At this writing (late Monday night), Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is still clinging to office (he reportedly doesn’t want to leave when people think he’s a racist, a ship that’s likely sailed by now.) I still contend that whether he is or isn’t in that racist yearbook photo, the real reason he’s not fit for office is being obscured: his comments defending not just late-term abortion but post-birth baby murdering.
For those who think I’m too diplomatic, here’s a very blunt piece by Charles Hurt at the Washington Times, on how Northam’s shocking comments ripped the mask of euphemisms off the Democratic Party’s “pro-choice/pro-woman” subterfuge to reveal that they have morphed into “the Party of Killing Children.”
But just as Democrats were fine with Northam endorsing infanticide today but not with a non-PC photo in his 40-year-old college yearbook, so his successor if he resigns is also suddenly facing a hot-button accusation from the past.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is young, liberal, just as pro-abortion as Northam and African-American, so elevating him to Governor would seem to be a no-brainer for the left, and they obviously like those. But there’s a problem: the same blog that found the Northam yearbook photo also reported an accusation by a female Stanford University fellow of sexual assault by a Democratic campaign staffer during the 2004 Convention. Fairfax isn’t named, but the description of the accused then and now sounds like him. Ironically, at that Convention, Fairfax was working as the “body man” (personal assistant) to John Edwards.
Fairfax claimed the incident consensual and denounced the assault allegation as a false smear. He says the Washington Post investigated it last year but decided not to print it after finding no corroborating evidence, the facts consistent with his denial, and significant red flags and inconsistencies in the allegation (that didn’t stop them from running the Brett Kavanaugh allegations, but I digress.) The woman also reportedly didn’t tell the police, friends or family of any assault for all those years.
Fairfax aimed suspicions at Northam’s office, noting that the allegation hadn’t been brought up in 13 years until it looked as if he were just about to replace Northam as Governor, then it suddenly hit the media.
My reactions: First, even though I’m sure my political views are diametrically opposed to those of Lt. Gov. Fairfax, I absolutely defend his right to a presumption of innocence. I would hope that now that some of these long-ago, unsupported allegations are starting to harpoon their own side that Democrats would shake off the unfair and un-American notion that in the case of sexual assault, an allegation is as good as a conviction.
Second, I hope these cases would encourage real victims of sexual assault not to stay quiet about it. Tell someone immediately. Preferably the police, but if you can’t do that, then talk to friends, family or a counselor. It will help you, and it will get your story on the record.
Third, I worry that allowing these types of last-minute, out-of-the-past, unsubstantiated allegations to torpedo people’s careers and trash their reputations is backfiring by insuring that many good people will refuse to run for public office for fear of having their lives destroyed and their families threatened.
Look, I wish to Heaven that Virginia had a pro-life Republican Governor (and New York and California, etc.) But the way to do that is to convince the voters to come to their senses and show up at the polls. Character assassination as a political tactic is bad for everyone in the long run. It somehow manages to be both a two-way street and a dead end.