By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
It may be too late for Governor Robert Bentley to save himself as the gallows of impeachment’s trap door is oiled and ready. There is, however, a chance that the man, Robert Bentley, may be spared the Hangman’s noose; but even that outcome is tenuous at best.
Bentley, like so many men before him, fails to grasp that it is not his alleged affair with the married former staffer, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, or using his position as Governor to destroy perceived political enemies, such as former Law Enforcement Chief Spencer Collier. Hubris is his undoing.
Bentley as a man and Governor stubbornly refuses to admit what the people of the State seem to know intuitively: he is a liar and a cheat. As a man who once compared himself to King David, he is utterly unrepentant for transgressions against his wife, his family, and his State. When David saw the error of his ways, he repented. Bentley has not.
Outside of his family and friends few cared about Bentley’s peccadillo. It is almost a given that politicians indulge in the same pleasures they condemn or deny others. Hypocrisy is unanimously expected among the ruling elite. But by continuously flaunting his relationship with Mason, he has pushed an otherwise reluctant Legislature toward the brink of impeachment.
In the beginning, calls for Bentley’s removal from office were mainly heard from those who had defended former Speaker and convicted felon Mike Hubbard. But Bentley’s “sneering” resistance to admitting his wrongdoings while continuing to indulge in his passions is galling to lawmakers and the public as a whole.
Many legislators report that daily they are asked by their constituents “When will the fool Bentley be removed from office?” or something to that effect.
Average voters do not pay much attention to the scheme that may or may not surround Bentley’s dogged campaign to build a billion dollar prison system or any other suspect act on his agenda. What they do understand, is Bentley having “Rebekah” sitting in the First Lady’s chair at the State of the State, and taking her and her (Cuckold?) husband to the Presidential Inauguration.
And who in their right mind believes Bentley only used inappropriate language in one FaceTime chat with the married Mason. The recording appears to be a reenactment of previous encounters, but Bentley doesn’t seem to understand the transparency of his lies.
Beyond being an embarrassment, Bentley is dangerous because he seems incapable of making sound decisions. He also lacks the moral authority to lead or represent the State in any credible way.
Even if the investigation handed to former Montgomery District Attorney Ellen Brooks bares fruit, an indictment is not likely for eight months to a year.
Lawmakers staring down an election season that fires up in just a few months are reluctant to face angry voters having done nothing about Bentley.
In all likelihood, the Ethics Commission at the April 5 meeting will report Bentley has committed at least some ethics code infractions. If so, the rush to judgment will become an unstoppable stampede.
It would perhaps be best for the State if Bentley were allowed to quietly finish his term cooling his heels at the Governor’s Beach Manson with Mason, (something the couple already does with some regularity). He should stay behind the closet of his shame only coming out of to sign legislation or other perfunctory obligations. But it appears he is too arrogant to acknowledge that he is finished and seems incapable of admitting he has failed everyone who has ever cared for him.
Without a sincere confession to stir the peoples’ compassion to forgive him, the Hangman’s knot known as impeachment is the fate Bentley’s faces.
And as everyone should know, it’s the guilty who put the noose around their own neck.