The big scoop comes from the only
reporter left-wing operative named after a vegetable commonly found embedded in feces, David Corn:
On February 2, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the US Senate, opened up his 2014 reelection campaign headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, and in front of several dozen supporters vowed to “point out” the weaknesses of any opponent fielded by the Democrats. “They want to fight? We’re ready,” he declared. McConnell was serious: Later that day, he was huddling with aides in a private meeting to discuss how to attack his possible Democratic foes, including actor/activist Ashley Judd, who was then contemplating challenging the minority leader. During this strategy session—a recording of which was obtained by Mother Jones—McConnell and his aides considered assaulting Judd for her past struggles with depression and for her religious views.
Here’s McConnell kicking things off:
“I assume most of you have played the, the game Whac-A-Mole? This is the Whac-A-Mole period of the campaign. When anybody sticks their head up, do ’em out.”
And here’s one of the other participants in the meeting, noting Judd’s battle with mental illness:
And then, during the meeting, they played some tape of Judd talking about… Well, just listen:
Pink. Fuzzy. Socks.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: One must have a heart of stone to listen to Ashley Judd describe her emotional problems without laughing.
There are several other clips at Mother Jones, if those bombshells whetted your appetite. I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked — shocked! — that a political campaign would treat a prospective opponent with anything but the utmost respect and dignity during a private meeting. Why, they actually planned to point out her areas of weakness. Gasp!
By the way, the FBI is now investigating these recordings, which probably violated both federal law and Kentucky state law. Although I’m not sure why that matters. It’s not like McConnell is a Democrat. It’s not like laws apply to David Corn.
Corn famously published the Mitt Romney “47 percent” tape, but that was a much different scenario. While the fundraiser was invitation only, it took place in a public setting and was a political event. Strategy sessions in campaign headquarters have a much higher expectation of privacy from recording devices. Had Corn turned a source inside the room to recount what had taken place, that wouldn’t have any real legal implications.
Is this illegal, however? It depends on who did the recording. If the person was a participant in the meeting and willingly gave it to Corn, then arguably … no. Federal law (in general) allows for that kind of recording even in private conversation, and Kentucky is a single-person consent state for recordings. Under those circumstances, the recording participant wouldn’t have to alert any of the other parties to the recording. If someone who wasn’t a participant recorded this (like the bartender in the “47 percent” tape), however, then it’s much different kettle of fish.
Well, summer is on its way, so maybe we’ll get some grilled Corn.
P.P.S. Ann Althouse:
We’re supposed to be offended that McConnell’s people even considered using material like that? Hey, she kind of used “pink fuzzy socks” against America. Surely, the pink fuzzy socks can be used against her. No! Not the fuzzy socks!!!!
P.P.P.S. Privately discussing a possible opponent’s public statements, while being illegally recorded, is now a “smear.” Words mean whatever leftists and the media (PTR) need them to mean at any particular moment.