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Thomas Gallatin / April 11, 2017

Alabama Gov. Resigns Over Scandal

Bentley leaves office before impending impeachment — something Bill Clinton arrogantly refused to do.

Becoming a politician is a “dirty job” that even Mike Rowe would avoid. The now former governor of Alabama proves once again that the average American’s expressed disgust for politicians is often justly deserved.

On Monday, Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley resigned from office. A little over a year ago, accusations came to light of an attempted cover-up of an alleged affair between Bentley and one of his top aides. As the scandal further unfolded, revelations of potential campaign finance violations as well as misuse of state police and intimidation tactics convinced the Republican-controlled state legislature to pursue impeachment proceedings. Now, Lt. Governor Kay Ivey will become only the second woman in Alabama history to serve as governor as she replaces Bentley.

Sex scandals are nothing new when it comes to politics. But whether it brings down those involved often depends on the politician’s party affiliation. Years ago another governor from a southern state was able to survive as he hushed up numerous allegations on his way to winning the White House. Bill Clinton, who committed perjury during his attempt to cover up his affair with Monica Lewinsky, was impeached and yet retained his presidency, infamously setting a precedent. Democrats, having no moral compass, thus rallied around an arrogant serial adulterer for partisan purposes. Alabama Republicans weren’t going to repeat that abuse of power.

While the Bentley scandal may bear some similarities to Clinton’s many scandals, it truly pales in comparison, both in the level of corruption and in the consequences. Put simply, Bentley leaves office in disgrace still facing legal issues, while Clinton not only survived but thrived afterwards, becoming a hero of the Left and a multimillionaire on the speaking circuit. Because Bill got away with it, others may assume they can too. Sometimes they can. Arguably thanks to Bill, Donald Trump was able to survive his own sordid personal history, including sexually lewd comments revealed as an October surprise.

On a final note, it’s worth remembering the words of the Gipper. Ronald Reagan famously opined, “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”

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