I hope you don't mind the familiarity but you've been around the national political scene for so long I feel as if I know you, even if apparently you don't know me - or most of the other American people.
I have been active in politics perhaps as long as you have - I grew up in a political family and was involved - believe it or not as a Republican - before I was a teenager. I have been in enough campaigns over the years, enough strategy sessions, to know that people float all kinds of ideas. After all, we know from Watergate that Gordon Liddy floated some really crazy ideas that were even too much for John Mitchell. Thus I am not shocked in listening to the tape released by Mother Jones that some on your staff would suggest going after Ashley Judd for her self-disclosed descriptions of dealing with depression. After all, we have seen these lines of attacks on those who would seek psychological or psychiatric support at a national level before, oddly enough usually by Republicans against Democrats such as Tom Eagleton, Tom Turnipseed, and Michael Dukakis. But certainly at a time when we are worried about those truly mentally disturbed and the potential for violent acts we would want to encourage people to seek psychological support when they are troubled - and we know that many Americans experience some periods of depression and we should be glad they receive the assistance they need to again become productive members of society.
That is not what bothers me about that tape.
Perhaps I can put it in a different context, and that is what we learned about your colleague John McCain from the book and the movie Game Change:
when McCain's campaign was struggling and looking to gain traction against Senator Obama, key people on his campaign raised the issue of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. To his credit, McCain, who after all had experienced the smearing of his adopted daughter with the implication of an out of wedlock liaison with someone of color in the South Carolina primary, and who then later had to explain to her when she was older what that was all about, drew the line and would not accept that line of attack.
What I do not hear on that tape is any reluctance on your part to draw a similar line. You seem perfectly comfortable with your aide's inaccurate description of Ashley Judd as currently mentally unstable, with his willingness to use that as a line of attack to personally smear her.
Okay, so perhaps you might not want to have embarrassed him, and you told him privately that was out of bounds? If so, then couldn't you have said today that it may have been raised but you told him and your campaign that you were not going to go there?
Instead you deflected, you did not own up. You seemed to imply such an attack was justifiable because of a single tweet about your wife's ethnicity, a tweet that was later deleted and for which an apology was offered. You seem to think that anything is fair game.
I suppose I should not be surprised. After all, you said your most important goal was to make sure the President didn't get a second term. What about serving the needs of the American people? What about representing the needs of the people of Kentucky?
You want to play whack-a-mole with anyone who might dare to oppose you politically. Does not that legitimate their whacking you and yours back?
If you want to deal with personal matters, are you so sure that things in your background you might not want publicly aired will remain unmentioned? Ashley Judd was honest about things in her past. As far as I can tell you are not willing to be fully honest about things in yours.
You dissemble, you change the subject, you claim it is liberals doing nasty things, you accuse them of being "Nixonian" - except I remind you that Richard Nixon was a Republican, not a liberal (although he would certainly be tarred as such by the Tea Party members of your caucus). And surely you know that, since you served as an Assistant Attorney General in the administration of his hand-picked Vice President and successor as President Gerald Ford.
Mitch, the American people have made it clear they want honest cooperation to meet their pressing needs. They want changes in gun policy and you are now on record on being willing to attempt keeping those changes from even being debated.
Are you afraid that you cannot defend your positions to the American people any more than you can defend what your campaign was prepared to do to Ashley Judd?
Mitch, I have a question for you. Do you trust the American people?
Because if you do, you will be honest
-- about your own past
-- about your belief that it is justifiable to try to personally destroy a political opponent in order to hold on to office or power
-- about your willingness to obstruct the will of the majority of the American people and the Senators they elected because in an honest vote your positions will lose.
As I listen to the tape, it sounds to me like someone had his phone on in his pocket. That means that in all likelihood you were not "bugged" by liberals, but outed by one of your own. What does it say that your words and actions are such that you are not protected by their loyalty? Or could it be that the person who leaked the tape has more integrity than you, and felt your behavior was unacceptable, and needed to be exposed, just the way Mitt Romney's words at the fundraiser were unacceptable and needed to be exposed.
You know, you could fix this. You could say you were wrong to consider such political tactics, you are sorry and you apologize to MS Judd.
But you won't, will you?
I agree with you on one thing. Entitlements can ruin America. Only the entitlements that will ruin America are not the social insurance programs you are willing to gut. Rather it is the sense of entitlement of people like you who think if you do something it is justifiable but if it is done to you it is horrible.
You think you are entitled to your Senate seat. Remember, it is not yours, it belongs to the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Right now they don't seem to like you all that much. Perhaps you have noticed.
Which is maybe why you think of whack-a-mole. The only way you see to keeping your seat is to make those people dislike any opponent more than they already dislike you.
How sad, Mitch. How lacking in leadership.
Mitch, maybe you are depressed at the thought you might be turned out of office?
Maybe you think you need some counseling to help you with the possible depression?
Will that mean you are mentally unstable?
So sorry, Mitch. But remember something that you should have learned very early in politics - what goes around, comes around. Payback is a . . . . well, you know the term.
Of course, you probably will never read my words. After all, I don't live in Kentucky. You don't have to care about what I think, do you?
Or do you? DO you know how many people in Kentucky I know? How many read what I write? Can you afford to lose even more support?
Sorry Mitch. I'd like to help you. Really, I would.
When I see someone who is emotionally disturbed I do want to help them.
When I see someone in denial about their own problems, because I am a kindly soul I want them to realize they are not alone.
But of course first you would have to be willing to listen to someone other than yourself and those whose jobs depend upon your staying in office.
So I am afraid I cannot help you, Mitch.
You are going to need it.