And Republicans should be ashamed they didn't support him. Andy McCarthy has a wonderful column chockful of unpleasant truths about Republicans, Democrats, PAYGO and Obamacare, such as this on what Bunning was protesting:
The stimulus — which is a redistribution of wealth from the private to the public sector, and from people who work to people who don’t — extended unemployment benefits for 53 weeks. Another extension in November added 20 more weeks. Cato’s Alan Reynolds reports that this brings the total to 99 weeks of benefits in high-unemployment states. The measure on which Bunning has relented adds another month. And having browbeaten him into withdrawing his objection, Democrats will now seek an extension through the end of this year, i.e., another 36 weeks or so.
None of this is paid for. Instead, the government borrows ever more money, incurring ever more debt and ever more interest on that debt. The price tag on the relatively modest, stopgap measure Bunning was blocking is put at $10 billion, but that does not count the interest that will be paid on the money borrowed to fund the bill. To count the interest would be to highlight the fact that we are filching the money from our children and their children rather than paying for spending today by cutting something else. Bunning wasn’t even against spending the money; he just wanted the something else identified and cut.
Then there's this on PAYGO and Obamacare:
Here’s the sad truth: For all the shining they did at last week’s White House “summit” on health care, when it gets down to actually putting the brakes on the Big Gummint Express, most of today’s Republicans are AWOL. They’re great at the debate society. But making the fight on something concrete, really saying no when it means grinding redistribution to a halt, means taking the slings and arrows. No thanks, they say, let’s just make the whole thing go away on a voice vote, the sooner the better.
Finally, there's this, the saddest truth of all, about why Democrats are willing to lose it all to pass Obamacare.
Democrats know the electoral setbacks will only be temporary. They are banking on the assurance that Republicans merely want to win elections and have no intention of rolling back Obamacare, much less of dismantling Leviathan...
Even if the GOP gets a majority for a couple of cycles, even if President Obama is defeated in his 2012 reelection bid, Obamacare will be forever. And once the public sees that the GOP won’t try to dismantle Obamacare, it will lose any enthusiasm for Republicans. Democrats will eventually return to power, and it will be power over a much bigger, much more intrusive government.
It's sadly true that Republicans are only thinking about the next election cycle, which promises to be good for them. But Democrats are thinking long-term: they know that repealing Obamacare will be nearly impossible and, just as the lobster doesn't mind the boiling water if the heat's been turned up slowly, voters will accept all the restrictions and rationing of Obamacare once it's in place. This is why all the mandates of Obamacare don't kick in until after Barack Obama's re-election. Disgusting.