The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today’s winner is Republican Senator Jim Bunning. He gets the award for the following

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning predicted over the weekend that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months.

During a wide-ranging 30-minute speech on Saturday at the Hardin County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, Bunning said he supports conservative judges “and that’s going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg … has cancer.”

“Bad cancer. The kind that you don’t get better from,” he told a crowd of about 100 at the old State Theater.

“Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live after (being diagnosed) with pancreatic cancer,” he said.

Ginsburg, who is 75, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this month and surgeons removed a small tumor that had not spread. Doctors termed it a “Stage 1” cancer, meaning they found it in the early stages when it is most curable.

According to the American Cancer Society, people diagnosed with Stage 1 pancreatic cancer have between a 21 and 37 percent chance of living for more than five years with the disease.

Only about 20 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live for more than a year, but that’s because the cancer is difficult to detect and generally is found in later stages.

It would be nice if a Senator or House member would educate themselves before shooting their mouth off in a dumb way. This must be the week for doing it.

Nine months? If the statistics for Stage IV malignant melanoma applied to every patient, I wouldn’t be writing this post. I would be dead already as the statistics point out.

Oh and if Ginsberg did die within the 9 months, what’s the chances of a conservative judge being appointed to replace her when a Democrat is President and the Democrats have a nearly fillibuster proof Senate? I’d say about zero.

Doug at Below the Beltway concurs

Aside from the sheer ugh factor of Bunning predicting, seemingly hoping for, Ginsburg’s death, his statement makes no sense whatsoever.

How, exactly, does Bunning think that Ginsburg leaving the Court would put conservative judges in place ?

Has he forgotten who the President is, never mind who controls the Senate ?

James Joyner at OTB writes


It’s true that Ginsburg has pancreatic cancer. And, despite the fact that they caught it as early as possible by freakish coincidence, giving her more hope than most, Bunning’s right that the odds of long survival aren’t good. But, damn, this isn’t the sort of thing one touts in a stump speech.

James, may be wrong. This kind of talk probably works well with certain conservatives who wish the worst for a liberal not just in their public life but their private life also. Call it throwing red meat to the unquestioning faithful.

I’d advise Kentucky Republicans to find a less senile candidate for the Senate in 2010. Bunning has had two close calls in his previous runs and things are not trending well for Republicans. For not knowing all the facts about cancer, being blind to the state of politics at present, and for making distasteful comments, I name Senator Jim Bunning today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

Update- Here’s a month old Politico article that claims Kentucky Republicans are pressuring Bunning to retire.

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