The dumpster fire that is Virginia state government continues to burn. It has decimated the governing leadership, as well as the Virginia Democratic Party. State Attorney General Mark Herring and Gov. Ralph Northam both admitted to wearing blackface. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is now besieged with allegations of sexual assault. The second woman came forward Friday, which Fairfax strongly denied. He was equally vociferous in his denial regarding the first allegation, which he said was a consensual encounter. The Washington Post and other outlets knew about the allegation but did not run the story, being unable to corroborate it. Well, we have two accounts now, along with calls for Fairfax to resign. In less than a week, the Virginia Democratic Party has been decimated. And the party is facing a tough decision concerning Mr. Fairfax because any scintilla of support for him could reap a whirlwind with female voters. Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope, a Democrat, has threatened to file articles of impeachment against Fairfax if he doesn’t resign by Monday. Fairfax, like Northam, said he’s not going anywhere.
This issue could have implications outside of the state as well. Women and black voters played a huge role in the state Democratic Party’s epic 2017 wave. This crisis threatens to infuriate one, the other, or both. The fix is easy if you’re a Democrat, all three have to go, but politicians have egos; even those who turn out to total idiots, like Northam. His mulling of doing a moonwalk at a press conference about his blackface days, which was stopped by his wife, says all you need to know about how he feels about this matter (via NYT):
NEW: Our Sunday story on the Va vise— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 9, 2019
-Fairfax is NOT quitting as of now, we’re told. Wants an independent inquiry
-He flubbed earlier damage control by not calling McEachin *or* the 3 women in delegation
-CBC wants equal treatment of Northam&Fairfax https://t.co/ROPsaLMCnZ
The political turmoil for Democratic leaders this weekend is unfolding at the intersection of race and gender, and risks pitting the party’s most pivotal constituencies against one another. If Democrats do not oust Mr. Fairfax, at a time when the party has taken a zero-tolerance stand on sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, they could anger female voters.
But the specter of Mr. Fairfax, 39, being pushed out while two older white men remain in office — despite blackface behavior that evoked some of the country’s most painful racist images — would deeply trouble many African-Americans.
“I think the Democratic Party would lack credibility if they followed a double standard,” said Representative Karen Bass of California, who is the head of the Congressional Black Caucus. Ms. Bass said that both Mr. Northam and Mr. Fairfax should step down.
“It’s a nightmare right now,” said Representative A. Donald McEachin, a Virginia Democrat who can trace his history here back to Revolutionary War-era slaves.
“We’ve worked hard on the Democratic brand for so many years,” he said, “and now we have to deal with this.”
Just how far Virginia Democrats go to confront these three statewide officials — who swept into office in 2017 on the first wave of backlash to President Trump’s election — will send a signal about how committed they are to taking a hard line on racial and sexual transgressions, and will echo well beyond this state’s borders.
To some Democrats, Mr. Fairfax’s alleged conduct is the most serious because he is the only one of the three accused of a crime. But that does not make the political quandary any less torturous at a moment when the party’s 2020 presidential primary is getting underway with more black and female candidates than have ever run for the White House.
Women and African-Americans have never been more politically powerful: The Democrats’ 40-seat win in the House midterm elections in November, as well as their 2017 triumph in the top Virginia races, was powered in no small part by those voters. And with Republicans barely hanging on to their legislative majority in the Virginia Capitol, Democrats were counting on the same two blocs to propel them to victory in this fall’s election of all 140 delegates and state senators.
Ultimately, some Democrats here said, they must begin the process of emerging from the wreckage that is the executive branch of Virginia state government by turning to what is perhaps their most loyal constituency: black women.
And all of this because Northam decided to make some horrible remarks about a Virginia Democratic bill that would have permitted abortion virtually up until the moment of birth. That should have been what did Northam in, but here we are. These guys aren’t going anywhere for the time being. For now, just enjoy the fireworks. Nothing is better than watching Democrats squirm as their own rules and their own weapons are turned against them. They have no idea what to do here. This is a no-win situation for the Left. Grab some popcorn.