Northam apologized for appearing in the photo, but soon proclaimed he wasn’t in the picture after all. He said he would have remembered since he once darkened his face to impersonate Michael Jackson in a dance contest.
Calls for Northam’s resignation buzzed, but his potential successors imploded: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring—second in line to replace Northam—announced he had once worn brown makeup to dress up like a rapper at a college party in the 1980s.
But the Virginia firestorm gained potentially criminal proportions when Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax faced accusations of sexual assault by two women. Fairfax admitted to encounters, but said they were consensual. Most of Virginia’s Democratic delegates said he should resign, and some raised the possibility of impeachment.
Democrats on the national level were slower to comment on Fairfax—even some who called on then–Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to be removed from consideration from the high court over accusations of sexual assault.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a Democratic presidential candidate and fierce Kavanaugh critic during his hearing, initially said the accusations against Fairfax should be investigated. Later, she called for his removal.
State politics do loom large in the fast-approaching presidential contest, but candidates for the Democratic nomination preferred to keep it national: Four of them endorsed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal—a massively unviable plan that includes replacing air travel with train travel, retrofitting every building and home in the United States, and throwing in universal medical care and free college education.
Democratic candidates might be going far and wide with early promises, but they’re also pushing far left just months after Democrats running as moderates snagged victories in several key midterm races.
President Donald Trump pushed south to El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 11 for a rally staged in an arena 1,000 feet from the southern border. Across the street, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who lost a bid for the U.S. Senate but is contemplating a presidential run, held his own rally. O’Rourke argued against a border wall. Trump vowed to build it, regardless of whether he gets the funding he wants from Congress.
But the biggest headlines went to the scandals, which hit conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, and were a reminder of the Apostle Paul’s teaching that there is none righteous: “No, not one.” But it’s also a reminder of how extreme fallenness calls for extreme redemption—and that’s available to anyone who calls on Christ for mercy.