The Progressive Governor Northam

Ralph Northam was elected governor of Virginia in 2017. During the campaign Northam routinely denounced his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, accusing him of being a racist. Now an incendiary photo of two men has surfaced from Northam’s medical school yearbook. In the now infamous photo one man is in KKK garb, the other is in blackface. At first Northam said he was one of the two men pictured; now on second thought, he says he is not in the photo.

The Governor is obviously concocting a story designed to save his hide in the face of a mob of social justice warriors and Republican opportunists. Does anybody seriously believe that the photo just so happened to surface now? That it hasn’t been sitting in a pile of oppo research waiting for an opportune time? Regardless, the Governor’s credibility is, shall we say, a bit suspect.

Pretty much the entire Virginia Democratic establishment as well as the declared candidates for the Democratic 2020 Presidential nomination have called upon Northam to resign his office, with some taking pains to say that they don’t believe that Northam is a racist. But they want him to resign anyway. Obviously this is simply a political calculation; it has nothing to do with conviction.

Speaking of racism, somehow or other the high priests of Progressivism seem to have caught laryngitis when it comes to addressing vicious left wing anti-semitism. It is put on routine display by Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Llhan Abdullah Omar (D-MN). Then there is the only slightly more subtle anti-semitism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Keith Ellison, now Minnesota’s Attorney General. And of course, hanging out with Louis Farrakhan is just fine. Not to mention Jeremy Corbyn.

In fairness it should be noted that Cortez’s (AOC for groupies) displays of unintelligibility on the matter of Israel, anti-semitism and the BDS movement may not be thinly veiled anti-semitism. It may instead be attributable to profound ignorance, a common phenomenon among socialists.

Back to the Governor and the infamous photo, taken when he was all of 24 years old. Let’s face it—it’s pretty ugly. Actually it is fair to say the behavior it represents is reprehensible. Having said that, let us remember that Northam was elected Governor of Virginia in November of 2017. And the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia provides a mechanism for removing the Governor and Executive Officers from their posts. It’s called impeachment. On the other hand there is no constitutional provision for removal from office by Twitter rage.

If the political establishment wants to remove the Governor from office they should examine the language of Article IV Section 17 of the Virginia Constitution and see if they can make a legal case. That is a highly doubtful proposition.

There is a reason why we elect politicians at particular times for specific terms, with enumerated powers. We don’t elect Kings. We have institutionalized a separation of powers among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. These mechanisms are designed to limit and dilute the powers of office holders so as to enshrine the rule of law. And protect us from mob rule.

What is particularly fascinating about this episode is that it lays bare the moral bankruptcy of the 100 year old progressive movement, both with respect to racism and the protection of individual rights. It isn’t as if Northam is the only exemplar of this. Just today, Brent Staples of the editorial board of the New York Times has a long article showing how the suffragettes read women of color out of the movement. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has on more than one occasion opined that protecting abortion rights is important for restricting births of those who were (and I am paraphrasing) “not the right kind of people”. See this article.

Planned Parenthood had its beginnings as a way for Margaret Sanger to pursue her interest in promoting eugenics under cover of family planning. Woodrow Wilson was arguably the most racist President the United States has ever had, with the possible exception of Andrew Jackson. Justice Hugo Black was a member of the KKK for a while. So was Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). Historically speaking in the first half of the 20th century, the Klan and Southern Democrats were allied.

And now, (almost) lost in the uproar over the photo is Northam’s support for an abortion rights bill in the Virginia legislature that would permit the killing of infants in utero up until the moment of birth. It would also allow a mother, in consultation with a few doctors, to decide to leave a newborn to die. You heard that right. The proposed bill (mercifully tabled) would make infanticide legal. And the governor supported it. And he explicitly confirmed that it would allow abortion up until the moment of birth as well as the passive killing of newborns. See this article.

Not a single Progressive on the national scene has had anything bad to say about that—or for that matter, a similar bill that just passed the New York State Legislature and cheered on by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

But they are pretty upset about a 35 year old photo of a 24 year old acting like an idiot.


Think about that the next time a Progressive politician claims the moral high ground.

Or attempts to.



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