No matter how much evidence I see every single day of the Republican Party’s heartlessness and seeming lack of even a shred of compassion for millions of Americans who don’t have jobs, can’t find jobs, are being evicted from their apartments and foreclosed out of their houses, must rely on food stamps and food pantries for nourishment, and can’t afford to see a doctor when they get sick, I can still always feel that sense of total disbelief, anew, at yet one more example:
Senate Democrats spent Thursday night hammering away at Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) for single-handedly holding up action in the upper chamber – but he blurted out a message to one of them on the Senate floor: “Tough s—t.”
In an unusual display in the normally sleepy chamber, Bunning – without the support of GOP leadership – has blocked efforts to quickly approve a series of extensions to measures that would otherwise expire Sunday, including unemployment insurance and the Cobra program that allows people who lose their health benefits to continue getting coverage.
And that has led to a furious exchange on the floor, with Democrats attacking the senator, who has refused to relent on his objection, in unusually harsh terms.
In a colloquy with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeff Merkley, a freshman Democrat from Oregon, was pleading for Bunning to drop his objection, when the Kentucky Republican got fed up.
“Tough s—t,” Bunning said as he was seated in the back row, overheard by the floor staff and others in attendance.
And speaking of the “s” word, I don’t buy that little word that begins with an “s” about Bunning’s fellow Republicans “not backing him up.” They may not be backing him up as enthusiastically and openly as they usually back up their colleagues’ attempts to block and stop all the other attempts by Democrats to vote on legislation that will help Americans who do not rake in hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars a year, but their refusal to vote for cloture is all the back-up that’s needed.