Really, Ralph, You Don’t Have To Do This

Democrats never learn, do they?

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is running for governor of Virginia. The same Virginia that white supremacists descended on for their mini-version of the Nuremberg rallies, and the same Virginia that Heather Heyer gave her life defending from the same. Donald Trump’s response to the rally and Heyer’s death was to state that there was violence “on many sides” and to condemn the efforts to remove Confederate monuments.

After all of that, though, Ralph Northam still believes that Trump is someone that can be “worked with”.

It should be said that such a spineless equivocation does not come as a shock if you have watched Northam’s career. But it makes for boneheaded politics in a state that has gone Democratic in presidential elections for the last three elections and where all three members of the Democratic statewide ticket are headed for a second consecutive sweep, which would be the first time that has happened in the Commonwealth since the 1989 elections. There is a desire for a politics that stands apart from the noxious brew of racism, revanchism, and repression that characterizes the modern-day Republican Party.

Such a politics is apparently just too much for the Good Doctor heading Virginia’s Democratic ticket to abide by. So a day after a poll — the seventeenth such poll in a race that Republican candidate Ed Gillespie has trailed without cessation since June — found Northam with a 13-point lead, he releases an ad stating that “if Donald Trump is helping Virginia, I’ll work with him.”

Here’s the list of things that Donald Trump is doing to Virginia at the moment:

  • Repealing the Affordable Care Act — as flawed a piece of legislation as that is — which would leave 685,000 Virginians without health insurance
  • Climate change denialism, which threatens nearly 100,000 jobs in the green economy while the effects of climate change puts millions of Virginians under the gun of flooding in the Hampton Rhodes
  • Decimating student loan programs that cancel debt for those who work in the public sector, which helps attract people to work in rural areas that would otherwise be further underserved by government

Even the thing that might be of benefit to some Virginians — increasing the military budget — would serve to place workers across the Commonwealth at the mercy of decisions made far away from their communities. As someone who watched their father receive a pink slip and a kick in the ass after President Clinton’s BRAC laid him off on October 15, 1993, not a whit of this is beneficial for working people. And that is, of course, before we get into the ideological, moral, or ethical considerations of making an entire region’s livelihood sink or swim based on how many brown people we are currently annihilating in the Middle East.

Of course, when faced with a strong challenge from an actual progressive, Northam’s tune was very different.

So which is it, Ralph? Is Donald Trump a narcissistic maniac spreading hate far and wide, including our great Commonwealth? Or is he someone that you are ready to work with?

You simply cannot have it both ways, Doc. And Virginians deserve better.

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