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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.

You could.

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.

Good luck.

You are going to need it.

Your "friend"

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Comment Preferences

  •  just some random thinking (19+ / 0-)

    after watching this story develop.

    I hope it was not a waste of your time to read it.

    I found writing somewhat satisfying.


    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:22:24 PM PDT

    •  This is always how he runs (4+ / 0-)

      It's mud from the git go, there is no offer of anything mitch the bitch has ever done except grovel at the feet of his corporate owners. He's currently trying to graft himself onto rand Paul (who has only contempt for him). Truth be told, I suspect rand Paul had a hand in this, easy to turn the servants of a dying benefactor. Mitch is crashing, and he knows it, and he has no new tricks up his sleeve. And yes, he knows the word, Kentucky has been calling him mitch the bitch for years, often to his face. I think if the truth were ever to be told, someone on his staff sold him out for rand Paul, who thinks he's gonna be king in 2016. My hope is that McConnell will, with a dying swipe, take Paul with him!

      You’re just a bully who found it easier and easier and decided that everybody else wasn’t really a person, not like you, and when you know that, there’s no crime too big, is there? No crime you won’t do.’

      by Shippo1776 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:31:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Makes Reid's decision (5+ / 0-)

    to allow this man to be the de facto Senate leader even stranger.

  •  adding a bit of an explanation (9+ / 0-)

    there are real issues about how McConnell wound up getting discharged.  The medical reason that has been offered may not hold water, and there are intimations about something far more intimate and explosive, that may have been suppressed because of the assistance of his mentor Sen. John Sherman Cooper, for whom McConnell had interned while in law school.

    There are people who have known about some of this who in light of McConnell's recent actions are now digging furiously to see if they can verify.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:35:17 PM PDT

    •  Here's a link to flesh it out a bit... (6+ / 0-)


      If there's nothing to it, McConnell should offer some explanation.

      If he can demand the President present his birth certificate for no particular reason, the least Mitch can do is explain why he was discharged after a few weeks in the Army.

      Maybe it was something perfectly innocent, like maybe rich and influential friends were pulling strings for him, or he got caught using government resources for private gain, or he just decided that war was great as long as someone else was fighting other words, he was just practicing for the Senate.

      "I wonder why Congress again in a new poll out today--11% approval rating. (It's) because they don't work for us. They work for the sons-of-bitches who pay them." Cenk Uygur

      by Dave in Columbus on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 10:06:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i watched msnbc martin bashir today... (7+ / 0-)
    Corn on MSNBC: I'm Still Waiting for McConnell to Respond to the Substance of the Story
    Tue Apr. 9, 2013 4:41 PM PDT3.Earlier today, Mother Jones released a recording of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and campaign aides in a private strategy session discussing how to campaign against actress Ashley Judd, who is rumored to be running against McConnell for Senate. Watch DC bureau chief David Corn discuss the recording, McConnell's response, and looking behind the curtain at the ugly world of political campaigns on MSNBC's Bashir Live:

    hard to say if the anonymous source will come forward ...

    ''A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.'' FDR

    by lostinamerica on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:42:46 PM PDT

  •  Well and powerfully said, tk. n/t (4+ / 0-)

    "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

    by 3goldens on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:49:23 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Ken -- from Louisville, KY (10+ / 0-)

    In Louisville, we all know Mitch's lies, tricks, and tactics very well and he obviously pulled out all the stoppers today in his smear job against the "leftists" who "bugged his HDQ."  

    You are correct about the single tweet two months ago that referred to Sect. of Labor Elaine Chao's role in labor issues.  There was a quick apology, but Mitch will beat that drum until the 2014 election.  He's a real schmuck for sure.

    I agree that the tape Corn released sounded muffled like a phone in someone's pocket.  What are the chances of an apology from Despicable Mitch if there is no evidence that "leftists" bugged his campaign meeting?  What about his use of Senate staff members to find dirt on potential opponents?

    Watergate, indeed.  How to keep this story alive?

    •  not illegal for Senate staff to do political work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but not while on the payroll.  Outside of regular work hours, or else take a leave of absence if doing fulltime.

      I know a number of staffers on the House side who are also political - they carry two blackberries, one Congressional and one political and they do not do explicitly political stuff in a House office building.  That meets the letter of the law

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:02:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  spot on. except that I suspect someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on his staff may actually have to read your words to the Senator.....  they're going to need to know why they're getting so many phone calls.....

  •  McConnell is on offense: Called in FBI... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    McConnell campaign asks for FBI investigation over leaked Ashley Judd tapes

    Mitch McConnell’s campaign has accused opponents of bugging McConnell’s headquarters and has asked for an FBI investigation after a recording from an internal campaign meeting surfaced on Mother Jones this morning.

    The FBI has confirmed the request and is looking into the allegation, according to Paul Bresson, an agency spokesman...

    “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 Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent.  By whom and how that was accomplished presumably will be the subject of a criminal investigation...”

    TPM reports:  Mother Jones: Audio Wasn’t Product Of ‘Watergate-Style Bugging Operation’

    ...Mother Jones' David Corn...said an audio recording of McConnell campaign aides discussing Ashley Judd's history of depression was not "the product of a Watergate-style bugging operation..."
  •  Thank you for this thoughtful diary (5+ / 0-)

    Having survived a physically and emotionally abusive mother who I believe suffers from acute personality disorder in addition to paranoid narcicism, I struggle with anxiety and self esteem issues and I know that the victims of abuse are not the ones who are mentally unstable, the abusers are.

    Being depressed as the result of childhood abuse does not translate to being mentally unstable. Doing so is like seeing the victims of rape as "damaged goods." Such Ill  definitions of persons who have suffered in the hands of mentally unstable is akin to rape on top of rape.

    And when victims like Ashley Judd seeks professional treatment it is a sign of their mental stability and sanity not the other way around.

    In other words, metacognition involved in self observance, recognition of a problem that needs fixing is the sign of both, mental and cognitive strength. Ashley Judd would have made a great public servant.

    People like Mitch McConnell on the other hand shows the signs of true mental instability with their lack of empathy and self knowledge.

    It is time that we notice the truly mentally unstable ones among us. Those are the abusers, not the abused who are seeking treatment.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 04:21:10 AM PDT

    •  I have a personal interest (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenox, Loge, lostinamerica, BadKitties

      I spent a good deal of my life wrestling with a tendency to depression.  I wrote about it in 2006, in a diary with a one word title, Depression.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 04:35:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On my way to teach my 8:00 am (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        class. Will read "Depression" and comment.

        "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

        by zenox on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 04:46:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read your diary and I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the very act of making your experience public is the sign of your mental and moral strength, not weakness.

          Nothing is healthier and saner than the ability to observe one 's self in all sincerety, and the sharing of what you observe with the others is the sign of strong connection with the world.From your words I conclude that you have fought against what was victimizing you without ever giving up. And keeping up with thefight is all we can do.

          We have an illusion of people who have had no challenges in their lives so they are mentally altogether while others are not.There is not a single human being on earth who has not been challenged one way or another. These challenges we face without having had the choice to opt out of them are as human as the nose on our faces. Life will bring them. It is how we deal with them however is the indicator of mental and spiritual strength.

          I have never became my anxieties, for example. I fight with them by simply being aware of them. I dissect them study them until they become toothless tigers. The best part of the experience is that the realization of the foreignness of them. That our depressions and anxieties are not who we really are. That they are mental projections, caricatures masquarading as  
           true self which is beyond all measure or definition.

          People who are truly mentally unstable are the ones who have no sense of this true self whatsoever. They are literally incapable of self observation. Those turn into the tyrantus and the abusers. Having no control inside they attempt to normalize by controlling others which also doesn't work.

          Thanks for reading.

          "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

          by zenox on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:24:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, that's what jumped out to me as well (4+ / 0-)

      I don't know much about Ashley Judd, and I think I've only ever seen two of her movies.  But what I do know is how courageously she spoke about surviving sexual assault.  Did she have struggles with Major Depressive Disorder before?  I don't know, but she's spoken very candidly about how recovery is a process, with steps forward and back.  At least, McConnell's opposition research team was recklessly indifferent to her rapes, and as they say, the cossacks work for the Tsar.

      People with depression are not "emotionally unstable," especially when it's managed.  It's a public health issue, not a moral one.  The health care bill McConnell opposed and wants to repeal made it so people with depression can no longer be denied for private insurance coverage.  What's his answer to the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who experience depression but aren't movie stars?

      Anyway, for a variety of reasons Ashley Lundegard Grimes might be a better candidate than Judd, but in any event, I'd much rather have a Senator with a treatable medical condition who believes in the right things than a Senator with an untreatable condition called 60 plus years of being a dick.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 05:04:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wish I could Rec ten times. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, BachFan, shypuffadder

    Thoughtful, well-written, excellently put. Mitch's whining and subsequent plea for money (Help! I'm under attack by liberals! Send money NOW!) is absolutely pathetic. I just hope that when it comes to election time, that this tape is not forgotten.

    "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

    by BadKitties on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:07:12 AM PDT

  •  Reading your writings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are never a waste of time.  I love it when you present the possibilities of so many different avenues of thought.  I was thinking about that tape and you well-covered a lot of my exact thoughts.  Then, true to form, you presented even more and better food for thought.

    I hope someone reads your post to the Senator and he is able to reply with more than "OUCH!!!."

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