Mitch McConnell Ashley Judd Attack Tape Not Grounds For Criticism
It's a much ado about nothing moment. Tuesday, David Corn at left-wing publication Mother Jones had a bombshell story. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) held a super secret strategy meeting to come up with ways to destroy a possible Ashley Judd candidacy in 2014. Better yet, he had a recording of it. Is this news? No. Is it shocking? No. It's a professional member of the political class plotting to destroy his opponent. That's politics. That's the nature of campaigns. In the words of James Carville, the architect of Clinton's 1992 presidential run, "When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil."
Corn noted how McConnell's staff talked about her mental health and her religion as possible ammunition to be used against her. During the meeting, one of the discussion leaders said, "she's clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced. I mean it's been documented. Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she's suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s."
Can you hear the war on women narrative brewing here? Yet, mental competency is fair game. In 1972, when it was discovered that Thomas Eagleton, then-running mate of Democratic candidate for president George McGovern, underwent electroshock therapy to treat his mental problems, it was the end of the McGovern candidacy — and rightfully so. Eagleton failed on the threshold question concerning any candidate on a presidential ticket: Do I trust this person with nuclear weapons? Nixon would go on to win in a landslide.
Even BuzzFeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro noted yesterday that the issues discussed during the meeting were commonplace relating to campaigns.
"Although perhaps a bit jarring to anyone who's never witnessed a political campaign," McMorris Santoro wrote, "even attacks on Judd's mental problems would hardly have been unprecedented, nor were they a new topic. The actress extensively addressed them in her book, for example."
Nonetheless, Sen. McConnell is right to demand an investigation into this matter. Furthermore, it shows the hypocrisy of David Corn, who slammed the Bush administration's wiretap policy, but found it perfectly legitimate to use a possibly illegal recording to take cheap shots at Republicans.
If the left wing of America is going apoplectic over this, it shows how shameless they've truly become. This little meeting pales in comparison to Team Obama smearing Romney for allegedly giving a man's wife cancer, or how some media outlets, like the Washington Post, obsessed over his Mormonism. Politics is a war. It's a mean, nasty game. As Harry Truman once said, "if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen." It seems that Judd took that advice.