It was amusing watching Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night with arch-conservo Trump supporter Jack Kingston. When the Ralph Northam brouhaha popped up Kingston attempted to criticize Northam’s behavior as an outlier for the era, sputtering “Nobody did that! And I’m from the Deep South…”
Like a breath of intelligence and fresh air, Malcolm Nance, the career U.S. Counterterrorism Intelligence Office and frequent Real Time guest, interjected: “Well, you exercised your racism, you didn’t need to put blackface on.” Then Malcolm, mature adult that he was (and whom the Dems would do well to emulate) said: "If you want to know how black people feel about Ralph Northam then ask a black person!"
And evidently, The Washington Post did, in a recent poll and lo and behold, found that 58 percent of Virginia's African-Americans backed Northam and didn't want him to resign. Were they stupid, blind or misguided? Nope, they knew what side their 'bread was buttered on' given Gov. Northam has been the one to help them via Medicaid expansion.
Something the Reep rat Trumpers who dug up Northam's yearbook (to try to overturn the 2017 gubernatorial election) would never do. Nor would any "next in line" Repuke Gubernatorial candidate.
Worse, we now know the would-be, next in line Dem - Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax - already has more than he can handle with two sexual assault accusations: one from 2000 (when he attended Duke), the other from 2004. The Virginia AG, Herring, also has a "blackface" indiscretion trailing him which the Repunks are trying to turn into a federal crime.
Let me - for the record - say that there is nothing noble, endearing or justified about wearing blackface. But it is emphatically not the same as carrying around Confederate flags at a rally in which a protester was run down (in Charlottesville, in 2017). As in the case of the #MeToo accusations, including those which brought down Al Franken, nuance, balance and temperance are needed. Besides, which is more important: the legislation passed now in VA to help poor minorities, OR crucifying an otherwise decent governor for a youthful indiscretion 35 years ago?
As Gayle King put it on CBS Early Show after interviewing Gov. Northam, "How many of us would like to have stuff dug up from when we were in our 20s?" Well, indeed, and I sure as shit wouldn't! But to avoid moral absolutism there needs to be a statute of limitations on exposing youthful indiscretions (often stupid) and acting on them in such a way as to destroy a person's career or election in the present. There needs to be, in other words, common sense as opposed to blind outrage -driven reaction.
Enter now the WSJ's editor -at-large Gerard Baker, who writes ('Virginia's Governor And The Overlords of Outrage', p. C2, Feb. 9-10):
"I wonder what today's virtue police would have made of St. Paul or St. Augustine."
Also noting Prince Harry's ill -advised 2005 wearing of a costume with Nazi insignia. Was Harry actually a Nazi sympathizer? No, only a moron would believe so. He was just another 20-something who made a stupid choice, like Northam emulating Michael Jackson in blackface. He acknowledged it, now it's time to move on. Or as Mr. Baker put it (ibid.):
"If I apply for a job somewhere should I be held accountable for something I said or did 25 years ago? There are no easy answers but I'm sure that the climate the overlords of outrage are creating is increasingly intolerant of human frailty."
Besides, what if crucifying that frailty has adverse implications for millions in the present?
Bill Maher as well as Malcolm Nance pointed to the expansion of health care in Virginia which has now reached 400,000. Would anyone with a working brain trade that advance for over reacting to a "gotcha" episode - triggered by what a band of Trumpie dregs dug up - in order to destroy those very same benefits? Think about that!
As I've often always been told - from the time I was at Mgsr. Pace High in Miami - if you are searching for evil's entry in a situation always look at the source. The source in this case is a vile den of Trumpers operating under the website Big League Politics. These vermin are not operating out of the goodness of their hearts, concern for Virginia's African-American residents, or anything positive. NO, they are out to overturn an election by hurling scandal pies at the wall to see what sticks. And hopefully ousting all three Dems. Are these "Big League" maggots behind the effort to oust all three? Well, Malcolm Nance the counterterror expert believes so, saying on Real Time: "When you see this much coincidence, it's a plan".
In other words, a deliberate conspiracy to destroy the democratic leadership in the state- which may never be recovered again - to the detriment of all blacks in the Commonwealth.
I totally agree, which is why I beseech the Democrats to give up their prickly little "zero tolerance" moralist consciences which will only end up giving Virginia to the Republican slime. That also means the power to redraw congressional boundaries in a swing state - including for 7 of 11 districts the Dems recently won. "Stupid is as stupid does" was once a much quoted popular movie line (from 'Forrest Gump'). Dems can let it become their motto in political strategy.
Do they really want that in order to pound their chests in some over-weighted moral superiority? As Maher pointed out, it is stupid to trade a current good affecting a majority of black people, for outrage against a dumb indiscretion that transpired over three decades ago. Especially when that outrage may well destroy the current good.
Northam has said in recent media comments he intends to wholeheartedly pursue greater racial equity in the Commonwealth. Fine, then hold him to it. But at the same time don't seek to oust the guy that- right now - is doing the most to help the minorities in the state.
Unless, of course, you're content to claim the elusive higher moral stage at the expense of rolling back all the gains made thus far. As well as ceding the 2020 election to Trump and his cabal.