● Shot: Ralph Northam Must Resign.
—Headline, the Washington Post editorial board, February 6th, 2019. As Glenn wrote at the time:
Hey, WaPo editorial board — remember how you pushed Northam as some sort of racial healer, while gleefully spreading the bullshit claims that longtime milquetoast GOP pol Ed Gillespie was some sort of Stormfront stalking horse? Maybe you should resign, too, hacks. Don’t try to pretend this is just about the rottenness of Virginia’s Democratic Party. You’re part of the rot yourselves.
“Back when a racist photo first surfaced in his medical school yearbook, most Va lawmakers, our editorial page (and yours truly) said @GovernorVA should resign,” tweeted WaPo political columnist Karen Tumulty. “We were wrong.”
The Friday piece, titled “How Ralph Northam came back from the political dead,” marvels at how “few back-from-the-dead narratives have been as swift and sure-footed as the one Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has managed this year.”
The Post cites Northam’s “astonishingly effective” focus on “racial equity and reconciliation” as having moved the needle in the direction of redemption, even after Northam denied a prior admission to having been in the photo, then admitted to donning blackface as Michael Jackson during a dance contest.
The outlet did mention a few other factors that led to Northam’s durability, including the fact that a Republican could have become governor if the top three Democratic leaders succumbed to the scandals they were currently embroiled in[.]
—The Daily Caller, December 28th, 2019.
The angry calls and emails began flooding in after a blackface photo from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page appeared on the Internet.
For several weeks following Feb. 1, 2019, the small staff of Northam’s community liaison office absorbed the anguish and profanity of a public that wanted Northam gone. Loved ones urged the staffers themselves to quit rather than take that punishment — especially those who were Black, such as Traci DeShazor, the leader of the liaison office.
But all of them stayed. And so did Northam. And now the Democratic governor and his administration prepare to leave office on Saturday under very different circumstances.
Over three tumultuous years, Northam recovered from the scandal to become what Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) calls the most consequential Virginia governor of the modern era. Northam led a Democratic majority in the General Assembly to abolish the death penalty, expand access to the vote, legalize marijuana and pass a long list of other changes, large and small.
Kaine once joined the chorus calling for Northam to resign. Now, he says, “I’m glad he didn’t listen to me.”
Northam’s rebirth is as unlikely a story as any you might find in today’s polarized world of instant cancellation. It was driven partly by an extraordinary effort to connect with Black constituents across Virginia, a process that Northam says broke him down and built him back a better person — more aware of the ugly reality of race in America.
“I’m not sure I would have signed up for this experience, but it’s really just opened my eyes,” Northam said in an interview. He cited a favorite aphorism: “The eyes can’t see what the brain doesn’t know. My brain knows a lot more right now than it did before February of 2019. And I think that’s — that’s — that’s a good thing.”
But just as much, his comeback was driven by the capacity of those who were most insulted by the scandal to forgive and move on.
“Black Virginians gave the governor a second chance,” DeShazor said, “and I think he used that opportunity for good.”
—The Washington Post today; the article continues for many paragraphs in that hagiographic tone, along the way noting:
With partisan divisions flaring thanks to the Trump-inflamed climate in Washington, Northam stumbled into the national crosshairs that January by making unclear comments about a late-term abortion bill that conservatives seized on to accuse the doctor-governor of supporting infanticide. It was a false allegation, but Northam did little to clarify his remarks.
Curiously missing though from that “false allegation,” is a quote in the article of Northam’s actual words in the late January 2019 interview with a DC news radio station shortly before the yearbook photo was published:
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
He’s offering this to make the case that the new bill is less draconian than its right-wing critics claim. Yes, he allows, there will be situations where a child is delivered alive and then killed on the table on mom’s instructions — the logical end point of liberal abortion laws, as pro-lifers have warned about for years. But it’ll be “kept comfortable.” Why, they might even revive it if it isn’t breathing when it’s born, like saving the life of a death-row inmate during a suicide attempt so that he can be properly executed the next day.
What’s all the fuss about?
* * * * * * * *
The only spin the left is offering on Northam’s comments is that he must be describing an unviable fetus, a baby that’s too sick to live for long after delivery. That’ll probably be his spin too after the outrage wave reaches him. But that’s missing the point: Although the idea of a doctor killing a child on the table after it’s been born alive is especially gruesome, there seems to be no dispute that Tran’s bill would allow the child to be killed right up to the point of birth.
AKA, Lebensunwertes Leben, in the original German.