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Bonfire of Identity Democrats

Bonfire of Identity Democrats
Ralph Northam may be saved by accusations against his colleagues.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is normally well-governed by state standards, but these days it’s a bonfire of Democratic identity politics. Gov. Ralph Northam looked like a goner on the weekend after a photo of men in black face and Ku Klux Klan garb turned up on his medical school yearbook page. He said he wasn’t in the photo, but Democrats around the country told him to resign. Yet he now may survive because the two Democrats in the line of succession have also been hit with gender and racial embarrassments.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who would be next in line, was accused this week of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention. He denies it, but on Wednesday the accuser identified herself publicly in a graphic public statement. The same Democrats who had urged Mr. Northam to resign were suddenly speechless.

Also Wednesday came an admission by state attorney general and third in the line of succession, Democrat Mark Herring, that he had darkened his face to look like a black rapper at a college party in 1980. On the weekend Mr. Herring had said “it is no longer possible for Governor Northam to lead our Commonwealth and it is time for him to step down.” Mr. Herring hasn’t said if he thinks he can still lead, although sincerity has not been much in evidence in Richmond this week.

If all three tainted Democrats resign, then the next in line as Governor would be the speaker of the House of Delegates, Republican Kirk Cox. It was easy for Democrats, in Virginia and nationally, to indulge their moral afflatus and urge Mr. Northam to resign when they knew another Democrat could succeed him. But knowing that a Republican could get the job puts their identity ideals to the test. Let’s see: power or principle? You make the call.

Appeared in the February 7, 2019, print edition.

(In response to this post by ParkerRamsFan)

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/bonfire-of-identity-democrats-11549498315?mod=hp_opin_pos1

Posted: 02/07/2019 at 1:28PM


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