Former Major League pitcher and now U.S. Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky has thrown a political spitball claiming liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could die in less than a year from pancreatic cancer.
In the arena of politics, it's one thing to speak the truth about possible events we don't want to hear. It's another to forecast the death of a prominent public official in a crass pitch to win support for re-election.
In a Saturday speech in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Bunning said "even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live" with pancreatic cancer, according to the Courier-Journal of Louisville.
Doctors diagnosed the 75-year-old justice and removed a small tumor. They said the cancer was caught early, when it is most curable. Ginsburg was in court Monday, 18 days after undergoing surgery.
Bunning put out a written apology on Monday, saying he did not mean to offend Ginsburg, adding "It is great to see her back at the Supreme Court and I hope she recovers quickly."
Bunning, 77, has had lackluster fundraising so far, but has said he intends to seek re-election in 2010. His comments signal the strong battlelines conservative Senate Republicans are drawing to oppose any nomination by President Obama that would change the 5-4 constitutional policy decisions on the nation's highest court.
When ghoul politics enters the equation by dinosaur Republicans, it makes rather mild the foot-in-mouth disease of our vice president predicting a 30% failure of the stimulus package and terrorists testing the will of our new president.