Worse than Racist

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Worse than Racist

Photo from AP.

Photo from AP.

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Photo from AP.

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Everybody hates Ralph Northam for the wrong reason. Give the governor’s name a quick Google search and see what comes up. At the time of this writing, I had to click through four straight pages of results about a decades-old picture, in which he may or may not have appeared, featuring one man in blackface and one in Klan robes, before I finally found a single item on the fifth page about the real Northam scandal: his casual support, just last week, for what Sen. Ben Sasse has called “fourth-trimester abortions.”

Let’s assume that Northam is one of the two men in the yearbook picture. (His admission, then denial, then admission of wearing blackface but at another time, and all-around Biden-level confusion at the whole situation certainly seem to indicate that he is either guilty or just genuinely, colossally stupid. He is likely both.) Can the Democrats really be angry at Northam for wearing Klan robes one time as a young man?

Robert Byrd did it for years, and for him it was much more than an ugly, ill-advised joke. The Democrats didn’t rebuke him. They chose him as the party’s Senate leader for 12 years, among other leadership positions. We should all be familiar with the picture of recent presidential nominee Hillary Clinton kissing Senator (also, Exalted Cyclops) Byrd, whom she considered a “friend and mentor.” Byrd, of course, was not the only Klansman among their ranks. For much of its history, in fact, the KKK was little more than the paramilitary wing of the Democratic party. Northam is a hard-left Southern Democrat; one of them donning Klan garb is just like a baseball team putting on throwback uniforms.

Given the party’s long, uninterrupted history of racism, the Democratic outrage against Northam cannot possibly be considered sincere. The timing, too, is highly suspect. In a Feb. 2 tweet that has been mostly ignored, Fox News contributor Dan Bongino revealed that he — and, therefore, likely others in the news media — had the photograph as early as October of last year. Bongino claims that he personally did not release the photo because he had no way to verify its authenticity. The image did not become available to the general public until Feb. 1, when an anonymous source leaked it to Big League Politics, a site with considerably lower-than-average standards for verifiability.

Almost immediately, the leak erupted into a major scandal, overshadowing Northam’s previous scandal from just days earlier — on Jan. 30, Northam had suggested, in a radio interview on WTOP, that doctors should be able to kill abortion survivors if those survivors are sick or deformed. He went on, “This is why legislators, most of whom are men, by the way, shouldn’t be telling a woman what she should and shouldn’t be doing with her body.”

Northam’s interview presented a serious problem for the Democrats. He had used the typical justification of bodily autonomy, but in a situation (post-birth) where its absurdity is obvious. If what Northam proposed is wrong ten seconds after birth, it must be wrong ten seconds before birth, or even ten weeks. Any cutoff other than conception would be arbitrary and meaningless; the four inch trip down the vaginal canal does not magically confer personhood on a blob of tissue, nor does any other development except for the actual creation of an individual, biologically unique human.

The Democrats could not condemn Northam for the interview because they would be effectively condemning their own platform. They could not defend him, either, because the overwhelming majority of the American people would inevitably recognize the best-kept secret of the last half-century: slaughtering babies is not a very good thing to do, and any party that pursues it — especially one that pursues it so religiously and unrelentingly — is unforgivably evil.

The yearbook photo offered Northam’s former allies a chance to disavow him without actually disavowing what he stands for. This deflection doubled as a diversion, too — the virtue-signaling of the progressives all but drowned out the voices of Christians, conservatives and everyone else with a basic respect for human decency who had been outraged at the governor’s explicit endorsement of child-murder. We should not allow ourselves to be distracted from the reality that Northam’s current activity is far worse than an ancient, insensitive picture and that Northam, who openly called for infanticide while defending pro-abortion legislation — legislation nearly identical to that recently passed in New York —  is emblematic of the Democratic party.

All Americans of good will should be disgusted by Ralph Northam. They should be disgusted not because he participated, 35 years ago, in the Democratic legacy of racism, but because he participates now in the Democratic legacy of baby-killing — a legacy whose brutality is not yet illuminated by hindsight. But the time will come when we look back on the Democrats who peddled infanticide in business suits or scrubs with a worse revulsion than we feel for the Democrats who burned crosses in white robes and hoods.