For the State of Virginia, The Democratic Party male elected officials are operating under a curse. What’s wrong with these men.
It all started with democratic candidates coming close to overtaking the republican majority led Commonwealth of Virginia’s legislative body in 2018. The voters backed the democratic candidates Ralph Northam for the Governorship, Justin Fairfax, as the 1st Black gifted politician for the position of LT. Governorship and then Mark Herring as the state’s Attorney General.
In 2018-2019, came the decision by the Democratic Party leaders to push through a less restrictive abortion rights’ law which allowed for women’s access to late term abortions in cases where it was determined by medical experts that the fetus would not be viable pre and post birth or there was life endangerment. It was important for lawmakers to make clear that that the bill in process was “absolutely not” a reference to infanticide, and that they were focused on the tragic and extremely rare case in which a woman with a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities went into labor or where there was serious high risk of life endangerment. In short, the democrats were anything but transparent and careful in how they described their intent. Emotions were riled beyond measure.
While there are sound, factual medical reasons for the democratic legislators to enact less restrictive abortion laws, it behooved them not to act insensitively to those who strongly disagreed on religious grounds. Late-term abortions are not favored by the vast majority of Americans from both sides of the aisle. These medical procedures are rarely done as the reasons for them are due to extreme, extenuating circumstances. When it was barred in NY and Virginia, those requiring medical treatment had to go out of state.
It’s in the midst of this messy abortion rights’ legislative process, when disaster striked the Democratic Party members of Virginia’s legislative body. It started with a right wing media outlet which published Governor Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook where he is portrayed in a KKK black robe or as a caricature with a face painted black. This racist expose put his governorship in peril but most were believing that at least the LT. Governor Fairfax was in a position to take over until, sexual abuse charges dating back to 2004 by a professor were filed against him. But then there was the Democratic Party Attorney General Herring who was third in line for the governorship, but alas, on the 6th of February 2019, he confessed that he, too, was guilty of having appeared in blackface at a college party in the 1980s.
And of course, the 4th person in line is the same republican who won his election by a drawing of lots as the 2017 election results were so close which kept the Virginia Congress under GOP majority control. His name is David Yancey.
How does the Democratic Party with a zero tolerance policy towards elected officials having a previously unexplained and undisclosed history of racism and/ or a history of sexual abuse, face this series of negative revelations? This is obviously a developing story…
Here’s the rest of the story…
On February 6, 2019, Paul Schwartzman of the Washington Post penned the following report, “On the brink of historic gains, Virginia Democrats now awash in scandal”
“The Democratic Party of Virginia was engulfed in a full-blown political crisis Wednesday as a series of scandals tarnished the commonwealth’s three top Democratic leaders and threatened to reverse the historic gains the party has made in the state in recent years.”
“With Attorney General Mark Herring acknowledging that he wore blackface at a fraternity party nearly 30 years ago, Democrats were unsure whether he, Gov. Ralph Northam or Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax would survive separate scandals that could repel the party’s base of support.”
While the ultimate damage remains unclear, a sense of despair permeated a party that only days ago believed it was on the cusp of winning majorities in both houses of the General Assembly in the fall and cementing its control of the state.
“This is just devastating,” said Ben Tribbett, a Fairfax-based Democratic strategist. “After a nuclear bomb goes off, it’s not always better to be a survivor. We look terrible, and everyone knows it. There’s no scenario where things get fixed.”
“The nature of the scandals engulfing Northam, Fairfax and Herring — 2 involving racially offensive imagery, the other an alleged sexual assault — seem likely to alienate African American and female voters, 2 of the Democrats’ core constituencies. “We have been carried by our base,” Tribbett said, “and you’re not going to have energy in your base with something like this going on.”
“As the new year began, Democrats in Virginia had an abundance of reasons to preen. A trio of Democrats who knocked off Republican incumbents were about to begin representing the commonwealth in Congress.”
“And Northam could tout a litany of first-year accomplishments, including Medicaid expansion and Amazon’s decision to bring a mother lode of jobs to Crystal City.”
“But over the past week, as the scandals have battered the governor, Fairfax and now Herring, the Democrats have found themselves in the throes of a political cataclysm, one that has halted the party’s momentum, unleashed a spasm of fighting among its leaders and renewed Republicans’ hopes of remaining competitive in a state that seemed increasingly cold to their message.”
“Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va), who has demanded Northam’s resignation, acknowledged that Democratic voters in Virginia “feel angry, embarrassed, anxious and betrayed.”
“But he said that he expected that they would still turn out in large numbers in November, as they have in recent election cycles as the state has grown increasingly Democratic. “These fundamentals have not changed because Ralph Northam has a problem,” Connolly said. “I say that it’s way too early to make that judgment.”
“Herring did not use the phrase “blackface” in his statement Wednesday, but said he had donned a wig and put on dark makeup when dressing as a rap singer at a fraternity party in college.”
“After he came forward, Virginia Republicans were as stunned as their Democratic counterparts.”
“What was a slow-moving train wreck is now like a bullet train wreck,” said Chris LaCivita, a Republican strategist and a veteran of Virginia political wars. “The reports of Republicans’ demise in the commonwealth of Virginia have been greatly exaggerated.”
“He said the scandals provide Republicans with an opportunity, but one they have to approach with care. “Don’t overplay your hand,” he said. “At the end of the day, voters want candidates who speak to their concerns and issues. You can’t run campaigns in the modern age based solely on the fact that a party’s top messengers have problems.”
“Dan Scandling, a Republican and former aide to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), said that before the scandals Republicans were facing “ long slow walk in the wilderness. As long as President Trump was on top of the ticket, everything was going to cascade down from the White House and be a hundred pound weight on your head.”
Now, Scandling said, “the window of opportunity is back open.”