Ah spring, and resignation is in the air.
Surely that’s the only immediate outcome of the debacle known as the Robert Bentley governorship. Resignation may not even save Bentley from a long, expensive battle to keep from becoming a prison doctor, but it’s the only course available that might allow the state he claims to love — in a nonphysical way, of course — to kind of sort of focus on actually taking care of its people.
Just resign, Governor. It’s time to cut your losses and head for the border before you’re hung from the nearest metaphorical tree. Maybe Rebekah will jump on the back of your pony, wrap her arms around your 24-inch waist and high-tail it with you across the Rio Grande with a saddlebag full of enough money to keep you both giggling and tickling each other for years to come.
The one thing you don’t want to do is make the governor’s mansion your Alamo and try to fight this battle. Just ask the ghost of Davy Crockett how that turned out. Those Santa Ana winds are blowing your way, Luv Guv.
Maybe you’re sitting at home right now playing Bill Clinton’s ridiculous Monica press conference over and over and comparing it to your own bus wreck of a presser last week and thinking, “Bill diddled an intern and survived! Why can’t I get through boinking Rebekah?”
I must admit, your copping to having had some sort of nonphysical-but-inappropriate relationship with Rebekah Mason right after everyone listened to you on tape talking about how you like to get behind her and fondle her breasts was the kind of BS that gave Slick Willie his sheen. I almost expected you to start debating the definition of “breasts.”
You may think you and Bill are kindred spirits, but get that out of your head. Everyone knew Clinton was a hound. He didn’t portray himself as Charlie Church surrounded by Bible thumpers. Bill didn’t talk about Jesus as his personal buddy and constantly remind us of his religious bona fides. Bill took the Oval Office with a line of angry lovers trashing him in any media that would listen.
This is 20 years and a long way away from hoping something as lame as claiming a nonphysical affair can serve as a semiotic ship to sail you through the storm.
By now every Alabamian who can stay awake through it has heard the tapes your ex-wife recorded of you talking to Mason, proclaiming your love and your enjoyment of holding her breasts. Of asking her to take off her earrings so you could kiss her ear through your phone?!? Of giggling like a teenage boy about needing to lock the door to the governor’s office if the two of you were going to do “what we did yesterday” again, and making sure poor Wanda the secretary gets her desk moved beyond earshot of any noises that might be oozing from your office.
In one more Clintonesque moment, your dirty-talk tape answered that burning question — yes, it’s boxers for the Luv Guv, not briefs. Thank God for small miracles.
The tapes — even if they set the bar for telephone filthy talk back to the age of the party line when Aunt Gertrude might be listening — clearly reveal a man wildly in love with the woman he calls his closest adviser, and someone who he makes sure is paid a phenomenal amount of money for that advice. Let’s not forget you complaining all this darn governor work was getting in the way of your Rebekah time. And there’s your problem, Romeo.
If you were performing a few skin cancer screenings on the front lawn of the Governor’s Mansion and fell in love with a Waffle House waitress who had concerning moles in rather private places, most of us wouldn’t really care that much. But Mason is someone who has earned hundreds of thousands in your service over the past couple of years. And you gave her oddly compliant husband a $91,000-a-year job that seems to be totally outside his area of expertise, given the fact he was a TV weatherman before joining your staff.
So there’s been a lot of money for your honey. And after listening to the tapes your ex recorded out of suspicion hanky-panky was taking place, it’s hard to believe you didn’t dip your pen in the company inkwell, then lie repeatedly to the public about it. Asking us to believe that NOW that you’ve come clean is a bit much. And let’s not forget you also lied about putting your former ALEA chief Spencer Collier on “medical leave,” when he was actually being investigated and ultimately fired for alleged financial malfeasance.
Want to complicate things further? From down here it sure looks like Collier was holding information about your affair and possible misuse of public property as an ace in the hole and only played it once you burned him. How are we to know if there are others inside the Bentley administration who aren’t holding a few aces of their own? Has anyone talked to Wanda? She might have a recording of grunts and groans that would at least take this sex scandal to a respectable level of filthiness.
Governor, you’ve created a huge mess. As usual, the cover-up is worse than the crime. Your credibility is shot with everyone, from legislators to evangelicals to pervert columnists who prefer career-ending political sex scandals to be at least a little racy.
How can you possibly hope to lead the state when everyone is just waiting for you to be indicted and for more semi-lurid details to trickle out? Some media outlets are already reporting criminal investigations, and the State Auditor has filed an ethics complaint related to the sneaky way you’re paying Rebekah truckloads of cash.
If that’s not enough, the Internet has almost been broken by people creating new memes about holding someone’s breasts from behind or locking office doors. Your name is about to land in the Urban Dictionary along with a description of your favorite way to get to “second base.”
I’m sure at one point in your life you decided running for office would be “public service” and you meant it. Look around, Nero — Rome is burning. It’s bad enough you lost your wife and your son spends his days tweeting mean things about you, but the state is a wreck. The Speaker of the House is under indictment and it’s possible the governor may join him. Collier is under investigation. The budget is in tatters. If Alabama was a patient of yours, you’d probably smother it with a pillow.
If you still believe in public service, do us one now and resign.