Jim Bunning spent 15 years in major league baseball pitching for the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies. During that time he was a solid, all-around player winning more than 200 games.
As a senator from Kentucky he has gone his own way and his votes have reflected his personal beliefs and, most of the time, those of his constituents.
As a result of this independence he is not respected or appreciated by leaders of his own Republican Party nor the Democratic leadership. He has decided not to run for reelection.
Bunning chose to make a dramatic stand this week to prove a very important point; he alone stood in the way of Congress renewing a massive spending program that dealt with unemployment programs and COBRA benefits. As a result these programs came to a temporary screeching halt.
His point was that there is no money left to fund these programs. There is money left in the passed stimulus program, but this administration refuses to touch that money, which is supposed to be available for such emergencies.
No one we know wishes our neighbors who have no jobs to be without help, but if there is no money to fund the program that provides that help, we shouldn't renew the program.
We wonder what makes members of Congress any different than the majority of people whom they represent. If we have borrowed ourselves to the limit and do not have the cash to buy what we want, we have to do without.
Wednesday, after extreme pressure from leaders of both parties and the main stream media, he removed his objection.
Congress quickly approved and the president signed a measure to resume spending money that does not exist.
Jim Bunning and his courageous stand should be commended, not demonized, by the main stream media and the sorry bunch of leaders we have representing us in Congress, both Republican and Democrat.