LEXINGTON—Congressional representatives from states across the country expressed their alarm after Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning (R) made public his disdain for poor citizens living in the Commonwealth he represents.
“When the rubber meets the road, I only care about the underprivileged, especially those outside of Lexington and Louisville, about this much,” Bunning said on Tuesday. Bunning was holding up his arms, as if to indicate that the distance spanning his concern for the poor and the likelihood of him doing something about their plight is roughly one foot.
“If you really want to parse semantics, each inch on this scale represents about 3 hours of worrying per year for me,” the senator continued.
Bunning has a long history of myopic, insular thinking. He has habitually let swaths of his constituents wallow in poverty and injustices that befall them. According to a 2007 report published by The National Journal, Bunning ranks as the second most conservative United States Senator.
“Now that’s pretty conservative,” said Holly McLaughlin, who lost her job recently after Kentucky’s economy went south.
Still, Bunning’s colleagues on Capitol Hill balked in amazement at his flagrant admission, as if such unfettered honesty commands admiration in an age of political sophistry.
“Quite frankly, Senator Bunning’s visual illustration was helpful to me because it gives me a clear sense of just how far he’s willing to go to consider the plight of working class people,” saidSecretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) , a former New York Senator. “I’ve always been a visual learner,” she added.
Bunning’s vitriolic outburst, replete with hand motions and precise qualifications of his concern with social justice, comes amidst allegations that Republican leaders have urged the Hall of Fame senator to step down. Some GOP insiders suggest that Bunning just can’t see the writing on the wall.
“Time Magazine called this guy ‘The Underperformer,’” said one GOP contact, who did not wish to be identified. The insider pointed out Time’s historically conservative agenda and concluded that Bunning’s political future doesn’t look promising.
“Does he even think he can win an election in Kentucky?” one Republican representative said.
Since assuming the Senate seat in 1998, Bunning’s career has been an exercise in futility, much less successful than his sixteen year Major League Baseball career, in which he won 224 games. Kentucky has suffered from massive budget cutbacks and has endured social policy that penalizes poor people just for being poor.
“This guy is fleecing the Commonwealth,” said Maurice Corigan, a lifetime London, KY resident. “And what does he have to gain from it? That’s what I can’t figure out.”
Bunning’s public persona has also been marred by what some observers have called “increasingly irrational and absurd public behavior.”