Giving Credit Where it's Due (7/30/09)

I've been quick to criticize Senator Jim Bunning when I've thought he did the wrong thing, so it's only fair to acknowledge when he does the right thing. And deciding not to seek a third term was definitely the right thing.

Recently, Mr. Bunning has insisted he wouldn't willingly step down. But his ever-increasing episodes of cantankerous, uncooperative and irrational behavior did nothing to support his claims of still being electable.

Now, thankfully, he's finally seen the light. And this is important, because his decision comes early enough to ensure that Kentuckians will have a real choice in next year's election to fill the seat he's giving up.

Even though Mr. Bunning had virtually no chance, as long as he remained in the race, other Republican hopefuls were constrained from going all out to unseat him. And while I have no reason to doubt the Democratic nominee will be well-qualified, it's always better when the voters have a choice between two viable options instead of a "no contest."

But let's give credit where it's due. Senator Bunning was a winner who lost only one election in a long career; by all accounts he's avoided the scandals that plague so many public officials; and he was definitely his own man, always led by personal conviction instead of the popular mood or the wishes of party leaders.

For him, retirement was definitely the right call. But he certainly deserves a healthy and productive one.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.