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In Ralph Northam, Democrats Find The Shoe On The Other Foot

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

I have an admission to make. I am thoroughly enjoying watching the gotcha tactics of race politics the American left, Democrat Party, and the liberal media frequently use against adversaries backfire and strike one of their own: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. 


Typically, the stories we hear about white people appearing in blackface are when a conservative or Republican politician is discovered to have done so many years ago at a frat party or Halloween Party in a sophomoric attempt to be funny. This gotcha tactic—the left’s new weapon of political warfare—works on the reality that if you go back far enough into a person’s past, you may find something that at the time might not have been big a deal, but when brought to light today it becomes a career-ending situation. Just ask former Fox News and more recently NBC host Megyn Kelly who admitted to dressing in blackface for Halloween as a kid. Kelly didn’t see it as that big a deal, but others did, and she is no longer in her position. 

Governor Ralph Northam’s faux pas was a lot worse. Ironically it wasn’t exposed by a liberal site. He appeared in a medical school yearbook photo either in blackface, or worse, dressed as a Ku Klux Klansman in full regalia including white sheet and hood. At first, he admitted that he was in the picture. But, after huddling with advisors—probably betting that no one can clearly identify him in either costume—he made the reversal and claimed he was not in the photo. This is where it gets interesting. He admits he did appear in blackface for a Michael Jackson dance contest and is unaware why he had the nickname “coonsman.” Who is advising this guy?


Last month former Florida Republican Secretary of State Mike Ertel was discovered to have dressed up in blackface in 2005 for a Halloween Party. He immediately resigned. There were no attempts to save him. Ertel knew that the left and his colleagues in the GOP would throw him overboard, savoring the opportunity to flaunt their racial sensitivity over his carcass. I don’t think Ertel should have resigned. Democrats and liberals never do under similar circumstances. Remember MSNBC Joy Reed’s homophobic tweets? She simply apologized, was forgiven and was allowed to move on by the left. Recall Sarah Jeong, who tweeted her hatred for white men. The New York Times circled the wagons around her not only retaining her but fiercely defending her.

Remember when President Trump did not immediately respond in the hours following the Charlottesville Virginia Unite the Right rally?   The Democrats and the liberal media eviscerated him for not saying something sooner, and even when he did, the vultures said it was too little, too late. 

When it comes to Northam, these same Democrats and media darlings have lost their activist voice like the GOP leaders who a few weeks ago ran to the nearest media’s microphone to lambast their colleague Steve King for saying something that came out clumsy in a New York Times interview, yet they have lost the same urgency to call out Northam, and demand he resigns. Race provocateur Al Sharpton called on Northam to resign but saw no need to fly into Richmond to lead protests at the state capital or in front of the governor’s mansion.


Several weeks ago I wrote a column titled, Wanted: New Conservative Fighters, where I laid out a model for people willing to engage in new tactics to fight the political wars of the 21st century. I mentioned that we need people with the stomach to engage in a type of fighting that will win these political conflicts under rules of engagement designed by the American left. I said that it wasn’t for everybody. I said that when the left figuratively throws rocks at us or our leaders, like President Trump, we have to be willing to pick up those rocks and throw them right back. The Northam scandal is precisely one of these opportunities. However, Republicans have been tepid in attacking Northam. Where are our conservative fighters? 

On the political chessboard, a governor is a big deal. Sacking one is like capturing an opponent’s knight or rook. It’s a big deal politically, particularly in a swing state. I don’t believe the GOP establishment understands how important this is, especially since the Democrat Lieutenant Governor of Virginia—who would take over—is seemingly engulfed in his own emerging scandal.

There is blood in the water in the Northam story. When the left senses this over a conservative or Republican they attack with a vengeance. They take no prisoners and do not let up until they have a scalp in their hands. Remember Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing? The left dug up his high school and college yearbook quotes and with no evidence labeled him a serial rapist and went for his throat. They nearly succeeded. I admire the left’s take-no-prisoners approach to political warfare. We didn’t write the rules of engagement. They did. If we want to win, we have to fight by those rules.


In their insidious game of identity politics, the left has made bigotry a sliding scale. Homophobic and racism toward white males is okay if committed by a liberal or Democrat. Appearing in blackface by a conservative or Republican is a bridge too far. However, if blackface is worn by a Democrat? Well? They opine. Let’s not get carried away.

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