If you’re of a certain age, you remember Jim Bunning’s days as an all-star pitcher before he hung up his cleats for the suit and tie of a United States Congressman. I was proud to serve with my former colleague Lee Atwater as a consultant to Bunning’s 1986 congressional campaign. He’s retiring after this session, opening up his seat to another Kentuckian motivated to serve their state and country. But, he’s not going quietly.
During the past week, Bunning objected on a voice vote to appropriate another $10 billion for government projects, which if it wasn’t spent, would end up furloughing about 2,000 Federal employees. True to form, Democrats suffered another bout of temporary insanity.
Sen. Dick Durbin was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “It is simply unfair for one Senator to attempt to hold the Senate hostage.” Maybe he should check with the rhetoric of his fellow Illinoisan, President Obama. Less than a month ago, Obama said that Congress should pay for what it spends, as in, adhere to a pay-as-you-go philosophy. And here’s something funny – the Obama administration said that Bunning was playing political games. Figures.
What’s truly unfortunate here is that he’s only one of a few conservatives, and one alone who has already said he is not running for reelection, that is standing up to say no to yet another spending spree by Washington liberals. Even worse is the Democrats’ reaction. Seriously, Obama’s mention of pay-as-you-go was good a few weeks ago, but apparently it’s not worth anything now, not even to the man who uttered the words.
Because, here’s the thing – liberals are fine with pay-as-you-go requirements as long as they’re limited to one part of government spending. But, what happens when they want to spend more, as they inevitably will? They’ll just push through an “emergency” appropriations bill, which is exactly what happened here.
As you might expect, their definition of what should be a recipient of emergency Federal spending and what yours is are likely to be very different. While most people would think an emergency outlay of taxpayer dollars would be needed only for very important things, like national defense, Congressional liberals seem to believe that payment for a road worker on a pork project rises to that level.
We need more Bunnings in Washington right now. Luckily we have one who hails right here from South Carolina. In coming to Bunning’s aid, Senator Jim DeMint said “When we borrow the money to do it we threaten the futures of our children and grandchildren, diminish their quality of life and likely cause their unemployment in the future.” I’m just glad we have people calling out the Democrats when their rhetoric doesn’t match their actions.