Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Over the River and Through the Woods

Actually over two rivers, the Patuxent and Potomac, and through the woods of Virginia lies it's capitol, Richmond, where there seems to be very little progress in resolving the Northman, Fairfax and what's his name matter.

Ace catches Buzzfeed in another lie (surprise, surprise): Learn to Code: BuzzFeed Repeats Northam Team's Spin That He Couldn't Be the One in the Blackface Photo, Because That Person Held a Beer in His Right Hand While Northam is Left-Handed. Lots of pictures showing him using his right hand, including signing legislation.

Ed Driscol at Insty chronicles the Virginia Clown Show Update: Governor Blackface Brags about His Moral Compass and Explains How It’s All Our Fault. "You don’t get to brag about your moral compass when you’re in this situation."

Whatever. It's all Donald Trump's fault. It's so easy, which didn't we see it? He went back in time in his secret Presidential time machine and applied the blackface to Northam. It's all good because Northam Is Stealing Hillary Clinton’s Idea For A “Listening Tour”.

Stephen Green at Insty M. CATHARINE EVANS: The Virginia train wreck has set the stage for 2020.
Thanks to Virginia’s embroiled leaders, the Democrats have become not only the party of drugs, human-trafficking, open borders, MS-13, a Green New Deal, and socialism; they have now outed themselves as the Party of Infanticide, Racism, the KKK, Sexism (“F— the B—-“), and Rapists.
President Trump and the Republican Party should get a lot of mileage out of the Racist & Rapist party’s double standard. There’s little doubt among conservatives in Virginia and across the nation that if these were three Republican leaders simultaneously being accused of racism and rape, Antifa, MoveOn, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, and #MeToo would be blocking traffic, threatening riots, and surrounding the capitol in Richmond until all three resigned.
In spite of the Democrats’ long history of getting away with everything, including murder (Ted Kennedy), the explosive and quickly moving chain of events in Virginia these past few weeks has made ignoring this political earthquake impossible for the media.
Yes, but… in recent years the media has largely taken a different tack on stories too big too ignore, but too damaging to their (D) friends:

  • Coverage that’s as perfunctory as can be gotten away with
  • Framed whenever possible as a (D)-said/(R)-said “controversy”
  • In which “Republicans Pounce!”
  • While applying no direct pressure on (D) for an investigation/resignation/etc
  • And then when nothing like an investigation or resignation happens, present the story, if at all, as “old news.”

Oh, and one last thing. “Old news” is usually combined with “Republicans still obsessed with ‘old news’.”
Northam ain't goin nowhere. Get used to it. Now on the matter of Justin Fairfax, like rats deserting a sinking ship, Staffers to Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax resign following second sexual assault allegation. And Justin Fairfax placed on leave by his law firm after rape allegation. Hmmm, I guess they don't want to get tarred with the same brush. But, Virginia Dem Backs Off Plan To Impeach Fairfax Over Rape Claims After Black Lawmakers Object.

By way of the the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 02.11.19 , almost inevitably (too) sensible Megan McArdle thinks We need a single standard for Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax — and all the others
The repugnant practice of blackface was mainstream entertainment a century ago. In the 1980s, blackface was still apparently acceptable enough in some quarters that young men put it on and smiled for a camera. But America has undergone a period of unusually rapid social change, and today no decent person would countenance such behavior. Over the course of a lifetime, some people will have done a bad thing before they fully realized its badness.

If those people are willing to acknowledge their past sins, they deserve some leniency, not because racist caricature is anything less than abhorrent but because the easier it is for people to leave behind their past wrongs, the faster society can move forward.

Sexual assault is a different matter. But it is not anti-woman, or pro-rape, to recognize that old memories can be unreliable, or to acknowledge that false accusations do happen, and therefore conclude that something more than a simple accusation is needed to justify drumming someone out of public life.

Had Democrats staked out this reasonable middle ground earlier, they would not be facing such an ugly situation in Virginia. It would be embarrassing to shift positions now. But that’s better than the tempting alternative: practice restraint when their political interests are at stake, and reassemble the vigilante squad when a Republican turns up in the dock.

That’s essentially what they did with Bill Clinton. Just when feminists were making serious inroads against sexual harassment, Democrats started pretending that it somehow wasn’t an appalling abuse of power for the most powerful man in the world to use an intern for sexual gratification. It’s nauseating to contemplate what the women in my generation were forced to endure while waiting for the Clintons to leave public life so that feminists could reclaim their principles from lost-and-found.

But that is nothing compared with the damage that would be done if the left went soft on its own, while maintaining a hard line for its opponents. That reduces vital principles to mere tactical political weapons — and in doing so, renders them largely useless either as weapons or as principles.

Instead, what’s needed is a single standard for everyone, one that delivers swift punishment for clear and recent offenses but recognizes the inherent ambiguity of older and less well-corroborated ones. In the short term, tempering justice with mercy will be better for Democrats. And in the long term, much better for America.
In principle, I agree with all of this. As a practical matter, however, if we allow the Democrats to skate again on the idea that the offenses are just "Old News", they will simply continue to persecute Republicans for the same offenses. No quarter! Unless they beg nicely.

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