Opinion | Morgan Liddick: An exposure of the Progressive soul
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This past week had a lot to offer those who were paying attention. Essentially, the smiling mask covering the face of Democrat Progressivism slipped for a moment, allowing us all to glimpse the horrors beneath. It was instructive, and chilling.
The ugly Quadrille began in New York, where governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill allowing third-trimester abortions with essentially no limits. It allows abortions for any reason, at any point in a pregnancy; those performing the abortion do not even have to be medical professionals. The signing was met by a standing ovation and cheering. Because to the Left, what this country really needs is lots more killing of unborn children. No, don’t argue: they celebrated it.
Nor is New York alone in this perverse belief: eight other states and the District of Columbia have, or are studying, loosening restrictions on abortions in the third term. In one of them, Virginia, a question-and-answer session in the lower house of the legislature told everyone more than Democrats would perhaps have wished.
The sponsor of the legislation, Kathy Tran, was asked if her bill could permit a woman to receive an abortion even during labor, provided a doctor would certify her mental health was “impaired.” The answer was “yes.” Furthermore, Ms. Tran’s bill proposed to lower the number of certifying doctors from three to one and the standard from “substantially and irredeemably impair” to “impair.” Call it the “you look a little peaked to me” standard.
Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam raced to the rescue. In a radio interview the next day, the former pediatrician harrumphed that “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. 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.” About whether to kill the child being “kept comfortable,” a point he didn’t belabor. Because “infanticide” is such an ugly word…
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There were howls from the usual suspects, but by Wednesday evening the whole business was in the process of being effectively tamped down by the Democrat party’s publicity agent we used to call the media. Then a thunderbolt struck.
On Thursday last, a page from a 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook titled “Ralph Shearer Northam” was published online by “Big League Politics,” a conservative website. It shows Governor Northam in several images, including one with a Corvette he restored. It also shows a person in blackface, a shirt and bow tie, plaid pants and a sport coat, and someone in a Ku Klux Klan getup. The chattering classes erupted in artificial outrage; when the page had been verified by the Washington Post and others, there were immediate calls for Northam’s resignation as governor, including from many of his former political allies such as Senator Tim Kaine and his predecessor Terry McAuliffe.
The governor’s reaction to the whole kerfuffle was interesting. First, he acknowledged that the photograph was “hurtful” and he regretted it. A bit later, he said he was sorry for having done it. But by late Saturday, he was back to saying he wasn’t in the photograph in question, and he had no knowledge of how it got on his page. Of his yearbook. And that he hadn’t noticed it before. On his page. Of his yearbook.
Keep in mind, this is the same Ralph Northam who, when running for governor, had no problem with campaign ads portraying his opponent as a Confederate-flag-waving redneck driving around in a jacked-up pickup truck, looking for little Hispanic kids to run over. In a way, it is delicious seeing him hoisted on his own petard, as unhelpful as yet another misuse of the past might be.
These contrasting reactions are a useful exposure of the Progressive soul: on the one hand, if not a full-throated endorsement, then at least a sympathetic explanation of, infanticide by a prominent Progressive Democrat that garners some nervous glances from side to side and a bit of collar adjustment, but no declaration of anathema or even disgust. On the other hand, a youthful indiscretion from thirty-odd years ago by the same person brings down the wrath of every God in the Pantheon.
Because for Progressive Democrats, “racism,” that protean evil which, like sixteenth-century witches, is detectable only by the elect, is the new bottomless well of grievance from which they may draw strength at the expense of anyone they deem an enemy – even if he is a former ally, and an effective one. Child-killing, on the other hand, is to be celebrated as a sign of women’s “rights.”
Because to modern Democrats, “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” Especially the last.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News.
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