WASHINGTON – Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning is once again in drawing fire from Democrats and Republicans, this time for vowing to kick a puppy until Congress stops all new unfunded spending and gets serious about balancing the budget.
The issue arose as the Senate voted on a bill to continue funding the “Government Gruel” program for orphans held under federal care. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked if there were any objections.
“Arf!” came a loud, high yip from Senator Bunning’s podium. The senator announced that the puppy, named “Scooter,” would get a kick if Congress attempted to pass any unfunded legislation.
Chaos broke out in the Senate Chamber. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin asked Bunning how he would explain to the orphans in his state how they wouldn’t get any gruel because “a mean old man was kicking a puppy.”
“Haven’t these orphans suffered enough?” Durbin asked.
“Arf!” was the only reply.
While Democrats were horrified, they were also helpless. “As much as we would all love to go up there and rescue that poor puppy, there’s no procedure that allows us to prevent Senator Bunning from kicking an animal,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “We’re powerless to stop him unless some Republicans join us in an effort to prevent this puppy punting.” When asked why the senator could not simply take the puppy away, Schumer replied, “We’re law-abiding members of Congress, not vigilante savages.”
Republicans were reluctant to condemn a colleague openly. “While I don’t necessarily agree with his methodology, I applaud my colleague for using this puppy kicking as a way to call attention to the budget deficit,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, also from Kentucky. “He’s showing the insanity of Senate Democrats who refuse to change their spendthrift ways.”
Other Republicans attempted to find a compromise that would allow Bunning to make his point without striking a cute, adorable animal. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana went so far as to volunteer to let Bunning kick him, especially if Bunning would call Vitter, “a naughty, naughty boy.”
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was much more open in defending, Bunning. Over the taped sounds of a yipping dog, Limbaugh said that the incident showed “liberals” were “soft” on “spending” and “puppy kicking.” “This is a byproduct of our P.C. culture,” Limbaugh said, “where you can’t kick a helpless animal to make a point. Oh, but if he was kicking a white guy from AIG, it would be okay.
“In fact,” Limbaugh added, “I think Bunning should kick a black guy. Why harm use a puppy when you can use a guy who probably voted for Obama anyway.”
Limbaugh’s comments simply added gasoline to the pyre of puppy abuse, as members of animal rights groups, civil rights groups, and people with souls protested Bunning’s actions and Limbaugh’s suggestions. The Republican National Committee attempted to control the damage by saying the senator and radio host did not reflect the true nature of the Republican Party.
“While we have had some historical issues with kicking both puppies and African Americans, the modern Republican Party does not condone the kicking of either,” said RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
A moment later, Mr. Steele lept from his chair and let out a loud, “Ow! Who the (expletive) kicked me?” Upon turning to confront his attacked, a large sign on Mr. Steele’s back became visible. It read “KICK ME.”
Senator Bunning appeared and explained, “I was only doing what the sign told me to do.”