We don’t know Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. We can’t say whether he is a good man, a person of integrity or virtue. We don’t know his record on racial equity issues. We aren’t in a position to judge his sincerity.
We can’t say if that is really him in an offensive photo that appeared in his 1984 medical school yearbook. The photo showed one person in blackface and another wearing a white Ku Klux Klan uniform.
After initially apologizing, Northam, a Democrat, said that he was mistaken when he first said it was him in the photo.
But we do know he made a mistake over 30 years ago when he appeared in blackface while in his 20s at a dance contest. We know that because he has admitted as much, even though he now says it isn’t him in the yearbook photo.
We also know he has apologized for the incident.
And here is something else we know because it is blatantly obvious: He is being sacrificed by his own party over an issue the Democrats want to leverage in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election as they attempt to draw a distinction between their party and President Trump.
Democrats have decreed zero-tolerance on issues of racial injustice and sexual discrimination. Just as Sen. Al Franken had to go, so must Gov. Ralph Northam. We would be surprised if Northam makes it through the week as he tries to hold on in this epic political pile-on.
In this age of manufactured hyper-political correctness, it doesn’t matter if the bad behavior occurred decades ago. Democrats now demand purity. It is a political reality that disqualifies even those who exercised bad judgment in their youth. That would knock out most of us.
Under this new political paradigm there are no second chances — not even for the stupid things we do while we are young. That is ridiculous.
We don’t condone Northam appearing in blackface while in his 20s. It was inappropriate and insensitive. But he has apologized. He has expressed regret and offered to use the incident to educate and improve race relations.
The rush to judgment by the Democratic Party is banal and exhausting. It is just another phony political play. It’s also just another example of how screwed up our political culture is right now.