They say that “Virginia is for lovers,” which is a slogan the state uses to market itself to the rest of the world.
These days, though, the state is taking on a whole new definition. It’s now a place where the highest echelon of the state’s government is squirming in extreme discomfort.
Gov. Ralph Northam is facing an enormous amount of pressure to resign after a picture surfaced on his medical school yearbook page showing two men, one of them in black face, the other in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Northam’s name is on the page. He at first apologized for the photo, then said he wasn’t either of the men depicted in it and has resisted demands that he quit the governor’s office.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, the next in line for the top job in Richmond, has accused of sexual assault by a woman who said he raped her in a hotel room in 2004. Fairfax said the encounter was “consensual,” and has denied doing anything wrong. He’s also issued a type of apology for an act he said he didn’t commit. Go figure.
Attorney General Mark Herring, the next in line for the governor’s office after Fairfax, now reportedly appeared in black face in the 1980s, igniting yet another firestorm in the Virginia statehouse. Herring admitted to wearing black makeup to look like a rapper.
All three of these fellows are facing pressure to quit. They’re all Democrats. The next individual in line to take the top job, if all of them quit — as they likely should do — is the speaker of the Virginia House of Representatives. He’s a Republican.
It goes without saying that the balance of power in a significant “swing state” that has become vital to presidential candidates is teetering on the brink of a major shift.
Does all of this matter to a national audience? You bet it does! We’re talking about race relations and in the age of the #MeToo movement, any reference to sexual assault or harassment lifts it onto the national stage.
Oh . . . brother!
To think that Texas politics has been called a “contact sport.” In Virginia, it has become a “collision sport.”