Senator Jim Bunning's unilateral block on a routine extension of
federal benefits has infuriated commentators across the spectrum. The block has already led 1.2 million Americans to
lose unemployment benefits, 2,000 construction workers to be
furloughed, Medicare doctors to cut 21 percent of their fees, and--believe it
or not--2 million Americans to lose television access. But is
there an upside to the so-called Bunning blockade?
- Poster Child for Ending The Filibuster The Washington Post's Ezra Klein sees
an opportunity to finally shut down the filibuster. "Senate reform,
however, could have no better friend than Bunning. Last year, ending
the filibuster was a quixotic blogger obsession. Now it's the subject
of a petition by the Senate majority whip. Former Republican majority
leader Bill Frist says his colleagues are 'overdoing' the filibuster.
This is how change begins, and without Bunning making clear exactly
what the problem is, it would be impossible." Bunning's filibuster will
be easily overturned, but doing so takes days. The serious effects
of this unnecessary delay, Klein says, highlight the absurdity of the
filibuster and the need to repeal it.
- GOP Obstructionism Looking Worse Time's Joe Klein suggests
that Bunning will attract more attention to the obstructionist tactics
fostered by some in the Republican Party, forcing Republicans to either
openly embrace or finally abandon the procedural blocks. "Let's call the roll. Let's see how many allies Jim Bunning and Jon Kyl
have. Let's find out their names and remember them. This is so
important that we should stop all other business: Let them
filibuster... and spend hours telling us exactly what else they would
Excuse For Biden To Be Hilarious Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his sense of humor. National security writer Spencer Ackerman teasingly tweets, "True story: Joe Biden does a hilarious Jim Bunning impression. Swear to God."
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