By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter
Well, Alabama is a hot mess, isn’t it? Where do we start, listing all the troubles and challenges facing our sad, pathetic state?
And all this under a supermajority of Republicans — in the House and Senate, in the constitutional offices of the state, on the state courts.
We’re a hot mess, because the Republicans, who swore they could govern, simply can’t. They have no idea. They do for themselves, get into trouble, and continue to do for themselves and continue to get into trouble.
Let’s review a few of these hot messes:
- Gov. Robert Bentley, our Alabama values, Christian governor, at least got a few squeezes off on top aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason’s boobs. He talked like a junior high sex freak to her, despite his 73 years and a destroyed 50-year marriage. His hypocrisy knows no end.
- Then the governor, a physician who refuses to help Alabama’s working poor by expanding Medicaid at mostly the federal government’s expense, spends $1,380 (if true; that sounds low) retrieving his wallet from Tuscaloosa because he forgot it after he took a beach trip. Yes, a trip to the beach, where he forgot his wallet, and sent a helicopter to retrieve it. The poor can do without health care, but Bentley can’t do without his wallet for a few days.
- Bentley and Mason, while in Las Vegas last November, slip off for a concert to see Celine Dion. Here’s how goofy it gets: Bentley went backstage and made Dion an honorary Alabamian, like that’s something to cherish.
Yes, Alabama is a hot mess. Sadly, there’s much more:
- Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard still faces 23 felony corruption charges. He’s managed to stall a trial for more than two years, but supposedly he’ll come up in May. Supposedly. One wonders if this will ever be settled. As far as Hubbard is concerned, no trial is a good trial. And the people of Alabama be damned.
- Some Republicans (who can’t govern, remember, no matter what they say) wanted to impeach Bentley after his fingers did the walking over Mason, but they haven’t done anything except support Hubbard, despite serious felony charges against the Speaker. Talk about screwed-up priorities.
- Former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency chief Spencer Collier, after spilling the beans on Bentley’s “puppy love” affair, suffered serious retaliation from the governor. Now, Collier is suing Bentley and Mason and others, alleging wrongful dismissal and defamation. Let’s root for Collier. Seems like he may be the good guy or, at least, the less than absolutely disgusting guy, in all of this.
This hot mess is not cooling. No telling what’ll come out tomorrow, or the next day, or next week. We know this now:
- We’ve got a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Roy Moore, already thrown off the High Court once for disobeying federal courts, again battling the federal courts because he’s a homophobe. Got to wonder what he’s hiding. How many Republican homophobes across the country have been revealed as the very people they hate? Well, lots.
- We’re a state that closes driver license offices in poor areas so people who need photo identifications to vote can’t get them. Republicans are so afraid people (poor people, especially) are going to vote, they make it difficult for them to do so. Cowards.
- Instead of fixing the Gulf Coast, devastated by the criminal BP oil spill, officials wanted to use the BP money to rebuild a hotel and conference center at Gulf Shores, so rich people will have a place to sleep, dine, and conference in the luxury they are accustomed to. And the working poor will continue to go without health care.
Yes, a hot mess we are. And a hotter mess we’re going to be before this is all over. Forget the national embarrassment. We’re far beyond that. We’re more of a laughingstock than Donald Trump is.
Trump is probably saying: Thank God, for Alabama. And, of course, Alabama voted overwhelmingly for Trump.
Hot mess? Yes.
Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every Wednesday for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected].