Saturday, February 02, 2019

Northam at 24 and Kavanaugh at 17: What's the Difference?

Three or four months after Brett Kavanaugh was raked over the coals in the Fall of 2018 for allegedly reprehensible behavior at the age of 17, it emerged that a page dedicated to Ralph Northam in his 1984 yearbook shows two men posing in blackface and in a Ku Klux Klan robe when the medical student was 24 or 25, or about halfway to the age of 30.

Immediately rising to defend the newly-elected governor of Old Dominion — Northam (who had an interesting nickname in college) would eventually break silence to say that he was"deeply sorry" for appearing in the photo — was his fellow Democrat, Virginia state senate minority leader Richard Saslaw:

Northam's “whole life has been about exactly the opposite" said the Democrat from Fairfax, “and that’s what you need to examine, not something that occurred 30 years ago. While it’s in very poor taste, I would think there is [probably] no one in the General Assembly who would like their college conduct examined. I would hate to have to go back and examine my two years in the Army. trust me. I was 18 years old and I was a handful, OK? His life since then has been anything but. It’s been a life of helping people, and many times for free.”

Two comments:

1) Had photos of a Republican posing in blackface or a KKK hood surfaced, there would be nothing but the deepest outrage, followed by demands that he or she resign immediately. In that perspective, notes Ed Driscoll,
Northam appears to be a man of indeterminate party, based on the missing D-word in WTVR article.
2) Beyond that, Richard Saslaw's comments happen to be entirely reasonable.  Of course, in view of the inanity of going after someone in college in his mid-20s for "something that occurred 30 years ago," you wonder why — other than double standards — sensible-sounding Democrats would do the exact same to someone who was a teenager in high school. (Oh, that's right, my bad: in the second case, we are talking about a Republican, i.e., a deplorable.)
But here comes the kicker: if it is true that no one would want their college (or high school) conduct examined too closely, owing to the fact that most people at that age had "poor taste" and were (to say the least) "a handful", why on earth do we allow all these dunderheads go to the voting booth?

The voting age of 18 is so universally accepted, at least in the Western world, that to question it sounds irredeemably passé and unfashionable.

It is likewise held that the systematic lowering of the voting age (it often used to be 25 or so and later 21) is nothing if not concrete proof of the march forward towards an ever-purer state of a democratic society.

And yet, one of the better quotes attributed to Winston Churchill is
If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart;
If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain
The question arises:  Why on Earth would a society — any civilized society — want people "without brains" to be part of the voting process to determine the laws under which we (and they) live and the type of politicians and issues that affect us all.

(Unless, of course, they are the drama queens, the chicken littles, the prima donnas, the crybabies, the crybullies, and the other spoiled brats thriving on passion and emotion — here's looking at you, Donkey Party.)

As Michael Walsh ponders repeal of "the first of the so-called 'Progressive Era' amendments" i.e., the 16th Amendment, has it occurred to anybody that there may be plenty of good reasons to have the 26th Amendment revoked as well? 


HC said...

We should repeal the 17th too.

Tim said...

I live in Virginia, so why did this take so long to surface? The man has been in the public spotlight for several decades? Combine that with his latest statements on abortion tells me this man and the Virginia Democrats have some explaining to do.

dunce said...

No one has commented about his obvious white privilege as a college student with a Corvette.

The New York Crank said...

The Democrats as a whole are not supporting him. He may linger for a short while, but he's finished. On the other hand, Kavanaugh will be on the Supreme Court 'till death do us part.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

Kepha said...

I'm appalled at two things:

1. To his own party, the Gov. seems to have committed an unforgiveable sin in his youthful hijinks, and must be called to a confession for which there is no absolution.

2. There isn't an angry mob jeering the Gov.'s every word and burning him in effigy for his supporting moment-of-birth abortion.

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