Ralph Northam is about to kill the Democratic Party of Virginia

ralph northamWord at this writing, late Saturday morning, is that Gov. Ralph Northam is working the phones with Virginia Democrats, trying to find a way to survive the day politically.

Which, I get.

The second he signs off on resignation, bis political career, obviously, is over.

So, he fights. Now, word is that he’s walking back from his statement Friday evening that it was him in the photo, featuring two young men, one in blackface, the other in a KKK hood and robe.

Interesting approach there after a night to sleep on it. Looking back, if that was going to be the approach, maybe the Friday evening statement could have been a bit more vague.

Which makes it come across as: yeah, we know we’re fucked, this is our Hail Mary.

No doubt, Northam looks at Donald Trump, grab them by the pussy, POWs aren’t heroes because they weren’t captured, no collusion, fine people on both sides, and thinks, if I can get past today, this weekend, Monday, Tuesday, et cetera, I can survive this.

Trump, you know, would survive this.

This wouldn’t even have been a story this morning if it involved Trump.

It’s clear that he has something working. Doug Wilder, Virginia’s first black governor, has issued a statement in which he said the decision is Northam’s to make.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have yet to issue official statements, even one as milquetoast as that one from Wilder.

We have the House and Senate Democratic caucuses already on the record, late last night, calling for his resignation, which, if it were to end up that Northam would remain in office, would be incredibly awkward moving forward.

It would be hard to imagine any kind of repair to the relationship between the governor’s office and the caucuses of the party that he is a member of after they’d called for him to step down.

Also hard to imagine is how the Democratic Party would move forward in terms of the 2019 elections, that until yesterday around 4 p.m. had seemed to be more about how big the Democratic majorities would end up being than whether the Ds would be able to win either the House or Senate, or both.

Democrats would face an obvious uphill battle rallying their troops around candidates who are anchored to Gov. Blackface, or Gov. KKK, or whichever one he was.

It wouldn’t be hard for Republicans to play to swing voters that Democrats had a chance to do the right thing with Northam, and instead chose to protect one of their own.

Swing voters, hell: black voters, 20 percent of the Democratic base in Virginia, are going to be a hard sell, and you’re going to have a fair share of white progressives in that camp.

Those voters aren’t going to vote Republican, but if they don’t vote, the effect is the same.

Which is why it’s sad to have to acknowledge, that this is how this is all going to play out.

Word at this hour is that Northam, scheduled to make a public statement to the media at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, is not going to resign, and is instead planning to fight.

The sound you hear is the death knell for the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Column by Chris Graham



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