Virginia’s Political Amnesia
It’s been 62 days since pundits all over the country began penning Gov. Ralph Northam’s political obituary.
About 61 days since every major Democrat in the solar system called for the man whose college nickname had been “Coonman” to leave Virginia’s Governor’s Mansion. Those demanding Northam’s immediate resignation included Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Doug Wilder.
He was a blackface disgrace. Unfit to serve.
It’s also been 61 days since Northam stubbornly refused to quit, insisting that upon second thought, that actually wasn’t him in the blackface yearbook photo. He vowed to use facial recognition technology to prove it wasn’t him in the shoe polish.
That time, anyway. The guv admitted he’d pranced around in blackface on one other occasion.
Then came the Justin Fairfax sexual assault allegations and the admission that Attorney General Mark Herring had also frolicked in blackface, followed by the shocking realization that if Virginia’s top three Democrats fell like dominoes, the commonwealth would be led by Republican Kirk Cox, Speaker of the House.
THAT had a sobering effect on the political hacks who had been quick to call for Northam’s head. They dismounted their moral high horses and hid in the barn.
After keeping a low profile in Richmond for weeks, the disgraced trio is venturing out in public again. For the most part, Democrats are trying to pretend that February never happened.
The New York Times marveled about this curious case of political amnesia in a piece headlined, “ ’It Just Went Poof,’ The Strange Aftermath of Virginia’s Cascade of Political Scandals.”
“The calls for resignation have not been rescinded,” Delegate Jeff Bourne, a member of the legislative black caucus, said a few days before appearing with the governor at a bill-signing ceremony. “But I think it’s one of those things where we are operating in the current state of affairs. And the current state of affairs is that the governor and lieutenant governor are still there.”
Still there. Lucky us.
On Monday morning, I sent Northam’s press secretary a polite note, reminding her that the governor said he was going to employ a facial recognition expert to exonerate him in the blackface scandal.
I asked which expert Northam had hired, how the analysis was going and when the governor would make the results public.
I sent a follow-up note on Tuesday morning asking the same questions.
Geez, how long does a facial recognition analysis of a single photograph take? Sixty one days seems long enough.
Echoes of O.J. Simpson and his pledge to find the “real” killer of his ex-wife and her friend.
Anyone seen O.J. lately? How’s his search going?