The GOP is going to find itself doing major damage control over the next couple of weeks.
Senator Bunning, R-KY, blocked an extension of CURRENT unemployment insurance support (and COBRA and a few other things, but UI is the big one). Friday was last day, so starting Monday some people won’t be able to get their checks.
Now if you dig in the details, there’s plenty to show how he was standing up for Right and Rule – he wanted it tied to TARP for payment, not deficit, just to name one example. Another thing that could stick in here is that Reid killed a bill two weeks ago that would have made this extension unnecessary — he thought it filled with poison pill stuff (and to be fair it was).
So there’s opportunity to shift blame to Democrats, and if you’re fully reasonable you can blame both parties.
It doesn’t change a darn thing for perception. If (generic) I don’t get my check, and I see there was an attempt Thursday and Friday to fix this but it was stopped by somebody, that somebody is going to be the focus of my rage.
Friday, Bunning was getting support from other Republicans, but except for Cornyn (R-TX), none of them did so in front of a microphone. (There were a couple standing by to help Bunning in the filibuster if he needed it, but that didn’t go long enough to happen.)
At this point the save for the Republicans is to convince the public that Bunning was Mr. Smith. That’s fighting the fact that it’s a specific hit in the wallets of people ALREADY angry at being unemployed.
It ain’t gonna be pretty.