Bunning: “Tough Shit” to Unemployed

With his successful blockage last night of a motion to extend unemployment benefits for millions of Americans amidst rising joblessness, stagnant job creation and potential domestic cannibalism, Sen. Jim Bunning was awake long enough during a session of Congress to outfail even himself — and single-handedly drag the entire country down with him.

Basically, the Senate was trying to pass an extension of unemployment benefits that, if not passed by this week, will result in a gap of payment disbursement large enough to clusterfuck not only the unemployment programs state-by-state, but do irreparable harm to millions of jobless Americans already drowning under a sea of bills, debt and existential anguish. Thanks to Bunning’s effort, the extension wasn’t filed and the Senate has since recessed for the weekend.

According to Politico, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, begged Bunning to stop being such a stubborn asshole and drop his objection, to which Bunning replied “Tough shit.”

Of course, as with all things Bunning, the shit didn’t stop there. From The HuffingtonPost (emphasis mine):

… at one point during the debate, which dragged on till early midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.

I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00,” he said, “and it’s the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they’re the only team that has beat Kentucky this year.”

If you want a picture of what is wrong with the Senate — and this country — here it is, crystalline and smug and disinterested in the needs of others. For an institution that was designed to protect against the “tyranny of the majority,” the Senate has devolved into a fiefdom of minority tyrannies, whose ability to fuck over the suffering majority at the whim of an angry old man who cannot program a fucking TiVo should be cause for alarm, but no: We’re too busy watching basketball right next to him.

And Bunning’s rationale — that we shouldn’t add to the deficit even if it means that countless men, women and children will starve, lose their home or both — doesn’t hold even the most microscopic drop of water when you consider the enormous administrative costs associated with shutting down these programs only to restart them. I talked with a few people in the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training and they were decidedly nonplussed over the news, which shouldn’t be surprising considering we’ve no money to fix our own problems much less those engineered by U.S. senators with a wildcat fetish. Their main concern: this will be extremely bad for poor people during the absolute worst possible time, period.

During the potentially month-long gap between disbursements, many Americans will slip through the cracks as state-level unemployment entitlement programs scramble to deal with the stop-start dynamic put into motion by Bunning, meaning many will be eliminated from the roles simply because the whole goddamn mess is unnecessary and confusing. And Because Bunning will not be seeking re-election, he doesn’t need anybody — not even his own party — to sanction his actions. While I’m not necessarily advocating he be physically removed from office, buried to his neck and urinated upon by willing constituents, I’m not exactly saying it’s a bad idea, either.

Democracy, after all, is a messy process, so why not join in on all the fun by calling these numbers, when you’ve a moment and some extra spleen to burn: 202-224-4343 — 859-341-2602 — 1-800-283-8983


  1. G-townReader
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I read this story in another medium, I fired off an e-mail to Bunning. It was carefully crafted to be understood by a person of diminished capacity, stroking his UK fanaticism and his ego, while urging him to put that ego aside in order to FURTHER rise to hero status for unemployed Kentuckians & others.

  2. Fran
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your article. I am from Maine and did a search on Kentucky newspapers out of curiosity to see how that population feels about Bunning’s selfish actions. I was relieved to come across this and to know I am not the only one who is furious at his actions. I myself lost my job last April, and after sending out literally hundreds of resumes, decided to go back to school full time and improve my skills, you know, making myself more marketable. I was scheduled to graduate this December, and now am faced w/ losing my apt., quitting school, and going on welfare and food stamps. I don’t know about Kentucky, but in Maine you cannot be in school and on welfare at the same time, they seem to think you can live off your tuition. Nevertheless, I will not have a choice. I will have to go on welfare if I want to eat and might have to live in my car. I don’t have family, so those are my choices. I wrote Bunning and told him all this. I know lynchings use to be very popular down there at one time, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring that practice back. He is a traitor as far as I am concerned.

  3. Chicagoan
    Posted March 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I did the same thing as the commenter before me, searched Kentucky newspapers to see how Ky natives felt about their a’hole senator.
    Was also greatly relieved to come across this blog and have bookmarked it for the future.

    Thankfully, I’m no longer collecting unemployment, but for those who think this is some socialist handout, YOU WORKED FOR THIS BENEFIT and deserve to receive it.

  4. Bob
    Posted March 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Did you know that Jim Bunning, on his website, states that he is an active member of a Christian church? Anyway… I just posted what I did to start applying pressure to this jerk from all ends. Don’t know if it will work but if you can help out, that would be great! Here’s the direct link to my blog post:


    Thanks so much!


  5. Hanna
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Mr. Bunning is the representative from Kentucky. I blame this issue on the people of Kentucky, who have perpetuated the career of this Senator and have continuously reelected this person. Mr. Bunning has a long history of erratic behavior in the senate, which apparently is reflective of his constituents.


One Trackback

  1. By Bunning bids farewell – FatLip on December 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    [...] elected to the Senate in 1998, the Hall of Fame pitcher gained national attention for blocking an extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans earlier this year. Bunning said his career in baseball prepared him to take such [...]