[Ed. – Never mind what’s good the state. The overarching concern is how the party retains power without appearing to sanction racism and/or rape.]
Justin E. Fairfax’s refusal to resign as lieutenant governor of Virginia in the face of two allegations of sexual assault has presented Democrats with an excruciating choice: whether to impeach an African-American leader at a moment when the state’s other two top leaders, both white, are resisting calls to quit after admitting to racist conduct.
Less than a week after Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark R. Herring said they wore blackface as young men, Mr. Fairfax on Friday faced a second assault accusation in three days. On Saturday night, Mr. Fairfax called on the F.B.I. to investigate the allegations, and asked that “no one rush to judgment” and for “due process.” But he is now under intense pressure to resign or face impeachment, transforming what had been a crisis for Virginia Democrats into a searing dilemma for the national party.
The political turmoil for Democratic leaders this weekend is unfolding at the intersection of race and gender, and risks pitting the party’s most pivotal constituencies against one another. If Democrats do not oust Mr. Fairfax, at a time when the party has taken a zero-tolerance stand on sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, they could anger female voters.