to Jim Bunning

Personally, I think Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is providing the American electorate a wonderful lesson in civics, and how interconnected our governmental programs happen to be. It is important for citizens to know what this one Senator's action has wrought: a potential cut in unemployment benefits to more than a million this month, the furloughing of approximately 2,000 workers in the Department of Transportation (infrastructure projects perhaps), and cuts in Medicare fees owed doctors.

Now, Bunning, the man who fell asleep during those maddening Senate Finance Committee meetings back in the fall, is not running for re-election this year. This is also the same man who uttered, so eloquently, "tough shit," when his fellow Senators tried to get him to change his mind. And he allegedly gave reporters the finger earlier today. All of this because he is pissed that Sen. Reid, in abandoning the Senate Finance Committee's attempt at a jobs bill that was filled with tons of things other than direct help to create jobs.

I wondered if Bunning's real motivation is similar to the motivation of Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), when he placed a blanket hold on all of Obama's nominations in need of Senate confirmation. In some ways I hope that this situation will play out just like the government shutdown of 1995, which amounted to nothing more than a pissing contest between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton, over a presumed slight against Gingrich by Clinton.

Perhaps Bunning, so opposed to health insurance reform, or so pissed that his party essentially showed him the door, is just being a pissed off soon to be irrelevant former politician flexing the last bit of political muscle he has left. Regardless, I hope Americans will take away from this situation a better understanding of just how obstructionist the U.S. Senate can be, whether the obstructionism is principled or not. And from that, I would hope that all of those people who want to blame Obama for not getting his agenda through the Senate will understand better exactly what he, or frankly any other POTUS, would be up against.

I am probably hoping for way too much from my fellow Americans.

1 comment:

The $3000 Dress said...

I WANT to be civil about a Civil Servant. I want to listen to his words and not how he says them. I do, I Really Do. But he's being and ass. Last week he stood on his own, almost an outcast in his own party - - - all of a sudden over the weekend the wagons are circling. Living out the most pathetic illustration of loyalty "He may be an asshole, but he's OUR asshole - c'mon boys!" He's got peeps now! Kyl is even saying COBRA is an incentive to keep people from looking harder for work (does he even KNOW how much that S**T costs????) No, of course he does not. I've about had it with elected official telling ME what America Wants. When one election in ten (2008) actually gets more than 50% of the registered voters off their butts, then NO politician can claim a mandate from the American people. Back on toping - Bunning? The man is done and he has no grace and no eloquence and probably no fastball. More proof that just because you can "throw ball hard an fast" does not qualify you for a life of service.

O.K., maybe that's not fair, however, he is going down in an unfortunately familiar way: selfish and shameful. It seems that we're learning that ONE person in congress (dem, rep, ind) actually may have TOO much power. Enough to essentially halt progress. Yes, PROGRESS. Something that is actually GOOD. I'm sure this is not a popular word because it is after all the root of "progressive" Oh, "dear" I said the "P" word. Well, too bad.