Is There a Statute of Limitations for Racial Insensitivity?

This is just too rich. Ralph Northam in blackface… or is he the one in the KKK hood? Now, let’s sit back and watch how long the PC statute of limitation is for Democrats compared to that for Republicans.

Entirely predictably, Republicans have called for Northam’s resignation: “Racism has no place in Virginia,” said RPV Chairman Jack Wilson. “These pictures are wholly inappropriate. If Governor Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately.”

Northam issued what is surely a sincere apology:

I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now. This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to make clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.

I can totally understand Republicans’ desire to stick the knife into Northam and twist it around — and then to pour salt in the wound. Had the photo been of, say, former Sen. George Allen (remember macaca, anyone?) or any other Republican officeholder, he would be subjected to endless and withering attacks until he resigned. Some Democrats groups and commentators are expressing shock and dismay at the photograph, but we’ll have to wait and see how sustained the outrage is, and whether any of them joins the clamor for Northam to step down.

Surely Northam deserves to be embarrassed, and surely he should show contrition — as he has. Even in the ’80s, black face was known to be offensive. But should he resign? The incident occurred 34 years ago when Northam was a young man. The standards of what constitutes appropriate racial sensitivity has changed dramatically since then. I have seen no evidence — none, certainly not the allegation that his endorsement of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline compression station in Buckingham constitutes an endorsement of  racial injustice — that Northam has a racist bone in his body. Does the stain of guilt run so deep that he should be chased out of office? Personally, I don’t think so.

Republicans should know better. By demanding Northam’s resignation, they are endorsing the Democrats’ standard that there is no forgiveness for a racially insensitive act committed in a past era when standards were very different, that there is no redemption no matter what a person’s actions have been since then, that there is no statute of limitations for a racial transgression. Demanding Northam’s resignation endorses acceptance of the unforgiving racial-identity politics that is tearing the country apart. Let the governor pay public penance, and then let’s all move on.

Update: Based upon my dinner-time focus group tonight with three Democrats, an independent and a Republican, Northam is in for a rough ride. Two of my Democratic dinner companions were irate and said he should resign. No forgiveness for a transgression that occurred three decdaes ago. I will give them points for intellectual consistency. Ire for racial insensitivity is not reserved solely for Republicans. One Democrat at the dinner table wondered if Northam should be given credit for good deeds since then. Should he be judged only on the basis of one insensitive deed, regardless of what he might have  done since? … Yeah, it looks like it.

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45 responses to “Is There a Statute of Limitations for Racial Insensitivity?

  1. It pains me to say this but if Black folks think it’s not forgivable, then he’s gone, especially with the GOP calling for it also.

    He did a stupid thing …as a young person but these days – you can’t escape such things.

    One wag was heard to say that Cuccinelli should get a refund from his Opposition Research folks!

    Does this mean that the black vote will shift to the GOP now?

    😉

  2. …11PM news not sounding good…former Gov McAuliffe has spoken.

  3. Given our current climate of nothing is forgiven, no matter how long ago, it is clear he will get no mercy. I have no idea whether he owned those attitudes 35 years ago, but his statement leaves that open. VMI was hardly a hotbed of political correctness.

    Jim, dammit, there was never a time when the “standards” found KKK robes acceptable, and blackface disappeared from show business mainly before WWII. I’d worry about somebody who thinks Klan robes were ever anything but despicable, 1880s or 1980s. But then, my Republican roots are real (on my father’s side) and too many Virginia Republicans today are converted Byrd Democrats, like my maternal grandfather, who had a set of those damn sheets in his attic when we cleaned out his house after death.

    This is a tragedy for us all.

    • “Jim, dammit, there was never a time when the “standards” found KKK robes acceptable, and blackface disappeared from show business mainly before WWII.”

      Unfortunately, Steve, there was a time when it was acceptable, even relished, including by highest leaders in the land, for example, by Woodrow Wilson, Hugo Black as young man (Supreme Court Justice), Sen. Robert Byrd, and many many others, most all Democrats. But remember too, many of the prominent Republicans of the 1930s were Fascist sympathizers, as was Franklin Roosevelt in 1920s and teens, when he too was a racist, and surely an anti-Semite for his entire life, along with most other Americans, who also were racists as to the Irish, Italians, Japanese and Chinese, in large numbers .

      As I have said here many times before, most all of history is very ugly, and very few of us in the present can or will admit to it, and deal with it intelligently, particularly when it relates to us.

      Instead we mostly run from our history and hide it and lie about it, not try to understand it, and appreciate it for what it tells us. Here, in my view only Andrew Roesell and musingsfromjanus seem to grasp that truth.

      Hence most of this nonsense is all about the photograph, and nothing about the barbaric abortion comments or the horrors in Charlottesville, both of them monstrous truths that these Democrats are desperately running away from, trying to hide, lie about or trying to demagogue for political advantage after they set it all up. So this is all business as usual in our sick society.

  4. Dear Jim,

    I suspect that this surfacing days after the Governor’s comments about infanticide is no mere coincidence. Whoever leaked this was probably horrified by those remarks. That’s my hunch. If he goes down, it will be for the wrong reason: It’s the infanticide and abortion that are the real outrages, things which, by the way, have a racially disparate impact, against Blacks, and something that Margaret Sanger would approve.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  5. The commentary from a good number of black folks is that he was an adult in Medical school in 1984 and CHOSE to engage in that behavior AND knowingly put it in his yearbook and never subsequently acknowledged it or made amends until he was outed and that’s unacceptable.

    It may well be a tragedy for some but for others – it’s not – it’s just deserts for hypocrisy and in today’s racial politics – that’s uber toxic.

    I think the verdict is in and we have to move on.

  6. It is idiotic because it is self-destructive to punish our leaders or anyone else for non-criminal acts or supposed beliefs 15, 2o, or 30 years ago. Even for criminal behavior, we should be reflective and cautions in our exorcisms if the debt to society has been paid.

    I once worked as an Executive Recruiter for what was Citibank at the time. Their instructions were “don’t bring me anyone who hasn’t made a mistake in his or her life.” As I have grown older, I more and more appreciate the practical wisdom of that charter.

    If we want the best people running our businesses and governments, and teaching our children – we should judge them on what the mortar and pestle of life’s experiences has caused them to be today.

  7. Reports have the resignation coming today – and now the chain reaction. If Steve Newman becomes acting lieutenant governor, can he still vote on the Senate floor? Does the Senate become 20-19, a much more narrow situation? Some measures require 21 votes. Will we then have a statewide election for LG on the ballot with all the House and Senate races? Pretty clear that Fairfax would be able to seek a full term, giving him a chance for almost seven full years as governor. Governor until January 2026? Wow.

    And I left the Capitol yesterday afternoon a bit bored, feeling I was watching the same movie I’d seen for years. Well, a text I got at the restaurant table, from a Democrat telling me Northam was toast, changed it all….

    Andrew is probably right – he was thrown over the side by somebody on his own “team.” One of the most amazing things about this, to somebody who has been the oppo researcher, is the photo was right there for anybody to find through a long political career. Normally I would have said to him, get it out there, defuse it, but in retrospect that particular photo cannot be defused. It just ticked, and ticked and ticked and finally exploded.

  8. “Some Democrats groups and commentators are expressing shock and dismay at the photograph, but we’ll have to wait and see how sustained the outrage is, and whether any of them joins the clamor for Northam to step down.”

    Reality check. Many Democrats overwhelmingly want Northam to resign. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Not clear from this post if (1) Democrats are hypocrites for protecting Northam (which they are not) or (2) it is wrong to punish Northam for something he did as a young man 35 years ago.Which is it?

    Likewise, there’s a an idea being floated here that the left-controlled news media is covering this up. On the contrary, It lead the WaPot, NBC News and got big play in the New York Times and so on.

    One reason Dems would ditch Northam is that in Virginia, they had been in a very good position to sweep the GOP out of controlling the General Assembly. Northam is in the way now. He will go.

    • For the record, I wrote this post early yesterday evening before there had been much response to the news. There is no question this morning that Democrats are almost universally outraged by the photos, and very few are willing to cut Northam any slack.

      I misjudged the Democratic reaction. I thought there was a good chance that Dems would express shock and outrage but then sweep the incident under the rug. I was wrong. Dems have acted entirely consistent with their values.

      What worries me now is how some Republicans are mimicking Dem outrage tactics.

      • The real test of Democratic reaction would have occurred if the Lt. Governor were a Republican. Since he is a Democrat, they probably just want to get the damaged goods Northam out of the way.

  9. It is bad enough, and most likely disqualifying, that he did it and a picture exists. But it is my understanding that the medical students submitted their own pictures for the yearbook and he chose to submit that (I could well be misled on that fact). If that is the case, that is unbelievably bad judgement for anyone. But incredibly bad judgement for someone choosing to enter a people-centric professional career.. and who’s father was a public figure, a judge. All I could muster yesterday was WOW.
    I will add that these social grievances and offenses must be applied fairly. Racism, sexism, and all bigotry are most definitely wrong in all forms. And if it disqualifies that is fine, but make sure no one gets a pass. No one. If we want it to end, end it.

    • Good point. It was bad enough that Northam posed as he did (either in blackface or in KKK robe. But then to broadcast and memorialize it by submitting to the year book is utterly baffling. It’s not as if the actions weren’t deemed offensive back then — they were. What the yearbook photos show is an astonishing lack of cultural and political awareness on the part of the 25-year-old Northam.

      If the incident is viewed in total isolation, Northam deserves to be pilloried. And I suppose that’s where we are as a society today, viewing actions shorn of context. But in all fairness, we should be asking, how has Northam evolved as a human being? Does he get any credit for actions he may have taken as a military doctor, or as a civilian doctor, treating the poor? Has he shown racist behavior as a legislator? Does he get any credit for, say, expanding Medicaid coverage, to the benefit of 100,000 or more near-poor African-Americans?

      Does anything he has done in the past 34 years matter, or is he forever cast into the outer darkness?

      If we apply the outer-darkness sanction against Northam, then, do we apply the standard consistently across the board? Do we, to pick an example, cast Al Sharpton, who was notoriously racists earlier in his career, into the outer darkness? Or is the standard applied only to whites on the grounds that only whites can be racist.

  10. Where was the Washington Post? Why didn’t it do a little bit of digging when Northam ran for Governor or Lt. Governor? Would a different Democrat be Governor today? Would Gillespie have won? Would Justin Fairfax have stood on the same platform as a guy who wore blackface as a soon to be physician?

    And, not surprisingly, silence from the Post’s editorial page today?

  11. When I summarized WTOP Ask the Gov program a few posts ago, I did not mention the abortion issue discussion because I did not realize the Dems were getting into hot water over it. I was not listening intently. But I think WTOP was armed with a guest journalist to press that issue, and the result is immediately apparent. Also I do not think I heard anyone in the press pointing out the issue of the Gov’s abortion comments.

    All this stuff is happening around here, with Justin Fairfax apparently living close to me, as well as the freshman delegate who originally got into trouble on the abortion issue. By gosh Justin Fairfax does live in Fairfax, and he is a Pittsburgher like me.

  12. I find this entire discussion unbelievable. How easy it is to jump on a band wagon with everyone else over a disgusting 35 year old photo, how easy it is then to toss someone under a bus. While, at the same time. How hard it is to discuss and admit to the truth about barbaric abortion proposals for killing hundreds of thousand of born children alive and well after birth, and talk about the truth of what happened and why in Charlottesville. What an indictment as to who we really are!

    Here is extract on the interview, this by Ben Domenech:

    “… Northam’s comments regarding the reason that most women seeking 3rd trimester abortions – which typically outrank gun homicides each year – are also totally incorrect. He claims they do so because of the non-viability of the fetus or fetal abnormalities. A 2013 Guttmacher study – no friend of anti-abortion activists – found this was not the case at all. Instead, it found: “Most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.” And: “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

    The political press is letting this slide. The Washington Post published a “conservatives pounce” headline which made the storm about the bill Northam was referencing, as opposed to the words he said. Pro-life politicians would be justified in responding to this egregious and purposeful media whitewash by never answering another question again without bringing it up. “Your Medicare reform would throw people off the rolls….” “Infanticide was no big deal to your paper. Next question?” As a general rule, “we don’t do profiles with outlets that support infanticide” would prove stunningly eliminationist for our political media. Either these things matter deeply, they speak to the fundamental nature of who we are and our common humanity, or they don’t. …”

    See:
    http://thefederalist.com/2019/01/31/the-thing-we-dont-talk-about/

  13. “…Pro-choice extremists advocate policies unheard of anywhere else in the free world—publicly financed abortion on demand, up to the moment of birth, justifiable even when the baby is a girl instead of a boy—yet they are called moderate politicians.

    Let’s not beat around the bush. This cannot be explained by sympathy for “women’s reproduction rights” or the “health of the mother.” These excuses have nothing to do with the left’s barbaric support for the killing of children in America. No. It’s deliberate and calculated. They’re just lying.

    They lie to us because they lie to themselves. They have to. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said: “Violence can only be concealed by a Lie, & the Lie can only be maintained by Violence. … Any man, who has once proclaimed Violence as his Method, is inevitably forced to take the Lie as his Principle.”

    Abortion is violence, perpetrated by the powerful against the weak and innocent, usually for a handsome profit. Every baby announcement, every sonogram image, every gender-reveal party, every baby shower, every first kick or hiccup from the womb, every tragic miscarriage, and every miraculous preemie testifies anew to what we already know: they’re babies in there, and abortion kills them dead. Abortion is legal, but it shouldn’t be, and that is the truth the pro-abortion movement must conceal and suppress at all costs.

    So, after the nausea wears off, the pro-life movement should be grateful to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. This week Northam defended proposed legislation in the Virginia legislature that would, following New York’s lead, gut remaining restrictions on late-term abortions up through and, apparently, after the child’s birth.

    Under this bill, Northam said, “If a mother is in labor… the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother.”

    Northam did the one thing pro-abortion politicians are never supposed to do: he told the truth. He didn’t pretend it was about the health of the mother. He didn’t call the child a “fetus,” he said “infant” because he knows they are fully human. He just doesn’t care.

    Northam accidentally pulled back the curtain on the lie the left has hung around the abortion issue for 40 years, and revealed the horror within. Northam’s costly honesty has done much more than reveal his own barbaric ideas. He is also forcing all Democrat leaders to admit they agree with him. Since Northam’s comments exploded on social media, no leading Democrats—no presidential candidates or congressional leaders or MSNBC hosts—have condemned them.

    Northam’s views may be too extreme for civilized society, but not for his party. To Democrat leaders today, unborn and now even newborn children are not people. They are property, possessions like the Democrats once viewed slaves (Dred Scott) and like the Nazis once viewed Jews.

    Liberals claim that late-term abortions, like the hypothetical one Northam was discussing, only occur under “tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities.” That’s false. A 2013 study by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute found that “most women seeking late terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

    And the legislation Northam was defending says nothing about limiting the procedure to deformed or disabled children. It could easily apply to sex selection if the mother was distressed her child was a girl.

    We know the truth. Indeed, thanks to Northam’s truth-reveal party on video tape, we know a lot more about the real hearts and minds of pro-choice advocates now. We know the left’s chilling dehumanization of inconvenient children extends beyond the womb to living, breathing, fully born little boys and girls.

    When abortion, one day soon, takes its rightful place in the ash heap of history with slavery and the Holocaust, civilization will owe a small debt of gratitude to Northam, for accidentally expediting the end of the violence he serves. Until that day, he is a danger to human rights and human decency, and should be removed from office.”

    Quotes from Jim DeMint see: http://thefederalist.com/2019/02/01/ralph-northams-truth-reveal-party-unmasked-abortions-evil/

  14. Too Many Taxes,
    You might ask the same question of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Virginian-Pilot, the Roanoke Times and the Daily Press. It seems remarkable that Northam’s been in politics for years and this damning photo was apparently sitting around in a school yearbook for anyone to open. Now Northam is saying that the photo might not be of him. This is all too strange to be believed. If I were running for office and I had a school yearbook picture of me in blackface or dressed up like a Klan guy, I’d know about it.

    • I don’t ever follow the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginian Pilot, Roanoke Times or Daily Press. But they too should be embarrassed-very embarassed. Still goes to show what happens or doesn’t happen when the bulk of journalists feel their job is to promote the Democratic Party and its candidates.

      • The photo has been passed around for months, even among his political opponents, and perhaps by his political allies, so the timing of why now, and not before, is curious at best. His apology was contrite and, and without excuse, so impressive I thought. Now, of course, his backtracking damns him. He now compounds the lie he told about the proposed abortion bill, suggesting then that its sole reason was to protect the mother and child in case of fetal anomaly or life endangerment. In fact the rationale for such procedures in the real world are for far broader, including where mothers have sudden changes of heart, or decide the child to be an inconvenience, or by whim. This Governor Northam surely knew as a pediatric physician. This sad performance apparently has nothing to do with resignation calls by Democrats. Is theirs purely political calculation now that these disgusting photographs are now in the public domain? If so, that does not make it a wrong decision. But one wishes we could show equal zeal in educating our children so they can thrive and succeed in life, after we insure they survive birth, in lieu of killing them at our whim. That is what would often happen under this bill if passed. And now we all know it too.

        • On Fox and Friends this morning Dan Bongino (sp?) Said he had that yearbook picture emailed to him in October but couldn’t verify. He questioned how others in the Democrat party didn’t know about it and if they released it to rid themselves of Northam due to his infanticide-like description of late term abortion being a distraction.

  15. Well now, Northam says he’s not going to resign. The photo is not him. After saying it was him, Northam now claims to have no memory of the photo or the event. I bet it was Ed Gillespie trying to sabotage Northam in the future should the two ever run for Governor of Virginia.

    Maybe, after supporting post-birth “abortion,” Northam is entitled to the Bill Clinton defense.

  16. On the abortion issue – this is from the RTD:

    ?resize=400%2C224

    • Yea, Larry, don’t believe it. But if you do, you now know the reason for the bill.

    • I am pretty pro-choice on a lot of issues, including abortion.

      But after a baby is partially or fully out of its mother’s body and is not taken care of and left to die or actually killed, it’s not really an abortion anymore. It’s infanticide. And when Northam coupled this with Northam’s remarks about the cases at issue being babies with “severe defects,” he sure sounds a lot like Herr Doktor Josef Mengele. As I’ve read in the history books, Mengele was quite into getting rid of those persons, including infants, who were genetically deficient.

      If Northam stays, I suspect he will pick up a new nickname in addition to the one in his VMI yearbook, Governor Mengele.

      • Excellent point. One I should have made but did not. Increasingly, we are developing the morals, laws, and institutions of fascists, including the worse of the worse, people like Governor Mengele.

        In addition, it is worth noting that the bill is reported to have removed the mandated need for doctors being needed for these infant killings at all. That too, Governor Mengele failed to mention while instead using a doctor example. The whole performance of this governor was “you can keep our doctor and your healthcare plan, if you want,” on fascist steroids.

  17. It looks to be valid data… no?

    I know how the right feels about abortions and I know how the left feels but I also think there are a bunch of folks in the middle.

    And there are others who have moral issues with elderly and what to do when their time is near and whether or not a “do not resuscitate” order is written.

    Some who enter the world are so severely damaged, they are beyond the financial means of few except the state (Taxpayers).

    It’s deeply personal to most folks and there are no easy answers sometimes.

    I don’t think we get to an answer for society at large – by the current politics and perhaps we never will… but at some point some folks have no choice but to turn over their child to the state – when they no longer are capable of caring for them and perhaps that’s the answer for those who say abortion is wrong no matter what.

  18. What interested me were the Axis of Weasel statements by Kaine and Warner down the right side of the last editorial page of Saturday’s R-T-D. They could only muster something about, “He should do the right thing”

  19. I appreciate your thoughts on this & will add let’s not forget how much we love “Amazing Grace” & the meaning behind it & yet it is the perfect example of a person engaged in something horrendous & later abhors what he has done. Thank goodness 34 years has given me time to change my mind on so many issues. We are becoming too stingy on what we are willing to forgive & move on with.

  20. Kaine and Warner are matched pair, are they not Crazy?

  21. My conclusion is that’s not me in blackface in that picture… I did do blackface later that year, but it’s cool because I only used a little bit of shoe polish, won the contest, think Micheal Jackson is cool, and you don’t have a picture of that. How is one blackface better than another?
    Oh, I wasn’t standing next to a Klansman in San Antonio…and I learned the moonwalk so I’m woke.

    • Oh and I told Seth about the “Not quite as bad blackface”, he’s a person of color, so on behalf of all the people of color he granted me woke immortality. And I talked to Justin, he’s supportive and cool with it (surprised he didn’t inform us he’s a black guy)… and I grew up with black dudes…. Even played some sports with them…
      And I have no idea why they called me Coonman at VMI…
      Even if that picture isn’t him he still admits to blackface and thinks he’s going to stay in office?
      Wow and double wows.

  22. “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo…”

    Having just watched the governor’s news conference, I am totally at a loss why he would confirm the photo yesterday, leading to the “resign” firestorm, and now 24 hours later change his story that 1) it wasn’t him and 2) he never saw that yearbook page until yesterday. And I am now consumed with curiosity about his statement that he knows who put this out there, and to advance which agenda. General Assembly? What session – all the air has been sucked out of THAT room…

  23. For those whose views are informed by statistics, I would caution that the TD is now controlled by the Twitter-social justice activist-warrior bullies. Skepticism about any data published is highly advised, particularly in the context of any issue where the SJW’s are invested.

    Are there ways for those reporting to get around calling it an abortion or infanticide?

    According to Va.Gov there were 4,371 natural fetal deaths in 2016, whatever a natural fetal death is.
    https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/HealthStats/documents/pdf/2016/2016-fetal_1-1.pdf

  24. “Are there ways for those reporting to get around calling it an abortion or infanticide?” Why sure, its easy, just built yourself a fascist state top to bottom. Then day is night and night is day, just like murder of defectives is health care. And natural fetal deaths are well, you know, it all depends on what “is, is.”

  25. Lots of opinions here but not much on the original question.

    Are we acquiescing now to a standard that actions and indiscretions by the standards of today or even then committed 10, 20, 30 years or more ago should be cause to trash a career, regardless of the actions since?

    Commit yourselves, fellow commenters.

    • Excluding infanticide debacle,

      1. Had he stuck to first admission of guilt and abject apology, I would not have thrown him under bus, or demanded his resignation.

      2. Had he not given the first admission of guilt and abject apology, but only the second one that occurred today, I would have given him the benefit of the doubt, would not have thrown him under bus, or demanded his resignation.

      I have explained why many times on the website re: the sins of all of us in the past, and how we must forgive and look only to recent history to judge others.

      His performance on the abortion issue irrevocably changed everything for me. His two subsequent performances on the racism issue I find not believable, and do not believe. His efforts now beginning I gather to shift blame, and investigate others, I find despicable. I also find despicable the fact that this sort institutional racism was so blatantly going on a Eastern Virginia Medical School as late as 1983, and perhaps far beyond, and he’s clueless about it insofar as himself. All that should be seriously looked into. And Ralph Northam is the last man on earth who should be investigating that matter, much less lecturing us on the subject.

  26. So, six Virginians we’re driving down a Florida highway this afternoon on the way to an airboat ride, listening intently to a nationally broadcast address by Governor Northam…. we nearly ran off the road when he talked about donning blackface in a Michael Jackson dance contest but swore he didn’t wear blackface in the yearbook photo! What??!!??!! I’m sure it’s difficult reconstructing events that happened 34 years ago, but… that admission was supposed to help?

    This may go down in history as the worst-executed crisis management plan of all time.

    • Agreed! As said earlier, Wow, and double wow! But as Reed’s comments illustrate, there are some strong feelings of outrage out there over the abortion comments that are translating into Resign-Now-because-of-the-photo, because comments about abortion these days, alone, apparently cannot give cause for resignation from elected office no matter how extreme they are. That’s a sad commentary on where we are in the moral debate over abortion. As for that social correctness debate over blackface, my initial reaction was forgive and move on, especially given his unequivocal track record since his school years (Brett Cavanaugh anyone?) — but — then the press conference: the Gov’s “not-me” assertion (as to the contents of his own personal page in the yearbook) sounds like calculated retraction for damage control, the Michael Jackson dance contest admission was bizarre, and blaming the motivation of others was tawdry. I’m left weighing what outcome harms the State least at this point.

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