Bunning: Ginsburg Likely Dead Soon

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning guessed that 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.

Ugh.

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.

To be sure, speculating on High Court vacancies is hardly unusual.  But it’s usually a vague reference to the fact that a justice or two are geriatric and could reasonably be expected to retire soon.

UPDATE: Bunning has apologized:

I apologize if my comments offended Justice Ginsberg. That certainly was not my intent. It is great to see her back at the Supreme Court today and I hope she recovers quickly. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.

Taegan Goddard quips, “The statement did misspell Ginsburg’s name, however.” True. I do misspell it that way quite frequently myself, though, so will forgive him.

via Memeorandum

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    But, damn, this isn’t the sort of thing one touts in a stump speech.

    Just added impetus for Repubs in KY, I guess:

    GOP pressures Bunning to quit:

    According to two GOP sources, leading Republican fundraisers in Kentucky are hesitant to raise money for Bunning and have told him he should not seek a third term.

    “They want him to realize he’s had a good run but that it’s time to move on. These people want to win, and they realize he could easily lose this seat,” said one leading Kentucky Republican operative who requested anonymity to speak candidly.




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  2. markm says:

    Stay classy Dr. Bunning…sheesh. What was he thinking?.




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  3. Drew says:

    ghoulish




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  4. Joe R. says:

    The most generous description is “tacky,” and it goes downhill from there.




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  5. Eric says:

    James, via ThinkProgress, this article seems to contradict the notion that Ginsburg will be pushing up daisies any time soon (from pancreatic cancer, anyway):

    According to doctors, her cancer has not spread, a significant worry after finding a small tumor, which has turned out to be benign, located on the 75-year-old’s pancreas. It has since been removed.

    All lymph nodes proved negative for cancer, and no metastasis was found,” her doctors released in an official document, one of many that Ginsberg has had created to keep the public up to date on her condition, and so her ability to return to work.

    The article also appears to be more recent than the few you cited.

    Granted, who knows what’s gonna happen with this cancer scare, but Bunning’s classless prediction and other dire warnings don’t seem to be accurate.




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  6. Bithead says:

    James;

    The implication being placed on this by places like Think Progress…(Which in reality is nether thought nor progress) … is atht Bunning is wishing evil on the woman. Sorry, I don’t buy it, for a couple reasons.

    First… and I’m sorry about this… Evil’s already visited her, apparently, and anything firther would be a duplication of effort at least.

    Secondly, and from a national perspective of greater import, is the idea that as bad as she’s been from a constitutional standpoint, any replacement for her will be even worse, given the current administation, and the current Senate. I can hardly imagine Bunning wishing for that.

    What’;s going on here is TP (Yeah, the intials fit well, don’t they?) is pissed because Bunning spoke the plain unvarnished truth of the matter.




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  7. Anderson says:

    “Bithead will defend this,” I thought when I read the post and the first few comments.




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  8. James Joyner says:

    The implication being placed on this by places like Think Progress…(Which in reality is nether thought nor progress) … is atht Bunning is wishing evil on the woman.

    I certainly didn’t get that impression. I just thought it was a tacky, unkind thing to talk about in that manner in a public forum.




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  9. Bithead says:

    I just thought it was a tacky, unkind thing to talk about in that manner in a public forum.

    That’s as may be, but if that’s the case, it most certainly doesn’t account for the leve of ire being heaped on it, then, does it? TP’s reaction would be more consistant with the kind of perceieved offense I described.

    And Anderson, in your efforts to overstep, be careful you don’t walk right past the subject at hand. There’s a major difference between defeding what he said, and arguing that the reaction to it is overblown.




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  10. PD Shaw says:

    I won’t defend this myself, but with the average age of the members of the Supreme Court at 68 and rising, the only way to talk about developments at the SCOTUS are thinly veiled references to mortality. But it’s an ugly situation, so we should keep the veil on.




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  11. Paul Batterson says:

    In the mid sixties, Jim Bunning pitched a no-hitter against the NY Mets. At the press conference after the game, Jim was congradulated by all. His response, “they are still the big leagues” referring to the last place Metropolitans”.

    Four years later, the Mets won the World Series and Jim was a mop-up pitcher for the Pirates. Jim was at that time I believe the only pitcher to pitch no-hitters in both leagues. Later Nolan Ryan more than duplicated that feat.

    Sensitivity has never been Jim’s forte. He should apologize to Justice Ginsburg and her family, but he won’t.




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  12. James Joyner says:

    He should apologize to Justice Ginsburg and her family, but he won’t.

    He already has.




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  13. Bithead says:

    And with him having done so, would it be an appropriate point in time to start the conversation about “manufactured rage”?




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  14. Bithead says:

    Uh huh. I thought so.

    It seemed to me that this was being whipped up by something else, it didn’t self-justify the fire being turned on it, far as I could tell. I was right.




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