Never have we come so close to the Apocalypse. Maybe the last time a large asteroid narrowly missed the earth. Or when the Cold War superpowers flirted with mutual assured destruction. But these do not compare to the near calamity we just experienced when Sen. Jim Bunning nearly brought the entire country to the brink of ... of ...
Today's headlines are declaring that Sen. Jim Bunning has "given in" and "has relented" on his demand that a spending bill be paid for and not simply added to the already burgeoning budget deficit.
Now why would the media be trumpeting this as a defeat for Bunning when, in fact, Bunning won? That's right: Bunning won.
But if Bunning won, doesn't that mean that people are not going to get their unemployment checks and that public employees are going to be furloughed and that roads aren't going to be built and that The End Is Near generally speaking for all of us?
Of course, it means nothing of the kind.
Despite all the absurd media rhetoric about Bunning trying to stop unemployment benefits from being given to poor unemployed families, all the Kentucky senator wanted was for the benefits to be paid for. Harry Reid and his deficit spending minions wanted to put one more item on the federal credit card. And when Bunning got up and protested that we shouldn't be further increasing the already burgeoning federal deficit, he was attacked for being some sort of out-of-control old coot who had lost his mind.
When did fiscal responsibility become a sign of mental instability?
The media profile of Bunning was of an old, out-of-touch and possibly senile senator who wanted revenge on his political enemies, his action a sort of political suicide bombing.
But the more appropriate metaphor would be of a political Sampson, shorn of the future prospect of serving in office and bound by the chains of his minority status, pulling down the columns in the house of the political Philistines.
In fact, the whole episode makes you wonder: how did Bunning, a member of the minority, single-handedly confound the entire majority party--and a few of his fellow Republicans into the bargain? And why aren't more people doing it?
In the end, it wasn't Bunning who relented: it was Harry Reid and his fellow drunken sailors who were forced to pay for the program now rather than pass it on to our children.
The Wall Street Journal was right when it lauded the Kentucky senator's Herculean efforts in the cause of fiscal common sense: It was Jim Bunning's "finest hour."