Sen. Jim Bunning is the worst person in the Senate. Yes, I know there is a lot of competition. But I have to admit, I give bonus points simply for being crude.
When asked by Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon to stop his one man crusade against extending unemployment benefits, Sen. Bunning replied "tough shit." And, I suppose, he was right for the several million unemployed hoping that he would relent. Or the construction workers laid off from highway projects. And, by the way, Sen. Merkley once ran Habitat for Humanity in Portland, while Sen. Bunning pays himself a large salary through his personal foundation (check that out, IRS!).
When asked by ABC News to explain his position on unemployment insurance, he replied with the Cheney salute of a raised middle finger -- but off camera. And of course, Sen. Bunning is delivering precisely that -- a gigantic "f*ck you" to the same unemployed workers.
But it is one thing to act in such a despicable manner, and quite another to be backed up by one's colleagues. Surely one of the Republican leaders would have escorted Sen. Bunning off the floor so that a vote could be held. Surely a senior Senator of the same party might have made clear that such behavior is simply unacceptable in the Senate.
But no. No Republican has condemned Sen. Bunning. Indeed, Sen. Cornyn of Texas, in charge of electing more Republicans to the Senate, went out of his way to praise his colleague and said he understood.
Perhaps Sen. Bunning is just a bitter, deluded, old man, who used to be a great baseball pitcher. But he is also the public face of the Republican Senators. The party of no has now simply become the cruder party of tough shit and a raised middle finger.
Someone should put Sen. Bunning's straightforward response to millions of unemployed workers up on the airwaves and in every nook and cranny of the internet. No filtering, no context, no apologies. Just straightup.
Inverting Jack Nicholson, the American people can handle the truth. It just needs to be told.