Sen. Jim Bunning: Fodder for Democrats

By Chris Good

Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-KY) ongoing opposition to extending unemployment benefits, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to to, is generating some noise from the left.

Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden criticized Bunning while speaking at a stimulus construction site.

This morning, the e-mails are flying from the Democratic National Committee press office and Democratic members of Congress, condemning Bunning's stance as costly to the already-suffering ranks of the unemployed.

No less than 15 anti-Bunning news stories have been e-mailed out by the DNC's messaging shop today alone, ranging from a Tennesean.com story about road projects in Tennessee being delayed by Bunning's opposition to a Lexington Herald-Leader op-ed about Bunning's "callous grandstanding" to a Wall Street Journal piece about the "new level of gridlock" Bunning has brought to Congress.

Democrats of all stripes are getting in on session of Bunning-bashing: Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ), a leader of House Democrats' liberal wing as a co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, blasted the Kentucky senator's stance as an "insult to the notion of public service" in a press release; Rep. Scott Murphy of upstate New York, one of the caucus's centrists--one who opposed the House health care bill--said Bunning's actions "exactly why Washington has earned its well-deserved reputation as a haven for partisan gridlock."

Just as the Democratic message machine amped up Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) earlier this month when it came to light that he had placed a blanket hold on administration nominees to demand home-state earmarks, Democrats are milking Bunning's jobs-bill opposition for all the political advantage it's worth.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/sen-jim-bunning-fodder-for-democrats/36894/