Jenny Beth’s Journal: Northam and VA Democrats’ Embarrassing Scheme


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called for a special session this week to consider gun control measures that had already failed to pass in the legislature during the regular session. The call was made supposedly in response to the mass shooting at Virginia Beach back in May. Don’t be fooled—it was hardly about gun control. 

Real Clear Politics has Jenny Beth’s commentary:

Instead, let’s call the 90-minute special session of the Virginia legislature what it was – a desperate bid by the commonwealth’s top elected Democrats to change the subject, and a steadfast rebuke from the legislature’s majority Republicans.

Earlier this year, Gov. Ralph Northam was revealed to have had on his medical school yearbook page a photo of two men, one in blackface, the other in Klan hood and robe. Northam initially apologized for the insensitivity; then, less than 24 hours later, reversed himself and said he was neither man in the photograph – even as he simultaneously acknowledged donning blackface on another occasion.

The outrage was palpable. Demands for his immediate resignation came from all over the state and beyond.

It was easy to demand that Northam step down, when Democrats were safe in the belief that a fellow party member, Fairfax, would step up. And even when Fairfax came under fire, there was still another Democrat, Herring, in line, and that made calling for Fairfax’s resignation tenable. But when Herring acknowledged he was guilty of the same sin as Northam, and the next guy in line was a … REPUBLICAN … well, that’s when the calls for resignations had to stop. 

But with all 140 seats in the General Assembly up for election in November, and control of the 2021 redistricting at stake, stopping the calls for resignation wasn’t enough. It was a start, but it wasn’t enough. 

Republicans that control both houses in the legislature saw right through this attempt and shut down the special session immediately. The gun control bills the Democrats were trying to resurrect from the dead would have not prevented the Virginia Beach tragedy and lawmakers knew that. This was all a political ruse to distract from the Democrats’ perpetual hypocrisy, and they exploited the government process to do it. If the Founding Fathers were here today, they would be ashamed of the current Democratic lawmakers for making a giant spectacle out of the Virginia General Assembly, once revered as “the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World.” We hope Virginia voters will see right through Democratic lawmakers too.