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Opinion | Snakes, canaries and the party of corruption

Joey Kennedy

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There’s all this talk about a “Blue Wave” this November in the midterm elections. Those “midterms” are also the major elections for Alabama.

What kind of Blue Wave we might have in Alabama is anybody’s guess. If one or two Democrats won their legislative or statewide races, that’d be a Blue Wave in Alabama these days. We’re a mighty Red state, and too Red for our own good.

We’re so Red, many Republicans don’t even worry about following the laws or good ethics – until they’re caught, that is. Then they blame somebody other than themselves for not knowing that if they’re doing something that feels wrong, they’re probably doing something that is wrong.

If they can’t (won’t?) recognize those – no pun intended – “Red Flags,” then they should just blame Mom and Dad. We know when we do something that doesn’t feel right if our parents did their job in teaching us right vs. wrong. Mom and Dad are easy scapegoats.

Yet, we know from simply reaching adulthood (or we should) if we’re stepping over the line, whether it be fudging on the rules or outright breaking the law.

I’m not much of a speeder anymore. In my old age, I’ve decided to stick to the speed limit or close to it. But there was a time – yes, there was that time – I drove pretty fast to wherever I was going. And when I got stopped – and I did, from time to time – I knew I had been caught.

I didn’t make some excuse like “this is just a political conspiracy,” or, “you were out to get me.”
Yeah, there are speed traps, but even then, when I got caught in one, I was, in fact, speeding.

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Today, instead of taking responsibility, we try to deflect the blame for our wrongdoing onto somebody else.

You don’t think that former House Speaker Mike Hubbard knew he was breaking the ethics laws? Why, sure he did. He was in charge of the Legislature that passed the ethics laws he violated.

You don’t think former Gov. Robert Bentley knew he was stepping into a hot mess when he got sexually involved with a woman half his age? Well, sure, he did. He thought it was worth risking a 50-year marriage to grab a boob (or two). That led to folks taking a closer look and, eventually, Bentley leaving the governor’s office in disgrace.

You don’t think former Chief Justice Roy Moore knew there were accusations of child molestation hanging over his head his entire political career? Well, sure he did. That’s why he has yet to show even a shred of evidence that he did not fondle a 14-year-old and “date” underaged girls when he was a grown man in the Etowah County district attorney’s office.

If you tease the snake, the snake might just bite. Maybe it won’t, but probably so. And when the snake does finally bite, remember, it WAS a damn snake you were teasing.

There may not be a “Blue Wave” this November. Probably won’t be in Alabama.

Still, the Republican Party, no matter what happens this fall, is the party of scandal once again. In more than a few cases, Republican members of Congress are losing their seats already – to corruption. President Donald Trump is now an unindicted co-conspirator in a felony campaign finance probe that trapped his former personal lawyer, a man Trump has now disavowed.

Even President Richard Nixon knew what to do when the walls were closing in, when the snake was about to strike. He quit. There’s no evidence that Trump possesses even the profoundly challenged integrity of Nixon to do the same.

A number of people who Trump willingly – no, eagerly – surrounded himself with (“the best people”) have pleaded guilty to crimes, or are charged, convicted or indicted of crimes. More are on the way. The canaries, they are a-singing.

You think Trump doesn’t know this? Well, sure he does. Just read his tweets, if you can stomach them. There’s not one person who has been caught up in the criminal web Trump weaved that he hasn’t thrown under that proverbial bus. Former government officials who dare even to criticize this ethically challenged president are subject to petty, grade-school retaliation. Trump is running defense so often, it should be him kneeling during the National Anthem.

Innocent people don’t act that way. But give the president the benefit of the doubt: Trump might not know how the innocent act, because Trump has never been innocent.

A Blue Wave this November? If Democrats don’t do exceedingly well in the midterm elections, that’s on them. They have so much – maybe too much – to work with. Bad stuff. But it’s not really Blue’s bad stuff. That’s on Red. Whatever happens, we know that Red, once again, is synonymous with corruption. The Republican Party is the party of Nixon and now Trump. It is, once again, the party of crooks.

If you’re a Republican, you may not like this at all. That doesn’t really matter, because that’s the way it is. The truth is, indeed, the truth.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

 

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