The Washington Senators

From The Washington Post:

For five days, retiring Sen. Jim Bunning held his fellow Republicans hostage. He stood his ground, angry and alone, a one-man blockade against unemployment benefits, Medicare payments to doctors, satellite TV to rural Americans and paychecks to highway workers.

“Enough,” the Kentucky Republican thundered repeatedly, his face red, as he stood in the way of Washington spending more money he said it didn’t have on an extension of popular programs. Finally, as supporters and critics yelled at each other outside his Lexington office, he capitulated from the well of the Senate on Tuesday night.

Relentless attacks from Democrats and withering support from Republicans, worried that the Hall of Fame pitcher was turning the party’s message of principled objection to raging obstructionism, ended Bunning’s stand.

Yeah, Bunning balked, but not before some of his fellow Rethuglicans used the episode to make fools of themselves.

Original DVD cover

From POLITICAL ANIMAL at Washington MONTHLY (March 2nd):

BUNNING GETS BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS…. Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) temper tantrum has caused quite a mess from coast to coast. Tens of thousands of unemployed workers are getting screwed, as are thousands of furloughed highway workers, small businesses, and medical professionals. Bunning’s rationale isn’t even coherent, but his callous crusade continues.

It’s been interesting, though, to see Bunning’s Republican colleagues respond to the tantrum. The underlying measure was poised to be approved unanimously — that is, without GOP objection — but notice that Senate Republicans haven’t made any real efforts to cut Bunning’s lunacy short. Granted, the GOP leadership may have limited influence over the Kentucky senator — the borderline-unstable member is retiring later this year — but that doesn’t explain the support Republicans are offering.

Corker Defended Bunning, Said Senate Was “Stooping To A Low Level.” On the Senate floor, Senator [Bob] Corker defended Senator Bunning and said, “I believe we are stooping to a low level. […]  Everybody in the country now knows that the Senator from Kentucky has a hold on this bill. That is something that is honored. Not a hold on the bill, but he is objecting to unanimous consent, and that is something that we honor in this body.” [Congressional Record, 2/25/10]

Sessions Defended Bunning, Said He’s Blocking Unemployment Benefits “As A Matter Of Principle.” On the Senate floor, Senator [Jeff] Sessions defending Senator Bunning and said, “I think the Senator from Kentucky is speaking on behalf of the conscience of a lot of Americans, a majority of Americans, if they heard this debate. He is doing it as a matter of principle. I know he has no desire to see people not receive unemployment compensation. He is willing to support that. He simply is saying that enough is enough.” [Congressional Record, 2/25/10]

Sessions Again Defended Bunning, Said He Respects Bunning’s “Courage.” […] Sessions spoke about Bunning’s actions on the Senate floor and said, “I respect him for the courage he showed. [Congressional Record, 3/1/10]

[John] Cornyn Admires Bunning’s “Courage.” […] “I understand that Senator Durbin retained the floor for the most part and yielded for questions, but basically the procedure denied Senator Bunning and Senator Corker, who I know also weighed in, an opportunity to explain precisely what was going on…. I want to say I admire the courage of the junior Senator from Kentucky, Mr. Bunning.” [Congressional Record, 2/26/10]

[Jon] Kyl Defended Bunning, Said He “Made A Good Point.” […] You can’t say that everything we do around here needs to be offset,’ said Kyl, ‘and then waive the pay go legislation every time you want to do it.’ ‘My colleague from Kentucky made a good point.'” [Politico, 3/1/10]

“Bunning’s blockade” is wreaking havoc, and leading Republicans aren’t denouncing him — they’re encouraging him.

This is the modern Republican Party? In an election year?

For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), Bunning’s fellow Kentuckian, was asked repeatedly this morning whether Bunning’s tantrum was defensible. McConnell refused to answer.

But that wasn’t quite enough for Senator Jon My-Weewee-Is-As-Short-As-My-Name Kyl.  From PHOENIX Business Journal:

During a Senate debate over an extension of unemployment insurance benefits, Kyl said unemployment insurance “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”

When questioned by Democratic senators, he stood by his remarks, but said he wasn’t implying that jobless individuals are not seeking work.


The Senate is considering the latest in a series of unemployment benefits extensions. The Obama administration said Monday that without them, 400,000 Americans (including 8,300 Arizonans) will lose those benefits this month.

Unemployment insurance in Arizona offers jobless works a maximum of $206 a week, one of the lowest levels in the U.S. That translates into $5.15 per hour, or $10,712 a year — just below the 2009 federal poverty level of $10,830 for a single-person household.

Kyl’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Yeah, damn those people living the life of luxury on unemployment. They don’t have to suffer like Jim Beanball Bunning! While he was hard at work, obstructing the Senate (where he gets paid $174,000 a year plus expenses, a pension, and health care for the rest of his life), he missed a basketball game ! The unemployed can sit around watching basketball all damned day. That is, until they can’t pay their electric bill, and the power gets turned off.

Tip of the hat to the handsome and talented Zirgar for sparking the idea for tonight’s movie selection.


Filed under Democrats, humor, John Cornyn, Jon Kyl, Mitch McConnell, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

25 responses to “The Washington Senators

  1. writechic

    What a damn side show. How many unemployed people got their letters that they’d be cut off if Congress didn’t extend by February 28th and have been wondering how they will continue to subsist with no money and no job prospects. And for what?

    A bunch of fear heaped on misery…cuz misery and being at the mercy of government assistance isn’t just dues for those who can’t pull themselves up by their f#@&ing bootstraps.

    • writechic

      I loathe conservatives. Grrrr.

      • i don’t loathe true old-time conservatives who really do have some principles. you know, the ones who had real respect for the constitution, though we might have differed in their interpretation at times. i have no beef with the true fiscal conservatives either. you won’t find any of those in the senate or the house these days, though. it’s too bad, because real debate is important.

        • writechic

          Where are the old farts? I miss ’em. I think it was Brooks (who I actually do like…when he’s smart and not stupid) who said that Republicans would do well as the loyal opposition. The new Republicans are like 99% sucking.

          • there are a few who still act on principle. for example, ted olson is working with david boies to overturn prop 8, and bruce fein has spoken out against torture. hell, i even have to include bob barr who had the stones to declare that torture doesn’t work at cpac. do i despise some of the stances they’ve taken in the past? absolutely! however, i have to give them props for not being afraid to stand up for what they believe, even though most of their buddies are going to tape ‘kick me’ signs to their backs.

            • writechic

              Barr freaks me out sometimes, but you’re right. And Ron Paul spoke out against the worst about Bush during his presidency. That was brave.

              Too bad their supporters aren’t louder than Palin supporters.

              • i threw up a little bit in my mouth as i typed that response to you. i wouldn’t say that ron paul is brave, because he’s built his entire political career on being a malcontent. if he didn’t rail against chimpy, he would have been voted out. it will be interesting to see what he does now, because the teabaggers have decided that he’s not quite conservative enough for them.

  2. Ha ha ha, I see now what you were talking about. Great poster! You should’ve put Jim DeMintia on there since Bunning is his personal hero for fucking over hundreds of thousands of Americans to make a point about D.C. spending. I think both sides played this for political points, but Bunning is the one who initiated it and ultimately agreed to the very same deal that was offered to him on the first day of his “tough shit”objection grandstanding. What a fucking tool.

    BTW, my cursing doesn’t bother you, does it? While I have a fairly large vocabulary, I’ve always been partial to plain old, in your face, simple cursing, but I can tone it down it’s offensive 🙂

    • i was going to put jim demented on there, but i thought jeff sessions made the perfect batboy, and i wanted to focus on jon kyl’s stupidity. it’s not like jim demented won’t say something stupid again soon. there will be plenty of opportunities for him to star in one of my movies.

      curse away! this is a free-speech zone. i try to behave myself here, but in person, i have the vocabulary of a truck driver who hasn’t had his morning coffee.

      thanks for sparking my synapses, z! 🙂

  3. i had a very similar post on the Washington Senators – great minds do think alike and also

    we must be SO old to remember the Washington Senators – well I am, you are always young

    ps – Bunning is the biggest hypocrite in america – and he truly represents what chewing tobacco does to you

    • wouldn’t it be fun if we could trade these senators as though they were baseball players? of course, that would mean we could also bench them, which is what a lot of them deserve.

  4. Ah, yes, Washington. First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of the nation–and last in the American League. Then they moved to Texas and W owned them. Yeah, that explains it.

    • from wiki, these are the choices:

      * Washington Senators (1891–1899), a baseball team that played in the American Association and the National League.
      * Washington Senators (1901-1960), the Major League Baseball team now called the Minnesota Twins
      * Washington Senators (1961-1971), the Major League Baseball team now called the Texas Rangers

      so they are extinct, in the land of batshit bachmann, or once owned by w. either of the last two would work, but i’m hoping for the first option (and, of course, i mean politically).

  5. I vaguely entertained a thought of this concept of a poster, what with Bunning’s claim to sports fame and the endemic jocksniffery of his retinue…And then I realized that it would be far better to wait and see it done properly by you, Nonnie.


    • you always say the sweetest things, darkblack! 😳 i honestly didn’t even consider a baseball poster until zirgar replied to me over at his place and called beanball bunning a major league asshole. that’s when 💡 the little light bulb went on over my head.

  6. The circus continues.

    I hate that the GOP just now decided it wants to be fiscally conservative/responsible.

    They did not blink to give KBR a $2.8 BILLION dollar contract….

    $10 billion is nothing in the Federal budget, compared to military spending.

    Remember it’s the people’s money!

    • the rethugs have one set of rules when another rethug is in the white house and one when a dem is occupying the oval.

      brings to mind a quite from groucho marx:

      “These are my principles. And if you don’t like them, I have others.”

      maybe we’ll see that in their campaign commercials.

  7. I remember when the Senators moved here in the early 70s when Eddie”I mad” Chiles was the owner. Then monkey man stepped in with his wopping 4% stake to “own” the team with all his buddies buying oil losses in Arbrusta making up the balance so they can get access to daddy. The Rangers are the finest farm club in MLB. You play your position well, maybe a hot batter, you are so gone! It’s always been that way. Junior should have watched Damned Yankees and he would have realized the only way to get that pennant is to sell your soul to the devil! Or to put that into republicanees: How much?

    • chimpy sold his soul to the devil long ago. unfortunately, he was too stupid to get a good deal for himself. instead, he got stuck with deadeye dick.