What on earth did Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., do, and why did he do it?
An astonished ABC reporter followed the senator down the hall. The reporter confronted Bunning as the visibly irritated senator boarded an elevator and tried to leave. The reporter stopped the doors from closing and continued the questioning. Why, he repeatedly asked Bunning, why?
What did the senator do? Fail to pay taxes? Visit a mistress on taxpayer money? Utter a racial slur? No, Bunning committed an even more egregious sin. In effect, he said to his congressional colleagues, "Before we expand a program, let's make sure we can pay for it."
Defying Democrats and most Republicans, Bunning objected to a motion for unanimous consent on an extension of unemployment benefits. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said that his "views do not represent a majority of the Republican caucus." Bunning actually supports extending the benefits. He wants them paid for out of unspent "stimulus" funds.
The exasperated ABC reporter explained, "We wanted to ask the senator why he is blocking a vote that would extend unemployment benefits to more than 340,000 Americans, including Brenda Wood, a teacher in Austin, Texas, who has been out of work for two years."
Collectivists love using hardship tales to push for a bigger welfare state. Why, unemployment benefits, like health care, are a right! Dissenters become the moral equivalent of Jack the Ripper.
Brenda Wood is a teacher. We like teachers. She lives in Texas. A lot of people don't like Texas. It gave us former President George W. Bush. But it is a red state, which means Bunning doesn't care about anybody, even his own kind. Wood is a female, deserving special care, protection and empathy. And, she's been out of work for two years! Why doesn't Bunning just burn down her house and be done with it?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said, "I hope Republicans will reconsider and think about their constituents standing in the unemployment line as we speak." Never mind that the Senate had already planned to vote on another bill to extend unemployment and provide other things that Bunning temporarily stopped. Or that Reid could, if he chose not to use Bunning as a pinata, still bring the matter to a vote. So Bunning's "obstruction" has no real impact. It merely puts another coat of paint on the Republicans-are-cold-and-heartless image promoted by Democrats and the Demo-journalists.