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Yesterday, I wrote about the effort by some state conservatives to pass nullification legislation, in essence, to stop elected officials from implementing federal policies they don't like....like comprehensive health care reform.
The U.S. Senate already has a 'nullification' rule, of sorts. It allows for any ONE senator, for any reason, or none at all, to 'nullify', put a hold on, pending legislation. At least, for a while....
By now, I'm sure you have heard about how a slightly deranged senator from Kentucky has been single-handedly putting a stop to passage of an emergency $10 billion in unemployment, COBRA extensions. construction funding and Medicare doctor reimbursements. No, not Mitch McConnell,....the other Kentucky Republican senator, Jim Bunning.....the ex-MLB pitcher.
If you haven't seen how prickish Mr. Bunning can be....then go here and watch the very short, and already infamous, "elevator" video.
Bunning is on his way out with the assistance of a shove from other senate Republicans, particularly homey, Mitch McConnell. Even Republican colleagues don't care for Bunning's arrogant, prickish, and outlandish behavior. I guess that Republicans DO have their limits.
But then we have the embarrassment of Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) from yesterday. Bunning has been known to be a tad wacky for years....but Jon Kyl, Villagers tell me, is a very Serious senator. Here's what Senator Kyl said about Bunning's holding up the vote on extending unemployment and other services.....
"My colleague from Kentucky made a good point," said Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on the floor today.
Here's Kyl elaborating on that "point"....
One other fully-owned-by-corporations GOP senator, John Cornyn of Texas, concurred with Bunning and Kyl....
"I admire the courage of the junior senator from Kentucky, Senator Bunning," Cornyn said, also on the Senate floor. "It's not fun to be accused of having no compassion for the people who are out of work, the people for who these benefits should be forthcoming, and I believe will be forthcoming. But somebody has to stand up, finally, and say enough is enough, no more inter-generational theft from our children and grandchildren by not meeting our responsibilities today. And that's what I interpret him to have done."
Almost brings tears to your eyes, doesn't it? "Leave Jim Bunning alo..o..one."
Naturally, this GOP banter is hypocritical in the extreme. Here are three senators who were in the GOP majority during the Great National Debt Doubling of the Bush years. Trillions, not billions, of federal spending were charged to China during the glorious years of 2001-2009. The Bush tax cuts, alone, would have paid for two decades of health care reform.....and those tax cuts were not offset by ANY spending cuts. Not one of these 3 GOP senators waxed so Seriously when they were aiding and abetting George and Dick's Most Excellent Borrowing Adventure of the 00's.
Only now, with Democrats running the show.....do these hypocrites actually have the audacity to bitch about $10 billion for stop-gap human-relief measures during the worst downturn in over 30 years.
Here's the thing about hypocrites: A person, or group of people who act hypocritically, forfeit their right to be taken Seriously. That's how it works. Hypocrites, by their hypocrisy, disqualify themselves from being taken Seriously on the same issue over which they have behaved hypocritically in the past. That's why, for example, I often point out the hypocrisy of religious moral-values screechers, especially when they have covered-up for child rape by their own employees.....AND THEN.....pretend as if they are still to be taken Seriously concerning morality and values.
Of course, hypocrites can redeem themselves.....but they must, at least, own up to their duplicitous ways first. They must repent and turn from their hypocritical ways.
However, hypocrisy is not the worst part of this story. Jim Bunning's hold on extending unemployment, COBRA, construction funding and Medicare-doctor reimbursement.....is yet another GOP shot taken at the down and out, the vulnerable. This GOP behavior (it's the GOP this time) is part and parcel of the "blame the victims" thinking I mentioned the other day. We all saw the "blame the victims" theme played out in the aftermath of Katrina.
This hold on emergency funding by Bunning is the act of a coward, a bully,.....a cowardly, bullying, hypocritical, narcissist.....who evidently believes that all things are for his personal glory. The emergency funding bill, you see, can't simply be about....ummm....those who are in need. It has to be about Jim Bunning....and Jon Kyl....and John Cornyn. See how important they are? Me either.
My question today is: Who in the hell do these 3 Republican senators represent? It's certainly not unemployed Americans. It's certainly not those who have lost their health care when they lost their job. It's certainly not doctors who care for patients on Medicare. Who in the hell do these misbehaved, mean spirited, hypocrites represent...then?
John Cornyn says it's "our children." Seriously,....that's what he said. Cornyn voted to double the national debt in 8 short years, he voted to borrow trillions from China to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and acts of aggression against Iraq. Was he oh-so-concerned, then, about "our children?" Not a trick question.
Other than giving the conservatively-biased, compromised media something to cluelessly and obliviously talk about in between commercial breaks.....these GOP senators are still representing those they've always represented in the modern era.....the already powerful and the already-rich.