Democrats in Virginia’s House have ended calls for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax to resign following two accusations of sexual assault. But his accusers continue to speak out, saying they want to testify against Fairfax in an effort to both remove him from office and possibly bring him to justice.
I continue to be disappointed in the Democrats' response to the Justin Fairfax abuse allegations. https://t.co/6qYcUVooCz
— R.L. Stollar (@RLStollar) February 21, 2019
The excuse Democrats are making for ending their calls for impeachment or for Fairfax to step down are because they want a criminal investigation to proceed unimpaired. This is a solid argument, but one that doesn’t echo the sentiment from the around the country or in Virginia itself.
We believe that the law enforcement investigation should proceed unencumbered and outside of the political arena.
— VA House Democrats (@VAHouseDems) February 19, 2019
Calls were relatively universal just a week ago following the second sexual assault accusation against Fairfax. The sad part is the calls for Governor Ralph Northam to step down over a photo on his yearbook page depicting one person in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit were also very heavy before the first Fairfax accusation. It’s as if Democrats were all gung ho about making an example out of Northam until they learned his successor had problems of his own.
I'm old enough to remember when Virginia Democrats were calling for Justin Fairfax and Ralph Northam to step down. https://t.co/woqUY8txJr
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) February 21, 2019
If there is to be consistency within the #MeToo movement, the Democratic Party, and American politics in general, then there needs to be an understanding of what is considered sufficiently acceptable evidence in the court of public opinion to demand a resignation. This is impossible, of course, as each situation is different. Would Al Franken have been forced to leave the Senate if there weren’t pictures of him groping a sleeping reporter? Probably not. Is the presence of two credible accusations the tipping point, since following the first accusation the responses were muted? Perhaps.
If that’s the case, though, does that mean if someone commits a single sexual assault, that they’re still morally qualified to lead? Of course not.
These are the conundrums that face a society bent on finding the moral high ground but unable to come together on how that moral high ground actually manifests. Should Fairfax step down? That question may be asked for another three years if he doesn’t.