Included in the disclosed tape were remarks about Judd's past experiences with depression and mental illness. Although the topic is clearly "fair game" for evaluating a potential political rival, the comments made by McConnell and his aides reflected a disturbingly flippant attitude towards mental illness and the people suffering from it. Mental illness is nothing to laugh about! Ask anyone who has had to deal with depression. Ask anyone that knows someone who sought suicide as a remedy because they could not cope with their depression. Ask anyone who may have lost a loved one to a gunman suffering from mental illness. Haven't we had enough tragedies lately to prove this point?
But Liberal leaning Mother Jones (most famous for disclosing and making Mitt Romney's devastating 47% remark public) publicly revealed the recorded conversations. McConnell's response? No apologies for his comments, instead, an attack on the Left; "We’ve always said the Left will stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell, but Nixonian tactics to bug campaign headquarters is above and beyond." Just today, in an effort to dramatize his effort to be portrayed as a "victim" and not one who mocks mental illness, McConnell's office released through NBC an additional statement; "Senator McConnell’s campaign is working with the FBI and has notified the local U.S. Attorney in Louisville, per FBI request, about these recordings. Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in Sen. McConnell’s campaign office without consent. By whom and how that was accomplished will presumably be the subject of a criminal investigation." So a "listening device of some kind" was used to illegally record McConnell and he has been damaged. He has been so damaged, that his staff immediately issued fundraising letters claiming he is "under attack by the Left!" Yet as reported in today's Washington Post, Mother Jones claims no one bugged McConnell's office and the source of the tape broke no laws obtaining it. Regardless, it must be a Left Wing conspiracy! But was it? Thus far, McConnell has been repeatedly asked if the recorded statements accurately reflect his sentiments towards mental illness and depression. Thus far, McConnell has not denied the statements, yet repeats the same talking points that the "Left" bugged his office!
Yet, there is more to consider. Aren't those in the Media rushing to support McConnell as a victim also the ones who condemned members of the Media for rushing to judge George Zimmerman for murdering Trayvon Martin over a year ago? Remember the outrage by the Right Wing Media that Zimmerman may have a valid claim of self defense in the shooting?
Which brings me to my final point. A few months before the recent Presidential election, the Sarasota Republican Party erected two large billboards prominently displaying the simple words "Repeal Obama!" What that really meant was lost on me, but I got the gist of the signs. Within 24 hours, one sign in Venice, Florida was vandalized by being shredded. Immediate allegations flew in the media by local Republicans that Obama supporters destroyed their "expensive sign" (see Sarasota Herald Tribune, August 20, 2012). One elected official by the name of State Representative Doug Holder (R- Venice), publicly alleged that the sign was illegally vandalized by "Chicago Thugs" (referring to Obama operatives). Holder's statements were presented as factual, yet local authorities had no information as to the identity of the vandals, let alone any evidence the crime was perpetrated by Obama "Thugs" from Chicago. As of this date, no one has been identified as the vandals to the sign. Despite the "loss" of the sign, the local GOP got a ton of free advertising about the incident, including the wide dissemination of allegations of a Leftist plot. You see, not a lot of folks actually drive by the location of that particular sign, and when the incident was first reported, many folks had never seen it. But they sure knew about it because of "Obama thugs!" Jump forward to January, 2013.
In January of this year, former Sarasota County Republican Chairman, Robert Waechter was formally indicted for engaging in "dirty tricks", including a rather "Nixonian" tactic of stealing a fellow Republican's identity so he could use her name as a donor to a Democratic candidate for Congress. His objective was to use the Republican's name so that he could smear her if she ran in the 2014 election for County Commissioner. How could anyone vote for this woman, she supported a Democrat! (See Sarasota Herald Tribune, January 7, 2013). Sound like "dirty pool" to you? Think folks like Waechter might have been involved in an little vandalism of the sign for the free negative Obama publicity?
Wasn't Mitt Romney's slam against 47% of Americans recorded by a cell phone and not by an illegally planted "bug?" Without knowing all of the details (that would lead to a rush to judgment), how do we know that the taping of McConnell's remarks were not made by an aide upset with McConnell's views on mental illness? If the comments were recorded in a meeting held last February and Ashley Judd withdrew in March, what possible benefit could be gained by those on the "left" by revealing it in April? Is it possible that McConnell is refusing to answer for his statements in order to spin the incident as an "illegal activity"thereby making himself out to be a victim? Based upon his immediate efforts to fund raise off of the incident, McConnell is playing the "strings" of this incident to perfection. As Richard Nixon himself once said; "Always remember that others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself!" Stay tuned on this story. Is it possible McConnell's allegations will come back to bite him in the butt?