This is a classic example as to why so many Americans feel that our political system is broken. Our economy is at the lowest point it's been since the Great Depression. Unemployment is at a record high. To say that jobs are scarce is an understatement. And Jim Bunning stops the extension of unemployment checks to people who are in desperate need of a lifeline. For many unemployed Americans, the payments they receive are what keeps their homes out of foreclosure, their cars from being repossessed, and their children from being hungry.
While Bunning certainly is an uncaring fool who probably couldn't handle the burden of walking in the shoes of any of his unemployed constituents for one day, the blame for allowing the deadline to extend unemployment benefits falls on all the entire Senate. Senator Harry Reid removed the provision to extend unemployment and COBRA benefits from the job bill thinking there would be time to add it to another bill, even though the Senate takes an entire week off for the Presidents Day holiday. As the clock ticked, the Senate waited and now many unemployed Americans will suffer.
I'm sure the Senate will approve the extension within a few days and give themselves all a big pat on the back for saving the day – but I hope that their unemployed constituents who waited, worried, and wondered why they were tossed aside remembers this when it's time to cast their ballots in November.