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Sat Feb 9, 2019, 12:39 AM

Shields and Brooks on Gov. Northam

Mark Shields:

The late Mo Udall wisely said that, when the Democrats organize a firing squad, they first form a circle. And I would say that's gone on.

(snip)

The Democrats in Virginia.. had, in Ralph Northam, a popular governor who had secured passage of Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians, something long promised, who had run against the NRA, gave them an F rating, he took them on, on universal background charges, who, in the most segregated day in America, which is Sunday morning, when people go to church with people of their own race, belongs to a church with 60 percent African-Americans, with an African-American pastor.

And all of that is forgotten, all of that is tossed aside blithely because of one yearbook page which was hateful, hurtful and absolutely indefensible.

David Brooks:

Men turn out to be a problem. There's a lot of male bad behavior. Maybe we should have only women leading our states. That might solve these problems.

(snip)

And yet I do think, in a lot of these cases, that there should be some path to redemption. And that path should involve an apology. It should involve a lifetime or decades or years of service in the cause.

And Northam, frankly, his record on civil rights is quite good. And so whatever hateful thing he may or may not have done as a med student, it's not evident in his adult behavior. And I do think that that mitigates toward some sense of leniency. Then maybe he can spend the rest of his governorship continuing good work, heightened because of what he did as a young man.

So, to me, to throw — to destroy a reasonably good career, whether you — for — over this thing is probably not — we do not have a surplus of good people in public life.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/shields-and-brooks-on-virginia-turmoil-supreme-court-abortion-ruling

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 12:47 AM

1. I think they meant that NRA gave Northam an F rating. And

But I think they do a good job of describing what Northam has done in office.

Here is a story that provides more details on accusations against Fairfax, and what other VA officials are saying and doing:

https://wtkr.com/2019/02/08/second-woman-accuses-lt-gov-fairfax-of-sexual-assault-calls-for-his-resignation/

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 12:56 AM

2. Yes, they both separated Northam from Fairfax

And I liked Brooks wish for a path to redemption. I hope that many would accept this.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 01:18 AM

3. The timelines are slightly screwed up though.

The problem with Northam's situation, in addition to the blackface is the fact that 1. He was an adult. 16 years old is a "stupid kid" I can even say 18 is a greenhorn. 25 year old in medical school is just plain stupid and racist. 2. It was easy for Northam to "forget" those incidents. He could just brush them aside and be "shocked" that they would be brought up after all those years. He apologized because he got caught. He thought that an apology was all that was needed. Then, he even fucked that up by starting to defend himself the day after basically signaling that the situation wasn't really that serious because that particular blackface incident might not have been him, though another was.

Redemption is almost ALWAYS possible, but redemption doesn't mean that you can just sail on through and not "lose" anything. I don't know enough about Northam to say that he has had a stellar career regarding civil rights and progressive values. The man was a Republican until 2007. He goes to a predominantly Black church so that means he's cool and he should get a pass. No, that means that he should have a better understanding of what knowledge of this incident means to Black Virginians.

It is not lost on me that these are two White pundits having this conversation about what people should feel about and calculate regarding racial issues. "We do not have a surplus of good people in public life." We tend to understand that people make mistakes and we do not expect perfection, but we also expect that when people do make mistakes that they acknowledge them address them and if they plan to be in positions of power, that they set the best example possible.

Ultimately it is up to Virginians to determine what should happen with Northam but the conversation between Shields and Brooks is just more White privilege rearing up.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 01:25 AM

4. Would you please investigate Northam's public

record rather than admit you know little about it then judge it based on what you know?

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 01:55 AM

6. His public record is sort of irrelevant at this point.

Consider this:

A man is married to his wife for 34 years. He is a hard worker, romantic, a good father, etc... One day, his wife finds out, not through him, that he had a one night stand, well no, he just got a blow job, well maybe a one night stand. The wife should just forget about it right? I mean he has been a kick ass husband in the years since he had that tryst. She should just let it go, I mean he said he was sorry, then he kind of denied it, but there are a shortage of good men in the world. Right?

When your actions betray the trust of people that you purport to care about you need to do more than just say, "I'm sorry" and you better damn well not just rely on your qualities AFTER the betrayal. People are reacting to BETRAYAL they thought they knew what Northam was all about and then they find this out. Rather than say, "I totally messed up, it was a really stupid and hurtful thing to do, and I plan to do everything in my power to regain the trust that I lost by this action" he basically said, "It kind of was me, but kind of wasn't" and "I said I was sorry so....you know"

Like I said, I am not from Virginia. I really have no dog in this race. I am mainly speaking as a person of color, who has had to accept the condescension of politicians who for the most part, don't look like me, who claim to have my interests at heart, but too often have been willing to cast those interests aside for the sake of expedience.

Having been betrayed both personally and politically, I understand that trust, not love is the foundation of solid relationships and betraying trust requires immense effort to repair the rupture. I don't see that. I see "Hey, you could do worse".

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 02:07 AM

7. His public record is central to the issue for those

Of us who live here.

No one said what you are claiming. Go back and read what Mark Shields said about the blackface behavior.

Your analogy doesn’t quite work either. The analogy would be if (a) the wife discovered her husband had disrespected a woman before they were married, even though he has treated his wife well, so she is now worried about whether she can trust him to treat her well in the future; and (b) she can divorce him, but if she does, she has to immediately marry a man who likely will treat her much worse. She doesn’t have the option of remaining single.

A good record does not negate the need to clarify what happened and what atonement is needed. But it is also unfair to misrepresent an official’s record and then criticize it or dismiss it.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 02:15 AM

9. Do the opinions of the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus mean nothing?

They met with Northam. They have worked with Northam in the past. They asked that he step down. They represent a block of voters who are the most solidly Democratic Party voters. I think that my analogy would ring true to many of them.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 08:44 AM

16. Ask yourself...would Jessica Tyson have been more harmed by seeing a men in blackface

or a KKK costume or by being raped?

That should help you understand which offense is worse.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 01:39 AM

5. I agree...

...one should be judge in totality and by the seriousness of one's offense...

...nobody's perfect...

...do we want Dems in office or don't we?

...if so, let's cut a little slack...

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 02:15 AM

8. Thanks for this..

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 02:40 AM

10. It's partly Northam's fault that he held such a terrible press conference

If his wife hadn't stopped him, he was about to start moonwalking. He should have talked from the heart about where he was mentally at in his youth and how he has changed and lived his life since.

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Response to AdamGG (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 03:41 AM

12. I've interacted with Gov. Northam

And can only judge him by that interaction and by his record.

No racist or rethug would have this record:
https://votesmart.org/candidate/90253/ralph-northam#.XFUaIRhOlkw


- a Virginian

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Response to Duppers (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 04:53 AM

14. Thanks for posting Vote Smart's summary on Northam.

As Vote Smart says, "Facts Matter." ...


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Response to Hortensis (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 05:57 AM

15. +1

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Response to AdamGG (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 11:04 AM

17. its entirely his fault that he had a terrible press conference

but a terrible press conference shouldn't be a reason for dismissal.

I'm sure he's a smart guy. But smart doesn't mean people savvy.
Doctors are NOT KNOWN for emotional/social EQ



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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 02:54 AM

11. Thanks for this. The good ole Democratic circular firing squad forms up again. nt

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 04:18 AM

13. It isn't a circular firing squad, it's quality control.

I suggest sending Shields and Brooks a copy of EffieBlack’s comments on the subject.

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