Virginia politics has become a circus without a tent. But the one thing everyone, except Governor Northam, can agree on, is that he should resign.
Except nobody has figured out how to sell Northam on the idea.
Politicians caught in a scandal may resign if they’re facing legal charges. There are zero legal charges pending for Northam wearing blackface 34 years ago.
They might, like Franken, resign if they’re ideologues willing to put the good of the cause ahead of their own careers. But if Northam proved anything in the last week it’s that his ideology is entirely flexible. He’ll send some carrots the way of the GOP while promising to focus on racial healing. And he’ll ignore all the calls to resign by promising to be a healer.
It’s a train wreck, but it’s his train wreck.
Gov. Northam knows that if he leaves now, his name is mud. If he sticks out for a year, maybe the numbers will change. And the Dems have only two possible pieces of leverage, assuming that they even want him to leave.
1. They can make his life a living hell
2. Promise him something lucrative on the other side
No. 2 will be tricky with all that public attention. And No. 1 requires mobilizing the media and a whole lot of activists. And they seem to be able to mobilize that kind of energy when going after Trump and Republicans. Not one of their own.
These are just scenes from the cultural revolution.