Gov. Bentley is no caretaker

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, May 19, 2016

By Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper is a former D.C. public defender who worked as an assistant federal public defender in Alabama between 2012 and 2015. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California. 

In an op-ed for Al.com dated May 9, 2016, Gov. Robert Bentley declares he has no “intention of being a caretaker governor.”

Bad news for Bentley: his insistence that he won’t be relegated to the sidelines during the remainder of his time in office as a “caretaker” governor is not only poignantly pathetic, it’s a whiny, plaintive, petulant protestation nobody believes.

Moreover, while everyone gets what Bentley’s op-ed unpersuasively tried to say, that Bentley would go out of his way to distance himself from the role of a “caretaker” should come as no surprise to Alabamians (or anyone else) following the reality-TV-style high jinks Bentley’s salacious, self-serving tenure will forever be remembered for.

Alabamians need no further confirmation, especially not from Gov. Bentley directly, that he can’t be counted upon to be a reliable, hardworking, honest steward, representative — and caretaker — of the high office (with all its accompanying responsibilities) the people of Alabama elected him to.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a “caretaker” as “a person who takes care of buildings or land while the owner is not there”, or “a person who gives physical or emotional care to someone (such as a child, an old person, or someone who is sick).”

That Bentley is not a suitable “caretaker” of the Alabama governorship is obvious given the lewd and imbecilic way he destroyed his marriage and self-professed squeaky-clean reputation while quite literally sullying his office with inappropriate acts.

Something tells me if Bentley truly possessed the God-given “vision” his op-ed claims he has —he would see just how contemptible his behavior has been — and he’d resign for the good of the people of Alabama. Quoting from Proverbs, Bentley declares he has the God-given “vision” to continue to take on the challenges facing Alabama — but it’s hard to believe the “good” doctor — because if his vision were divinely ordained, one would think he would be familiar with the Ten Commandments.

In Bentley’s op-ed, he compares himself and his troubles to those of former Democratic President John F. Kennedy. Now, in fairness, most folks know about the many stories that exist about Kennedy’s philandering.

However, the differences between Gov. Bentley and President Kennedy — differences large enough to fill all of the oceans on Earth — are so crystal clear that readers of Bentley’s op-ed probably immediately conjured up the image of the late four-time United States Senator from Texas and once democratic nominee for Vice President, Lloyd Bentsen; Bentsen famously told Dan Quayle: “I knew John F. Kennedy; you’re no John F. Kennedy.”

Alabamians (and the rest of America) already knows Robert Bentley — they don’t need to read his op-ed to know he’s no John F. Kennedy.