Are you trying to make sense of this whole story about Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose office may or may not have been bugged like Watergate only not as interesting? So are we! Do you understand it? Neither do we! But that’s okay; we will give it the ol’ “hair and skin academy” try to Wonksplain it anyway. You’re welcome.
As best we can tell, it all started with this story from Mother Jones reporter David Corn, who is always having awesome secret recordings fall into his lap somehow, and then he gets gifts and prizes and journamalism awards, which is very nice for him. Anyhoo, seems that behind the closed doors of his office, McConnell and his staff were evil-scheming how they would DESTROY Ashley Judd if she dared to challenge him for his Senate seat and maybe even win because McConnell’s about as popular as syphilis back in Kentucky.
Turns out Mitch and the gang did not say very nice things about Ms. Judd when they thought no one was listening. Like how they all had a good chuckle about her being “emotionally unbalanced,” for example, because she “suffered some suicidal tendencies” and “was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the ’90s.” HAHAHAHA! What a great and totally-not-dickish way to attack your potential political opponent on the issues!
Then, almost in the next breath, they criticize her for not loving God enough, like Mitch obviously does because only a really good God-loving man would mock someone who has battled depression:
She is critical…of traditional Christianity. She sort of views it as sort of a vestige of patriarchy. She says Christianity gives a God like a man, presented and discussed exclusively with male imagery, which legitimizes and seals male power, the intention to dominate even if that intention is nowhere visible.
Oh noes! She has a problem with the patriarchal structure of Christianity? BURN HER! Plus, also, she hates children and tradition and apple pie or something and is “clearly sort of anti-sort-of-traditional American family.” Yeah, whatever, blah blah blah.
Obviously these tapes did not put McConnell in the best of lights because he comes across as a real asshole, which he is, but we thought that was, like, a carefully crafted Republican strategy so we don’t understand why looking like an asshole is a problem all of a sudden. That didn’t stop him from trying to play the victim card, though, and saying he was all persecuted ‘n shit:
“Last week they were attacking my wife’s ethnicity, and apparently also bugging my headquarters, much like Nixon and Watergate,” McConnell said. “That’s what the political left does in Kentucky.”
Yeah. It’s just like Nixon and Watergate, except not at all, but we’d like to congratulate McConnell for at least not saying it’s just like Hitler or that time they killed Jesus. OH WAIT. HE DID.
So, it turns out the “they” are some dudes from a group that hates the bejesus out of McConnell called Progress Kentucky, but they swear they did not bug his office because that would be illegal maybe, and what do they look like, James O’Keefe? No! Instead, according to some dude on the executive committee named Jacob Conway, they just happened to coincidentally overhear Mitch and his staff having themselves a riotous good time laughing at Ms. Judd when they were coincidentally standing in a hallway — no, seriously, that’s what they say! — and so they whipped out their phones or whatever and recorded this conversation they just happened to coincidentally stumble upon coincidentally wink wink nudge nudge nothing to see here move along. Allegedly.
“They were in the hallway after the, I guess after the celebration and hoopla ended, apparently these people broke for lunch and had a strategy meeting, which is, in every campaign I’ve been affiliated with, makes perfect sense,” Conway told WFPL. “One of them held the elevator, the other one did the recording and they left. That was what they told to me from them directly.”
Conway continued, “Apparently the gentlemen overheard the conversation and decided to record it with a phone or recording device they had in their pocket. Could’ve been an iPhone, could’ve been a Flip camera or something like that.”
Uh huh. Suuuuuure. So, this leaves us with some questions about ProgressKY. (Not about Mitch, though; we know he’s an asshole.) Like, are we really supposed to believe this story about how this recording came into being because it sure smells fishy and if they did bug his office, they should pay for their crimes? If they are crimes? Which we don’t know because if you can hear somebody clearly outside a door and happen to record it on your iDevice, is that really illegal? UNLESS you used a parabolic mic or something, in which case, maybe it IS illegal after all? But ProgressKY also ran that AWFUL ad about Elaine Chao so they are racist and dumb and they suck anyway? Also, David Corn sucks for some reason, according to conservatives, because he posted the recording? And also, pimp impersonator James O’Keefe, who now dwells in his mother’s basement for reals because he is not allowed to leave the house because he is a lawbreaker, is all arglebargle LAWBREAKERZ.
Fuck it, we know even less now than we did at the start of this thing. So we’ll just sum up what we can: Basically, they are assholes, the lot of ’em. Thanks a whole bunch, assholes, maybe find a career you’re qualified for, like village idiot or network executive.