New Virginia Motto: Sic Semper Scandalous
The latest on the assorted scandals and maneuverings in Ol' Virginia.
The Birthplace of Presidents continues turning into the Commonwealth of Comedy. The state motto was Sic Semper Tyrannis (“thus always to tyrants”). It’s now Sic Semper Scandalous. The same state government where Patrick Henry roared “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” now hears Governor Ralph Northam whimper, “Give Me a Break and Give Me a Copy of Roots.”
Here’s the latest:
Gov. Ralph Northam
A week ago, Northam was finished. Done. His befuddled, conflicting answers regarding that racist photo in his medical school yearbook, his admission he wore dark make-up to impersonate Michael Jackson, his offer to Moonwalk, his grotesque defense of infanticide that helped expose the Left’s lies about abortion had him all but packed. But then came the rape allegations against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax. Suddenly, it was hold the phone, Sally.
Northam insisted again Sunday that he “is not going anywhere.” He’s also declared he would devote the rest of his term to “racial equality.” That as part of his own growth journey he is reading Alex Haley’s classic family slavery saga Roots. Really? Is he the only person of his age range who wasn’t glued to the Roots historic mini-series when it aired in the ’70s?
Northam thinks he is best positioned to help heal racial divisions by staying in public office. Of course, this only comes after his background has been uncovered. And after he won office by stoking racial embers after Charlottesville by painting his opponent and all Republicans as racists. Let’s add arrogance and chutzpah to his list of foibles.
“Indentured Servant” vs “Slave”: Northam’s Deeper Digging
Northam dug a deeper hole for himself Sunday on Face the Nation when he noted that 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the year “the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores.” “Also known as slavery,” interrupted CBS’s Gayle King. Northam using “indentured servant” instead of “slaves” set off a firestorm of Twitter protest.
Such is the angry, rapid response age we live in, nobody bothered to check what he was talking about. As it happens, there’s decent evidence the people who arrived on a Dutch ship in August 1619 did not become slaves. In fact, they’re listed in the records from Jamestown in 1623 and 1624 as servants, not slaves.
On the other hand, the Dutch had grabbed the Africans from a Portuguese merchant ship they raided on the high seas and traded them to the Jamestown colonists for food. Not like the Africans had a say in the matter. And so 1619 did mark the start of the horrific history of Africans being brought to this country by force. So although some academics would cut Northam a little slack, when you’re in this much hot water a technically isn’t going to save you from being boiled.
Finally, Northam says he “overreacted” to the publication of the Klan/Blackface photo. There’s another word for that. He panicked. If he panics over a thirty-year-old picture, what’s he going to do in a crisis?
And boy, is his state in a crisis. Which gets us to Justin Fairfax.
Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax
Fairfax also refuses to step down.
He has now been accused by a second woman of a sexual assault. Meredith Watson claims that Fairfax raped her while the two were students at Duke University. Even more horrific, Watson claims that when she asked Fairfax, who had been a friend, why? He reportedly said, “I knew that because of what happened to you last year, you’d be too afraid to say anything.” Watson had been raped. She claims she immediately told people of the attack, and has statements from those witnesses.
Watson’s claim comes on top of Vanessa Tyson, who says Fairfax forced her into a sex act while both were at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Unlike Christine Blasey Ford, Tyson has a time and place, and no political motive for coming forward. Also unlike Blasey Ford, Tyson had her allegation buried by The Washington Post.
Although it is by no means proof of guilt, one does have to wonder why Fairfax’s initial statement lied about what the Post had found. The paper did not find “red flags” or “inconsistencies” in Tyson’s story. In response to Fairfax’s denial, the Post said it simply couldn’t confirm Tyson’s account. Fairfax also had to explain away an NBC report quoting two sources who said Fairfax told staffers when the story broke “F*** that b****.” He admits cursing, but denies directing a curse at his alleged victim.
Fairfax is now calling for the FBI to investigate the two allegations. But that’s like calling 911 to order a pizza. That’s not what the FBI does. He did also call on “all appropriate and impartial investigative authorities” to investigate. In Massachusetts, home of the 2004 DNC convention, you are running up against the statute of limitations on rape. But North Carolina, home of Duke, has no such limitations. In fact, Duke itself says it’s begun looking into Watson’s allegation she was raped in 1999 by a member of the men’s basketball team.
Should Fairfax Resign or Be Impeached?
Virginia Democratic Rep. Patrick Hope today backed off plans to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax He changed his mind after a conference call Sunday night with Democratic members of the House of Delegates. “Additional conversations” need to take place, he says. Meanwhile, four Fairfax staffers have resigned in the wake of the allegations, three of them women.
But should Fairfax resign on the basis of allegations? The Duke lacrosse case was a huge lesson on rushing to judgement. Even the Senate Republicans in Virginia are calling for an investigation, not a resignation.
So why are Democratic candidates like Cory Booker, Kristin Gillebrand and Elizabeth Warren calling for Fairfax to resign immediately? We know from the Kavanaugh hearing Booker has as much use for due process as a fish does for fingernail polish. Gillebrand backs accused rapists to the hilt as long as its politically expedient. (Just ask pal Bill Clinton.) Warren? She’s just happy to be talking about something other than her bogus Native American heritage.
Their reaction is all about 2020. How are they going to campaign in the swing state of Virginia, declaring themselves champions of women, running against that “misogynist” Donald Trump, when a credibly accused rapist escorts them around the state?
2020 also explains why the national candidates want Northam gone too. Can’t paint Republicans as racists in Virginia (as Biden did in 2012) with Mr. Blackface sitting in the governor’s chair. Can’t call Trump the very reincarnation of the Klan while on a grandstand with a man who may well have dressed as a Grand Wizard. Politics, politics, politics.
Attorney General Mark Herring
That gets us to Attorney General Mark Herring. He admits dressing in blackface as a favorite rapper at a party while in college. And he — we can guarantee — isn’t going anywhere but up the political ladder.
CNN’s Van Jones gives us the spin. Sure, Herring dressed in blackface, “but not all offenses are equal.”
“In Virginia the attorney general is facing calls to resign because he came forward and admitted that he painted his face like a rapper when he was 19. Okay, look: dumb, offensive. He was a teenager. Teenagers do dumb stuff. As a fully grown man he came forward, he admitted it, he apologized. We all make mistakes. All you can ask of people is to own their screw ups and to learn and to grow.”
Unlike Northam, says Jones. The governor was 25 and in med school. “And it wasn’t just black face. Somebody in the picture was wearing a Klan hood. That’s a terrorist organization!” Obviously, there is much truth in what Jones is saying. But it’s not the real truth.
That we get from Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer. He confessed on Face the Nation that Virginia’s Democrats are going to let Herring slide because of pure partisan politics. Kick out Northam, kick out Fairfax, kick out Herring, and you end up with Republican Speaker of the House Kirk Cox as governor. Said Beyer, “We would move from a progressive, very strong AG to someone, who is not just a Republican, but someone who is on the arch-conservative end of it.”
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) admits Virginia Democrats are going easier on AG Mark Herring because he would be replaced by a Republican: "We would move from a progressive, very strong AG to someone, who is not just a Republican, but someone who is on the arch-conservative end of it" pic.twitter.com/esca4k4SVT
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 10, 2019
And the chance of Democrats letting Virginia fall into the hands of a Republican governor? About the same as the chances of Northam or Herring hosting the BET Awards.