Via the Washington Free Beacon, I’m trying to understand why David Corn, Mother Jones, and their source thought this audio would end up hurting McConnell more than the tactics involved hurt the left. They’re accusing him, essentially, of … campaigning. (“Basic blocking and tackling,” as WaPo puts it.) Rest assured, Democrats in D.C. and Kentucky engaged in the same oppo research about Ashley Judd that McConnell’s team did, in terms just as colorful (if not more) as his team used, I’d bet. That’s why they ended up pushing her out of the race, see? Let Kevin Williamson explain:

One sympathizes with people who suffer from mental illness. If you have ever been around somebody with psychological problems of the sort that necessitate hospitalization, you appreciate what a grim business that is. And if you breathe oxygen and possess a dozen or more functioning neurons, you also know that if Sarah Palin had spent a month and a half in a mental hospital, Mother Jones – which took a notably indulgent attitude toward Trig trutherism — would have led the chorus of jeers rather than write oh-so-sensitive headlines about the awfulness of using somebody’s mental health as “political ammo.” And as for the legitimacy of using somebody’s religious beliefs as a campaign issue, maybe we should ask Rick Santorum about that.

The thing about Judd’s statements on religious questions is this: They are hilarious. Savor: “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.” “I enjoy native faith practices” may be the perfect encapsulation of the soy-latte approach to religion: vague, condescending, and at its heart consumerist, a question of what you “enjoy.” And what exactly is a “native faith practice”? Native to where? When?

“Judd’s batty beliefs are thoroughly representative of a certain strain of American liberalism,” he says, and there’s no shame in saying so. Judd herself is affecting the requisite faux indignation this afternoon, but even that’s ridiculous: The extent of McConnell’s dumpster-diving about her past was to read her book, in which she airs all of this dirty laundry. There’s so little in the audio for the media to use against McConnell that the narrative’s already turned towards the questionable tactics involved to obtain it, with BuzzFeed running separate pieces this afternoon about Democrats’ conspicuous refusal to condemn the surreptitious recording and McConnell’s masterful job at making this blow up in their faces.

One question, though. If you were willing to risk jail time to bug the office of the Senate minority leader, why would you spoil your operation in order to reveal something as lame as private discussions about oppo research on Ashley Judd? Considering all the juicy things that might be said in that office in the future about the Senate, pending legislation, and the actual Democratic nominee in Kentucky rather than some Hollywood wannabe, why forfeit potential access to it just to give David Corn an especially dumb “scoop”? Better to sit on the Judd audio and keep recording in hopes that something more interesting (i.e. anything) will soon be said.