Inspection- A Not So Barry Good Justice System

Since I spend part of my time living in Nashville special circumstances have required another edition, before Part 2 of America, America.

by Ken Carman

 The resignation of Megan Barry; now former mayor here in Nashville, has hit national news. She admitted to having an affair with her body guard. Apparently “body” was taken a little too literal?
Inspection From the start: I don’t care. As long as there isn’t an issue of corruption, which of course soon there was. Otherwise, in my opinion, the rest was between her, her husband, her bodyguard and whatever deity they all may, or may not, believe in.
 Megan Barry became a very convenient target for hyper partisans by being honest about the affair: so typical these days. Admitting she was wrong only made it worse. Again: so typical these days.
 Yes, eventually she did plead guilty to theft but I’m too much of a cynic of the justice system to think this absolutely means she really is guilty. We live under a justice system where; for those with enough influence and money, it’s these deals that grease the wheels of justice far too often. Those who care about their city, their friends, their family, their nation are told in blunt terms that seeing it through to the end will only devastate them all, cause irreparable harm. The innocent are advised to “take a plea,” as are the guilty. The innocent have to live with public condemnation, fake guilt and the guilty enjoy less of a punishment than they should get, or really none at all. In political situations those who honestly admit some guilt become extremely vulnerable targets for overly partisan sharpshooters. And the really powerful and influential who are willing to lie again and again too often get to go on, stay in power. It’s an abomination in my opinion. It’s the opposite of ‘justice.’
 The issue here was if the overtime her bodyguard submitted time cards/time sheets for was when he was off the clock and, well, into something else. How they can assess when he was actually “off the clock” was a damn good question. By definition isn’t someone guarding a politician almost always “on the clock?” While she’s at Bonnaroo certainly she needed protection, when she’s on the road, when making public appearances, attending events… I wonder how many death threats she may, or may not, have received. Attending Bonnaroo with her guard was hyped as scandalous, but it could also be considered constituent and future constituent-based public contact. Obviously aimed at younger voters: politically; a youth-based equivalent of kissing babies for parents. There’s a lot to be assessed here due to back and forth spillage between politician to personal and where guard doth not apply.
  “Spillage?” OK, I can sense your dirty mind working. Stop it!!!
 Yeah, having had comedian as part of my career there is indeed a lot of low hanging…
 STOP IT! (Chuckle.)
 Then one must ask: why is she responsible for his horrible, irresponsible, time card practices? Did she force him to file bogus time sheets/cards? Is the money she’s been ordered to pay back for when her guard was being less a guard and more… well, you know. Did she suggest any of that, approve any of it with a wink and a smile? Necessary questions that would need an answer for true guilt or innocence. Forced resignation and plea deals really don’t answer any of these questions.
 He had naked pictures on a phone that may have been her, if so she has said without her permission. Unless proved otherwise, how is that her fault? Hey, media, still got that tingling need for possibly a more worthy target? Well, he deserves the cross hairs at least as much as she does.
 I’m neither defending her, nor excusing her. But I do think the justice system isn’t serving us, the city or the nation well here. A lot of the time the whole thing stinks of a very convenient way to take out a politically incorrect politician without bothering with the ballot box. If there are true crimes here we don’t need no stinking plea deals. But the justice system works (poorly) this way: it was far easier for her to accept probation for a few years then having her record expunged, it was far easier for Metro. And it’s especially beyond ‘easier’ for partisans eager to gain power and influence who don’t win it at the polls. The only thing it doesn’t serve is, well, what’s that word? Oh, “justice.”
 For too long justice has been a slot machine more honest pols, the poor and the politically incorrect must play. Put in an endless supply of quarters to get the desired results and you’re more likely to succeed. For far too long it has been rigged as a way to avoid actual justice. For far too long it’s been an avenue for getting rid of the politically inconvenient, society’s less than worthy: whether they’re actually guilty or not. And if you’re well connected, have influential partisans willing to drink the Flavor Aid of defending you no matter what, all one must do is deny, deny, lie, lie: no justice is served. This guarantees the worst of the worst stay in power, escape justice, and those who care enough they’re willing to take a hit so their family, their friends, a city, a nation, can move on, go away. If we must deal with the imperfect nature of humans, and we must have one or the other, which one would be best, those willing to do what they must to get away with anything they want to do, or those willing to admit their faults and try to do better?
 Considering all I just typed my last thought is a paraphrased quote from a movie…

 ”We’re going the wrong way. We’re going to kill, going to destroy, the best, enable the worst!”

                                         -30-
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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