Moral clarity is not something we are born with. Every toddler knows that the best way to avoid punishment is to say “but he did it too!” This is now the evolving moral clarity in Virginia, where every Democrat in the line of succession to embattled Governor Ralph Northam’s chair is facing a racial or sexual crisis.
They are quickly abandoning weak Band-Aids like describing Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s own “blackface” admission as “dark makeup.” The new moral clarity is to embrace the horror, admit wrong, point to everyone else in the room and proclaim “we’re all sinners, so let’s forgive and forget.”
So when Los Angeles Times writers Evan Halper and Janet Hook quote a Virginia pollster saying “I suspect over the next few days, moral clarity will become a little less clear for Democrats. It starts to become relative when it threatens to essentially wipe out your party”–they mean that if all three top Democrats resign, a Republican will take the governorship.
That is a bigger evil in their minds than their collective scandals.
Appearing in blackface 30 years ago is a political scandal. It would be in any campaign, but in office, there are various shades of grey.
“I’m doing a lot of soul searching,” said Jaime Harrison, the former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party. “We have to figure out some process by which we grade these things. There is so much historical and generational pain attached to these images.”Los Angeles Times, Feb. 6, 2019
To be personally clear, I don’t think either Northam nor Herring should quit over blackface. I think going after people’s ancient historical sins, tweets, or youthful comments is counterproductive, unmerciful and graceless. I think they should both quit over their unequivocal dedication to killing babies, both unborn and born alive.
Democrats are now facing an existential crisis in Virginia, and as such have found a rather bizarre form of jailhouse religion. Let’s have grace toward each other, without backing down from godless abominations like unlimited abortion and the killing of born-alive full-term babies who survive abortion.
Sitting in the seat of God Himself, they get to proclaim what is sin, and what is righteousness in their eyes, and they get to offer their own absolution, forgiveness, and grace. This is the evolving moral clarity of Virginia Democrats.
They can point at Republicans who have done worse. They can point at the president. They can compare themselves to truly evil dictators, and they can delcare themselves clean having consigned the scapegoat to the wilderness.
When politics is your god, it’s hard to arrive at clarity. When faced with losing an entire state’s leadership, things do tend to crystalize until they are as clear as mud.
I’m revising my prediction now–it seems like possibly (with the exception of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who faces a real, living accuser and credible sexual assault accusations) Democrats might survive this crisis by reaching for their own faith, which offers a righteousness as clear as the muddy banks of the James River.