Virginia Dems: “Hoisted by their own petards”

And, some predictions re: the likely outcome.

First, a translation of the classic phrase…

Contrary to common misunderstanding, the phrase does not mean getting lifted by one’s underwear … wedgie and all.

Rather, a ”petard” was an ancient bomb-like device used to blow open walls or gates.


So, to be “hoisted by one’s own petard” is to be injured by the device that you intended to use to injure others.

Got it?


OK, so how have Virginia Democrats hoisted themselves by their own petards?


Just in case you haven’t been following the news…

During the 2017 gubernatorial contest, then-lieutenant governor Ralph Northam advertised his opponent, Republican Ed Gillespie, to be a racist. Source

That was good enough for the Virginia electorate, and Northam moved into the Governor’s mansion.

Fast forward to early last week.

In a radio interview defending proposed legislation that would legalize very, very late term abortions, Northam explained:

“If a mother is in labor, the infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” Source

For details, see: Is Virginia going to jump the abortion shark?

Some (many? most?) people aren’t too keen on the notion of post-delivery abortions … and Northam got some backlash.

Reportedly, one of his med school classmates found the idea offensive and passed along to the press Northam’s yearbook page picturing a man in blackface standing next to somebody in a KKK costume.

Teaching point: Before you accuse somebody of being a racist, be sure that your own history is squeaky clean.

At first Northam apologized … then he said there was a mix-up and the picture wasn’t supposed to be on his yearbook page … then he said that he wanted facial recognition tests to determine whether he’s one of the men in the pictures … then he said he was going to hire a PI to sort out the mess.

The big point: despite calls for his resignation from state and national Dem leaders … Northam stood fast, saying he wasn’t going to resign.


Next up: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax … the heir apparent to the gov’s mansion if Northam resigns.

That revelation brought a skeleton out of Fairfax’s closet: a woman stepped forward  and accused Fairfax of sexually abusing her about 15 years ago.

Note: Initially, Fairfaxe insinuated that Gov. Northam induced the surfacing of the accusation.

Fairfax issued a denial that called the accuser a liar and suggested that she be categorically dismissed,

For the profanity-laced details, see NBC’s account of Fairfax’s denial

The accuser didn’t like being characterized as a liar … and, was understandably insulted by Fairfax’s  suggested course of profane action. So, she issued a statement detailing her accusation in graphic detail and engaged Dr. Christine Ford’s attorneys.

Teaching point: In the era of #MeToo and #BelieveAllWomen, expect past transgressions to surface and respond carefully when an accuser steps forward.


Still, not done.

Mark Herring, VA’s attorney general would ascend to the governorship if both Northam and Fairfax were to resign.

But, Herring, has proactively confessed that, when he was 19, he donned blackface to impersonate a rapper.

Sounds a bit like the Northam case, right?


Now things get interesting…

Northam, Fairfax and Herring are all Democrats.

So, if 2 or less of them are forced to resign, then the Governor’s mansion will still be occupied by a Democrat.

But, next in the line of succession is Kirk Cox – Speaker of the VA House.

Cox seems to be clean except for one thing: he’s a Republican.

So, if Northam, Fairfax and Herring all bite the dust, the governorship flips from Democrat to Republican.

That possible outcome is sure to test the Democrats resolve re: racism and sexual abuse.

How do you think that’ll turn out?


My bets

Northam is toast. Besides the blackface, there’s the KKK guy in the picture.  I think that’s most damning.  Plus, Northam has completely bungled his response(s) following the revelations … and, most important, if he hangs on, he’ll be the poster boy for the post-delivery abortions conversation in 2020.

A wounded Fairfax will live to fight another day, but won’t get the Governorship.  Prof. Tyson is way more credible than Prof. Ford.  She has the details, including time and place. She’s a Democrat accusing a Democrat, not an anti-Trumper accusing a Republican.  Fairfax’s initial profanity laced response was a near-fatal self-inflicted wound.  While Fairfax deserves due process, but that’ll drag on … and, if he ascends, he’ll be a conspicuous example of Dem’s #MeToo / #BelieveAllWomen  hypocrisy.

Herring will ascend to the Governorship. His transgression – dressing to impersonate a rapper when age 19 – strikes me as a venial sin, not a mortal one … a misdemeanor, not a felony.  Plus, he stepped forward and handled his confession masterfully.  And, oh yeah, if he bites the dust, a Republican becomes governor of Virginia.

Place your bets !


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One Response to “Virginia Dems: “Hoisted by their own petards””

  1. John Milnes Baker Says:

    The expression “You can’t make this up” applies here. If you tried this scenario in a novel your editor would say “Too far-fetched” and delete it. So let’s sit back, order more popcorn, and enjoy the show.

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