In Senate debate over extending the Patriot Act, Senator Jim Bunning, erstwhile Republican of Kentucky, offered this pathetic perspective in support of the antiterrorism measure:
"Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead."
What a pansy statement, by a Hall of Fame pitcher. Going into the full stretch, Bunning was so far outside on that pitch, it should have been a passed ball. Seventy-four years old, I guess he’s lost the old pepper. Kentuckians must have caught their breath at that one.
Bunning might check his history to see what some older folks than he had to say about civil liberties, guys like Washington, Adams and Tom Jefferson. They were the landed gentry of their day, wealthy in the extreme with every special privilege available to them and they put it all on the line.
You ought to hang your head, Jim.
These men, who gave you the opportunity to serve in a United States Senate, risked being hauled off to England, stood at a public gallows and eviscerated before they were hanged. Drawn and quartered, they called it in those days.
They took on the world’s greatest colonial power, put their lives and fortunes at risk, for what, Senator Bunning? Civil liberties. Not their civil liberties, they had every conceivable liberty as it was. It was yours they stood up to be counted for and to die for if necessary.
Any comment on that, Senator Bunning?
Think long and hard about who’s dying at this very moment on your behalf, before you fire another verbal fastball. You’ve shown the world you’ve lost your stuff and probably never had any real courage.