Was anyone surprised by the latest government scandal?

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By Linda Ireland

Mother Jones, a “fearless” left-wing magazine, last week broke a story about the covert recording of a meeting of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s campaign staff.
Yawn. What a scoop.
Was anyone shocked by any part of this story?
And if you were ... why?
I wasn’t surprised that someone secretly taped Sen. McConnell’s campaign strategy meeting. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
I wasn’t surprised that Sen. McConnell and his staff were heard trash talking on the 12-minute tape.
I was surprised by the mildness of the attack on his possible opponents. On the “nasty potential” scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 3. It could have been much, much worse.
While a pair of left-wing “spies” were snickering about recording the meeting from a hallway, Mitch and his staff were tee-heeing about the ways they could discredit possible candidate Ashley Judd, an actress who was born in Kentucky but seems to like other states too.
Mitch was heard saying: “If I could interject … 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 them out, and we’re even planning to do it with the Courier .…”
Dour Mitch knows “Whac-A-Mole?” As Larry the Cable Guy says, “I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there.”
Then his staff made cutting remarks about Judd’s support of President Obama, her mental stability and religious beliefs.
Ouch – but not surprising.
They played a recording of Judd talking about “American anesthesia.”
“The last time I came home from a trip, I absolutely flipped out when I saw pink fuzzy socks on a rack,” Judd said.
One of McConnell’s staffers laughed and said they were all going to wear pink fuzzy socks at Fancy Farm – a spot in Kentucky that attracts a wide assortment of political candidates.
I think we’d all like to see the candidates wearing pink fuzzy socks. It would probably put them in a happier mood.
They also laughed at another recording of Judd describing her belief in God:
“I still choose the God of my understanding as the God of my childhood. I have to expand my God concept from time to time, and you know particularly I enjoy native faith practices, and have a very nature-based God concept. I’d like to think I’m like St. Francis in that way. Brother Donkey, Sister Bird.”
My first thought? No wonder they’re making fun of you. Brother Donkey? Really?
The statement went way over my head and my Protestant upbringing – as it did McConnell’s staff – so I Googled it.
St. Francis of Assisi loved animals – especially birds. He referred to his body as a donkey in its stubbornness – that it served his spiritual side reluctantly.
Oh. Gotcha.
Note to Mitch’s staff: Never, ever make fun of a person who loves animals.
Some people think part of the recorded discussion was fine – anything that showed the differences between candidates. But they became upset at the comments mocking Judd and her beliefs. Others claimed the statements and laughter showed a lack of respect for anyone who shared a different belief.
A lack of respect? In politics? Really?
Republicans and Democrats are not kind to each other, generally speaking, and certainly not on the national level.
Does anyone really think a similar meeting in the Democratic headquarters would be kinder, more respectful, more sympathetic …  nicer?
I do my best to stay neutral in politics – as I am equally embarrassed by the antics of both parties, depending on the subject. This is one of those times.
If you’d like to read the full transcript of the McConnell recording, visit http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/mcconnell-transcript.
I suggest you read it right before bedtime.