The editorial board of The Washington Post has decided that it’s time for embattled Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to resign. The “circumstances are decisive,” the editors wrote in an editorial Wednesday, “what’s done cannot be undone. He must go.” But the impetus for their demand is not Northam dressing in blackface (well, not really), nor is it because they’re hoping the equally embattled lieutenant governor will take his place (“he has his own problems,” after all), and it’s certainly not because the “moderate” governor attempted to justify infanticide. No, it’s a bit more, well, complicated than that.
“Gov. Ralph Northam (D) can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia who elected him,” the editorial begins. “His shifting and credulity-shredding explanations for the racist photograph on his medical school yearbook page, and the silence into which he then succumbed for days — after initially promising to do ‘the hard work’ of atonement and apology to restore his standing with Virginians — is simply too much.”
In other words, it’s not the blackface photo (or Michael Jackson impression) that’s the nail on the coffin for Northam; it’s his “shifting and credulity-shredding explanations” for it.
“His decade-long record in public office is admirable; it is equally true that his governorship has been irredeemably wrecked by the self-inflicted, racially callous and clueless mess he has made in recent days,” they continue. The editorial board reminds their readers that “facts do matter” and, in this case, Northam’s left too many “unsettled and unanswered.”
“First and foremost among the questions they raise: How could he possibly have admitted to something as damning as appearing in the photo if he was certain he wasn’t one of the people in it? How did that photo wind up on his page if he didn’t furnish it to the yearbook editors? What do the governor’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t statements say about his judgment?” they ask. “The explanations Mr. Northam has proffered are vague and unconvincing. Virginians deserve better. Mr. Northam’s time is up.” (Read more from “Must-Read: Washington Post Explains Why Democrat Northam ‘Must Go,’ but It’s Not Why You Might Think” HERE)