Virginia Governor Ralph Northam had no problem supporting abortion up to birth, and even after, despite being a physician. He also has no problem with gun-grabbing, Medicaid expansions, and a growing tax burden on the residents of the Commonwealth. Oh, and even though during the campaign for governor in 2017 he had switched talking points and declared his opposition to sanctuary cities, he later vetoed a bill which would ban such policies. This guy has no problem talking out of both sides of his mouth to get votes. With his election victory, he pretty much solidified the Old Dominion as a new Democratic stronghold
But will Democratic Party’s grip on the Mother of Presidents finally be slipping? It’s certainly possible now, since last week’s revelation in Big League Politics, which featured an embarrassing, if not damning photo on his medical school yearbook page. There it is, in all its infamous notoriety, along with his featured class photo: two people posing for a Halloween Party pic, one in blackface and the other dressed in the full Ku Klux Klan regalia. OUCH! Can you say “racist”, anyone?
There is so much which deserves unfettered opprobrium as it is over Governor Northam, but this disturbing photo has brought the political heat to a flaming boil. The Republican Party of Virginia, the Democratic Black Caucus—both in Virginia as well as the United States Congress—the Democratic National Committee Party, the Democratic Party of Virginia have all called for Northam’s resignation.
I could not agree more with these demands. Ironically, the partisan Democrat’s bad photo has unified an otherwise very fractured country, and on the issue of combatting racism, to boot! Indeed, Governor Northam should resign, of course not just for these racist photos, and not just because the Democratic Party has a long, storied history of racism which continues to this day.
But first, let’s consider the counterarguments. Should a photo from thirty plus years ago be enough to sink a political career? Many people, if not all of us, have had some pretty stupid, even embarrassing photos of our former lives in high school, college, etc. One friend of mine confided to me that in college, he knew people who had attend a “Bad Taste” party and dressed like Ku Klux Klansmen. Former Congressman Jim Moran (also a Democrat from Virginia) has signaled for caution and deliberation, but no resignation.
Here’s the problem: Ralph Northam was already an adult by the time that photo was taken. We are talking about medical school, not freshman year in high school. Also, who in their right mind would have permitted this photo to be printed in a medical school graduation yearbook in the first place? Seriously? If people want to engage in bad taste and wear such offensive costumes, that’s bad enough—but why print it in a college yearbook?
Let’s state the facts: this is just awful. A professional graduate in medical school dressed in blackface, or as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This is wrong. But It gets worse. Governor Ralph Northam announced in a press conference that he had dressed up as Michael Jackson, which included a little blackface, but he was not in that photo after all. This contorted act is the last straw. He should have admitted “Yes, I dressed in blackface. That was bad judgment.” Instead, he refused to recognize which person he was, and now he wants to deny everything within with a matter of days.
Already, he was hoping to deny his actions, and now he’s trying to back away from having anything to do with this incendiary photo on his yearbook page, Then we find out that his nickname was “Coonman”—OUCH! This isn’t going very well.
Northam needs to refer back to President Richard Nixon. In politics, the cover-up is often worse than the crime. Of course, Nixon didn’t order the Watergate Hotel break-in. His legal woes arose (and calls for his impeachment followed) because of his knowledge of the event, followed by the machinations to cover for members of his staff who had ordered the burglary.
Granted, the Governor hasn’t committed a crime (except for wanting to kill human beings born from the womb), but it’s a moral outrage that he thinks he can slow-walk (or rather, moonwalk) this embarrassing revelation and hold onto power. Ultimately, the most fitting outcome is for Northam to resign, but his most vocal opponents should demand his stepping-down for more than his racist photo.
Democrats and their media arm have used every unethical tool in the political arsenal to hold onto power. The worst offender, the Washington Post, propped up Hillary Clinton, savagely lied about Judge Roy Moore, and has run after every unsubstantiated, Anti-Trump report available. They fawned over Ralph Northam, even ignoring the fact that he refused to reference his black Lieutenant gubernatorial candidate in some campaign ads. Now the legacy media may be calling Justin Fairfax “Governor of Virginia”.
Beyond demanding his resignation, Republicans need to draw two lessons out of this:
- Don’t hold back in finding every opportunity to take down your opponent. One report confirms that Northam’s Republican opponent Ed Gillespie did not know about Northam’s blackface photo. Didn’t he see what happened to Roy Moore in Alabama? Once again, Republicans wanted to be middling gentlemen rather than uncouth giant-killers. Punch back twice as hard, and spare no expense to find anything to take down your opponent!
- Republicans can advance their standards when they hold Democrats to their liberal standards. The most effective denunciation against Northam has had nothing to with his offensive call for abortion up to birth. Democrats are not ashamed of their hatred of the unborn. Northam’s racist past is ruining him because Democrats define everything based on identity politics. Republicans want to get past race, but it’s the most effective card against them. When Republicans show how Democrats don’t measure up to their own rules, Republicans can win again, even in blue states like Virginia.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a blogger, writer, and commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow his blogs at The State of the Union and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.