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Two mayors and their internal affairs

By Mark Alexander
web posted February 12, 2018

There was rightly a lot of focus last week on high-level political corruption by a handful of Democrat deep-state operatives in the FBI and DoJ.

But there is also an insidious infestation of corruption in some local levels of government across the nation — a trend that's on the increase and that belittles the faith and family cultures in those communities. While the exposure of financial corruption at those levels often leads to political resignations, there is an unfortunate trend when moral corruption is exposed: the refusal of the perps to resign.

Call it the "Bill Clinton Effect."

There was a time when Democrats could depend on their Leftmedia outlets to "underreport" moral corruption, as was famously the case with John F. Kennedy. That media gauntlet held for Clinton's early years in office, when his equally ambitious and corrupt spouse, Hillary, defended him against serial and credible charges of rape and sexual assault. Her modus operandi was to assail the character of Bill's accusers and, with the help of a complicit media, to undermine their credibility.

But Clinton's infamous affair with a young White House intern, and his subsequent finger-wagging lies about it, lowered the national bar for political consequences in cases of abject moral corruption.

After President Richard Nixon's 1972 landslide victory over George McGovern, he was caught in a lie. He had no knowledge of the botched break-in of the Democrat National Committee offices in the Watergate complex, but he later lied about the cover-up of that crime. In 1974, he had the decency and humility to resign from office rather than drag the nation through impeachment proceedings — in which he would most likely have been convicted.

But in Clinton's case, which originated unsurprisingly with a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by one of his previous victims, Paula Jones, knowing that he could depend on his 45 fellow Democrats in the Senate to provide him unanimous cover — thus assuring no path to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict for perjury and obstruction — he chose impeachment. He was the second U.S. president, after Democrat Andrew Johnson in 1868, to be impeached.

With no Democrats willing to acknowledge the irrefutable evidence that the president of the United States had lied under oath and had obstructed justice, Clinton was acquitted of those charges. However, he did surrender his law license for life, paid fines for perjury and contempt totaling $115,000, and settled with Jones for $850,000. No wonder poor Hillary claimed they where "dead broke" when leaving the White House.

As a consequence of Clinton's impeachment "victory," the national standard for truth and morality was debased, and the effluent of Clinton's debauchery has since trickled down into state and local administrations across the nation.

Tennessee is one of the most conservative states in the nation and a tried-and-true model for establishing and maintaining a conservative GOP majority in the executive and legislative branches of government. But our Democrat-controlled urban centers suffer the same economic and moral blight as the rest of the nation's city centers.

Such is the case in two of our largest cities, Nashville and Chattanooga, where Democrat mayors stand accused of illicit extramarital affairs with subordinates. But, like Bill Clinton, they refuse to resign.

In Chattanooga, Mayor Andy Berke has denied charges of affairs with two of his subordinates. Even with the second affair having been discovered by the subordinate's husband, Berke is still in denial.

Undeterred by credible charges of moral corruption, and with political cover from local Democrats (including his now-departed police chief), in late 2017 Berke arrogantly set his sights on the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Bob Corker.

Unfortunately for Berke, the Democrat Party decided to make "sexual harassment" a centerpiece of its 2018 midterm election strategy, just as it no doubt will for the 2020 presidential election.

As I have noted before, female majorities have elected every Democrat president since 1960 and have been a major force in midterm elections. Democrats are counting on their perennial political calculus that a majority of Demo female voters are emotionally incontinent dupes, lacking the discernment to avoid being co-opted by emotive appeals — in this case regarding the #MeToo "epidemic of sexual assault" across the nation.

Their objective this November is to incite female voter outrage over harassment claims leveled at Donald Trump in order to hang those claims around the necks of Republicans across the nation in order to overturn their Senate and House majorities. (With the House under Democrat control, they can proceed to impeachment of the president — with specific charges yet to be determined.)

In any case, that's a more feasible national political strategy than campaigning against peace and prosperity. But the strategy also made it impossible for Berke to win Corker's Senate seat this year, given the former's alleged history of office affairs. So he's set his sights on Lamar Alexander's Senate seat in 2020.

Berke's political ambitions were complicated further last week by news that Nashville's Democrat mayor, Megan Barry, admitted to an extended extramarital affair with one of her subordinates, police Sgt. Robert Forrest, also married, who was assigned as her 24/7 bodyguard.

Of course, Barry's "confession" came after the evidence was about to be exposed.

Unmitigated narcissism is apparently not limited to male mayors, because Barry, like Berke, is also refusing to resign — though to his credit, Forrest immediately resigned.

According to Barry, "I know that God's going to forgive me." Regarding her constituents, Barry declared, "I can earn back their trust, and we can do the great work for this city that Nashville deserves."

She sounds very confident.

As for what she should have done: "I should have gone to the [police] chief, and I should have said what was going on, and that was a mistake."

So the affair was not the problem until she got caught, but an affair with a subordinate was a problem, and Forrest should have been reassigned? Maybe Berke should've thought of that.

Barry's mayoral bio boasts of "two decades of experience as a corporate executive ... developing and managing ethics programs." So she must be a whiz when it comes to solving ethical problems.

Notably, Barry is also receiving political cover, however unwitting, from her police chief, Steve Anderson, who, as was the case with Berke's former police chief, "serves at the pleasure of the mayor."

Anderson insists, "I know of no rules that have been violated," adding, "We don't try to regulate the private lives of individuals. It's only when one of our specific rules, regulations and policies are violated that we step in."

Apparently, the metro PD needs to add some "specific rules, regulations and policies."

And what does Forrest have to say? "I have enjoyed coming to work each day." Apparently.

"At no time did I ever violate my oath as a police officer or engage in actions that would abuse the public trust." Well, OK then.

Demo voters in Nashville may be dupes, but the state's Democrat Party hacks have an impressive propaganda playbook. It only took them 24 hours to get "WE LOVE OUR MAYOR" billboards up around Nashville.

And within hours of the Barry news breaking, her attorneys sent legal notice to Nashville television and print media managers warning them to look no further into additional #MeToo claims regarding other alleged affairs with subordinates.

(Can you imagine if Democrats cared about #MeToo victims back when Bill Clinton was president, much less when Hillary was running, given her history of smearing her husband's sexual assault victims?)

Barry's resignation may yet be forthcoming, if Nashville's metro city council digs into Barry's metrosexual affairs, and diligently "follows the money," particularly regarding taxpayer-funded travel and expenses. It will be difficult for Forest to deny that his overtime came with fringe benefits.

Today, there are new reports that in 2016, Barry ordered a newly created job that was not in the city's budget for a legal-department lawyer — and the position was filled by Forester's daughter ... the sole candidate considered for the job.

Nothing to see here — move on.

The bottom line in this case, as with Berke, is not to throw stones. We are all sinners, and fortunately when truly repentant, subject to forgiveness.

But Barry is now going to drag both families (and, by extension, all the families in Nashville), through months of sordid details of her affair, with the sole objective of protecting her political ambitions.

And beyond her own ambitions, it is likely that part of Barry's calculus is to protect Berke's ambitions. If Barry demonstrates the decency and humility to resign from office, that would throw Berke under the bus for not having resigned, and that would significantly undermine his 2020 Senate aspirations — perhaps even taking him out of the running.

Meanwhile, as was the case with Bill Clinton, Berke's and Barry's spouses remain dutifully beside them — ostensibly for the "greater political good," but ultimately conveying to their political constituents of all ages an arrogant contempt for the sanctity of marriage and family, which are the foundational building blocks of Republican Democracy.

Finally, it was former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill (D-MA) who famously declared, "All politics is local," meaning in this case, that not only did the "Clinton Effect" flow down to the local level, but that local corruption of morals can flow up to the national level. In the case of Berke and Barry, hopefully not... ESR

Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.




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