Ralph Northam must resign

ralph northamSo, Gov. Ralph Northam, awkward question for you: were you the one in blackface, or the KKK hood?

The easier question would be the old political saw, Do you still beat your wife, which is to say, there’s no right answer here for Northam, elected governor in 2017.

A photo of him that he chose for his medical school yearbook page in 1984 has him and a cohort in blackface and a KKK hood.

It was published first on the website of Big League Politics, which purports to be nonpartisan, but then, you look at the headlines, and, no.

Which, OK. No quibbling with the source. Northam himself is conceding that he’s in the photo, though, he’s avoiding the answer to the awkward question.

You do have to wonder: how did this not come out in the general election campaign in 2017? Or the Democratic primary that year?

Northam also ran for, and won, a statewide race for lieutenant governor in 2013.

He won two terms to the State Senate.

We’re talking at least six chances for somebody’s oppo-research team to dig this up, if you can call it digging up, when it involves a school yearbook, which from now on will be among the first things oppo-research teams to check on their checklist.

It shows up this week, at the tail end of a generated controversy over abortion that Northam had stumbled into.

It will be interesting to find out, later, who it was that tipped off the guy at Big League Politics, and the who will give us an idea of why.

The intent is not likely to be benign. We’re not going to find that a Democratic activist upset over Northam’s coziness with Dominion Energy or his failure to follow through on his call for the removal of Confederate monuments in public spaces contacted this pretty much anonymous conservative website to plant this news bit.

This is part of the hit that Republicans have been playing out all week on the Kathy Tran abortion bill, and that, again, Northam stumbled into.

It was going to be this time, or next time, or sometime down the road, that we were going to see this used.

Though, you have to assume: whoever it is that is using this, obviously didn’t have it ahead of the November 2017 election, because then Ed Gillespie would be governor. Or before June 2017, or then Tom Perriello would have been the Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee.

It was used today, is what we know.

And, to cut to the chase here, it’s disqualifying for Northam.

Ralph Northam needs to resign. Immediately.

Ralph Northam has no moral authority to govern the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Ralph Northam can no longer be expected to be able to faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon him as Governor of Virginia.

He can’t even own up, in a statement his office released addressing the release of the photo earlier this evening, to which one he is in the photo: the guy in blackface, or the guy in the KKK costume.

Maybe that’s because both are equally reprehensible.

Whichever one he was, basically, would be grounds to call for his resignation.

He knows this, and he’s hoping that somehow, this will all blow over.

Donald Trump survived, well, fill in the blank as to what Donald Trump has survived. Grab them by the pussy, blood coming out of her whatever, there are good people on both sides, Mexico will pay for the wall.

Ralph Northam isn’t Donald Trump. Ralph Northam is closer to Corey Stewart, the idiot Republican who ran for the 2017 GOP gubernatorial nomination as the darling of the white nationalists, trumpeting their call for the protection of Confederate monuments, that precipitated the Aug. 11-12 events in Charlottesville.

The only difference I can see, at this stage, between Northam and Stewart is, Stewart was up front about who he is and what he believes.

All we know about Northam on this is that, tonight, Northam is telling us that “(t)his behavior is not in keeping with who I am today.”

“I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment,” Northam said.

“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor.”

The next step is to step down. Immediately.

Column by Chris Graham

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