I’m going to start this column with a quick acknowledgement that I had absolutely no idea that what happened last Tuesday night was going to happen. Like most people in the country, I read the tea leaves — aka reams of polls showing Hillary would win — and figured they couldn’t all be wrong. I lost a load of money betting against Brexit for the same reason. You’d think I would have learned.
Frankly I never guessed right about Trump at all since he got into the presidential race, and I’m generally a pretty good political guesser. I figured there was no way he’d win the nomination, but he did. After “Grab Her …. Gate,” I knew it was over, but it wasn’t. So I’ll stop guessing and just hope everyone else can calm down a bit and remember our government is designed to stymie the designs of any president who tries to push things too hard one way or another, so relax.
I do know this for a fact: If we all live long enough we’re going to see the presidency switch parties many times, and each time it will be during the “most important election of our lifetimes,” and each time we’ll survive. And really, can anyone actually say they’d feel good about hurting a fellow American, losing friends or having your state leave the union fighting over the likes of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? At least wait until there are some less-egregious choices.
Besides, Kanye West has already announced for 2020! He’s bound to have some good ideas. I’m excited already.
Now, on a slightly related tangent ….
No, I’m not talking about the radioactive fallout we’ll have to endure once Trump starts a nuclear war by bombing North Korea after President Kim Jong Un dares to make fun of his “hair.” (That’s just a joke! Everyone put down the pitchforks!)
I’m talking about the fallout around these parts if Trump does what most think he will — again, I’m not predicting anything! — and appoints U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions to a Cabinet position. It sets into motion a perfect opportunity for the state’s almost forgotten Luv Guv to further complicate matters in Montgomery.
If Sessions leaves his senate seat, it means our dermatologist governor, Robert “Melon Noma” Bentley, will get to squeeze even more fun out of his time in office than he already has. Just as the governor is staring down the barrel of impeachment for allegedly using state resources to allegedly fondle his alleged favorite body parts of his alleged mistress who actually was his top political advisor, an immense power has been placed in his still-quivering hand. That is the power to appoint someone to what probably amounts to a lifetime job as Alabama’s junior senator.
And if you don’t think boots are being licked and butts kissed all over Alabama in hopes of getting the (politically, at least) impotent governor’s blessing, then you just hate disgusting oral imagery. Getting appointed to Sessions’ seat is like having Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz both give you a heart, brain and everlasting gobstopper at the same time.
There are some things every politician knows: Sen. Richard Shelby will have to be carried off Capitol Hill in a box, and even then there’s a good chance that before it happens he’ll stay on a heart-lung machine long enough to win another six-year term. He just won another last week and is a spry 82 years old with at least 64 buildings in the state that still don’t bear his name. He’s still got work to do.
Sessions is much younger and could stay for years if Trumpy doesn’t snatch him up. At the very minimum it’s likely now would be the only time in the next six years anyone in Bama will have a shot at becoming a U.S. Senator. In political years, six is like 30. It’s a long time to wait and hope Shelby wants to leave office in 2022 to enjoy the few remaining years gumming his oatmeal in peace.
So now Bentley holds the prize a lot — I mean A LOT — of Alabama politicos want. Whoever Bentley appoints will likely get to be a member of the world’s most exclusive club for as long as he or she wants. Alabama kind of has a way of re-electing our senators until they turn to dust. The Luv Guv has to be relishing this moment, but how does he play it?
The names of some legitimate contenders are floating around, but there’s not really much in it for Bentley if he simply appoints some Goat Hill buddy or puts in one of the state’s members in the House of Representatives. There needs to be an angle.
The clever idea that gives everyone the giggles is Bentley appointing Attorney General Luther Strange, whose office is right in the middle of criminally investigating the Guv regarding potential illegal behavior stemming from his alleged affair with Rebekah Mason. It would certainly be a slick move. Put Big Luther in a place he’s probably dying to go and then get to appoint his successor in the AG’s office. All he has to do then is find a loyalist/puppet who wants the AG’s job badly enough to get in there and squash the investigation. That’s the scenario that’s being tossed around daily. And it’s a good one … but there’s another.
What if … WHAT IF the Luv Guv knows he’s in a pickle he can’t get out of even with a crony in the AG’s office? Meanwhile he’s also watching the object of his desires suffer without the $400K or so a year he was paying her. In one final romantic gesture he appoints — Rebekah Mason! That’s Sen. Rebekah Mason to you, Alabama.
Like I said at the top of this column, I’m pretty good at political guessing, so don’t laugh it off just yet. I laughed off Trump and see what happened?