Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The problem with Bunning

It's not the fact that Jim Bunning (R-No KY) is an asshole that makes him unpopular with his fellow Republicans. Being a scrupulously cruel and unfeeling asshole is very common, even highly esteemed on the right - witness Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, Malkin, Robertson, Coulter. In Congress, as well, there are plenty of Republican assholes.

If I might digress for a moment, being an asshole is not a blindly partisan affliction. There are Democratic assholes, that's for sure. From time to time, I catch myself being an asshole. The difference is that we tolerate our assholes, that we try to reform our own moments of assholery, where they are proud of their asshole compatriots and their own petty cruelty and unfeelingness.

Bunning's real sin, in the eyes of his estranged Republican colleagues, is that he has been too visibly an asshole. Bunning has been out front with his cruelty, failing to hide it even behind the usual thin bullshit.

Of course, his real transgression in the eyes of the press, is not that he blocked small care for the unemployed. No, it's that he had the temerity to curse at them. That gave them the middle school news hook they needed to hang Bunning. Mitch McConnell, a Potemkin village of bland over a flinty heart of savage asshole? The press will never notice.

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