Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch on Sen. Jim Bunning at True/Slant


Sanity strikes out

At his "Blood Diamond" column for the new webzine thingie True/Slant, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch contemplates a truly chilling possibility about the Hall of Fame pitcher-turned Hall of Crazy Senator: Maybe–all Republican hints to the contrary–Bunning isn't going senile.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. We call that one “The Kentucky Junk Jammer.”

  2. As much as these words may come to bite me in the ass, Bunning needs to stay. He’s just way too damn funny.

    Also, he serves as a poster boy (there are many) for term limits in Congress. Two terms, then you’re done.

  3. To be a great pitcher you have to make your opponents believe you are a little nuts. I’m not sure if it helps in politics.

  4. Wiki:

    On December 18, 2008, the Lexington Herald Leader reported that Sen. Bunning’s non-profit foundation, the Jim Bunning Foundation, has given less than 25 percent of its proceeds to charity. The charity has taken in $504,000 since 1996, according to Senate and tax records; during that period, Senator Bunning was paid $180,000 in salary by the foundation while working a reported one hour per week. Bunning Foundation board members include his wife Mary, and Cincinnati tire dealer Bob Sumerel. In 2008, records indicate that Bunning attended 10 baseball shows around the country and signed autographs, generating $61,631 in income for the charity.[33]

  5. I thought Bunning was done in 2004. But, over the last 6 years, he has gotten slightly more coherent. See his rants against TARP as exhibit A.

    IF, he doesnt run again, we need Rand Paul to win so that, at the very least, we have someone willing to stand up against fiscal irresponsibility.

    Trey Grayson is McConnell’s choice to take over. Ugh. David Williams would be horrible too (he is a long-time friend of my Mom’s family – she wont vote for him)

  6. It’s going to be Jack Conway’s seat I believe. It would be nice to see Rand as the general election opponent though.

  7. Jack Conway.


    I realize he somehow has a serious chance, but, seriously, Conway? I remember his run for the House in Louisville. For some reason he reminds me of the young executive in Dilbert that they thought his hair would turn silver. Thus he had a bright future.

    Conway looks like a politician. That is the depth of his ability as far as I can tell.

    Conway v Grayson would be an absolutely pathetic race.

  8. Sounds to me like they might just be onto something there!


  9. I agree 100%, robc. Conway seems like the vanilla politician in every poorly-written movie ever.

    Not the villainous one, but that tertiary character whose only characteristic is “politician”.

  10. I agree 100%, Jason Freely. There is something, and it is possible that they are onto it.

    Anonymity Bot is the main reason i don’t fear the Singularity.

  11. Anonymity Bot is the main reason i don’t fear the Singularity.

    But what if he is The Singularity? Anonymity Bot is all there is and we live on inside him forever and ever…

    I am the Anonymity Bot. I am not a real person.

    I am spamming you, and will spam into your future.

    Thou shalt not violate anonymity within my historic light cone. Or else I will make more semi-relevant comments.

  12. FrBunny,

    Interesting points from my business partner:

    Mongiardo is going to run in the primary against Conway. Conway is a Duke grad. Mongiardo has already started dropping this fact around.

    Mongiardo carries eastern KY. Conway will do well in Lou/Lex. What about the western part? And how well does the “Duke sucks” bit play into it.

    Speaking of basketball and politics, how embarrassing is 8 years of Governor Richie Farmer going to be? Can we keep him from ever speaking in public?

  13. Concern that Bunning could be jeopardizing a Republican seat peaked after he didn’t show up for the eventful opening week of the new Congress, missing several key Senate floor votes.

    I never, ever want to hear anybody whining about do nothing politicians again.


  14. That’s interesting. Louisville is about the only area that wouldn’t blow gaskets about Conway’s Duke connection. Not sure why I had counted Mongiardo out; looks like he’s the front-runner.

    I hadn’t heard about our Ag Sec setting sights on being governor. The mustache alone will make him one of the most powerful governors in America.

  15. The real key to KY politics: who offers more free Rascal mobility scooters to Eastern KY.

    Having to walk 20 feet = voting booth rage

  16. Anybody who takes $180,000/year from a charity for one hour of work per week is scum.

    Any charity that pays $180,000/year for one hour of work per week is in violation of its tax status, and should be shut down. Where is the IRS on this?

  17. Everything described is pretty typical behavior in Kentucky.

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