Ethics Dunce: Virginia Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidate Ralph Northam

Democratic Party candidate Ralph Northam cannot possibly lose the Virginia Lieutenant Governor race today; in fact, he should win by a landslide. His Republican opponent, African-American minister E. W. Jackson, is so conservative he makes his running mate, gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, look like Saul Alinsky, and I’m only exaggerating a little bit. From the pulpit, he has made statements that sound like they were ghosted by Pat Robertson in one of his crazy moods, like when he seemed to be suggesting that children with birth defects were being punished for their parents sins. Jackson doesn’t believe in evolution, thinks that government programs have done more harm to blacks than slavery, and could fairly be described as homophobic.

Still, he is a citizen, a candidate and a human being, so when he offered his hand to his soon-to-be victorious opponent Northam following a TV debate, there was only one decent, civil, ethical, statesmanlike response for Northam: take it, and shake it. That is traditional, civilized, and polite, and for Northam to do what he chose to do instead—ignore Jackson and his hand and snub the Republican, refusing even to look him in the eye—on live TV, no less!— shows him to be an arrogant, unmannered, uncivil jerk of the breed that has brought American politics, government and discourse to a new low.

This gave Republicans a rare chance to play the race card for a change, so naturally, they grabbed it: Breitbart got Dr. Alveda King, the outcast (she’s conservative, you see) niece of Martin Luther King to say in part,

“I was saddened to learn today that Lt. Gov. candidate Ralph Northam refused to shake the hands of his opponent E.W. Jackson at the end of a television debate.  I am deeply burdened by the loss of civility in politics today….Refusing to shake hands with your opponent in front of a television audience takes the loss of civility to a new low. I would hope that his refusal to shake hands had nothing to do with the color of his opponent’s skin.”

Well played, Ms. King. I think it’s fair to say that the race comment is a cheap shot, but a cheap shot that would have been applied universally by the media and Democrats had the white candidate refusing to shake the black candidate’s hand in Ol’ Virginny been the Republican in the race. Conservatives, after all, are presumed to be racially prejudiced. I doubt that Northam’s snub had anything to do with Jackson’s race.

I think it had everything to do with the fact that Northam’s an ethics dunce, and a massive jerk. He owes Jackson an apology, but since the only media that is bothering to carry this story are conservative sources—a white Democratic candidate defying basic rules of civility and decency after a debate isn’t newsworthy, is it? I mean, not if you want him to win? And do opponents of gay marriage really deserve any courtesy?—the incident will be forgotten and ignored.  Northam will probably be getting back-slaps from right-thinking progressives. Nice work, Ralph! I guess you showed him!

(Pardon while I restrain my rising gorge..)

Ralph certainly showed me. He showed me that as little as I care for the positions and beliefs of Rev. E.W. Jackson, he’d be welcome in my home as a guest any time, because he is a gentleman, and understands respect, dignity, process, civility, and the Golden Rule. Ralph Northam is not and understands none of these things. Stay away, Ralph.

I will be writing my dog’s name  on the Virginia ballot for BOTH Virginia Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Based on what we know of the four candidates, sensible Virginians should hope for a double victory by the little Jack Russell terrier from Alexandria.



Rugby Marshall


Virginia Governor


Lieutenant Governor

“He’s every Virginian’s Friend…

And he’ll work like a dog!”


Sources: The Blaze, Breitbart, Opposing Views

24 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Virginia Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidate Ralph Northam

  1. I think you should give Cuccinelli a closer look. A write-in only gives the office to Terry McAuliffe – who strikes me as little more than a bought-and-paid-for stooge of Michael Bloomberg and the Clintons.

    • He is that. I’ve looked at Cuccinelli enough, thanks. He’s nuts, I’m afraid. And not a lot better on the gifts issue than Gov. Bob. Horrible, horrible choice. I’m very serious about my dog.

      Here was KC’s actual interview about rats that got him in trouble:

      Cuccinelli: Well, I saw the same rat story about D.C. that y’all have been talking about. What you may not know is that last year, in its finite wisdom, the D.C. City Council passed a new law, or a triumph of animal rights over human health, where those pest control people you suggested they bring in aren’t allowed to kill the rats. They have to relocate the rats and not only that — that’s actually not the worst part — they cannot break up the families of the rats. Now, as actual experts in pest control will tell you, if you don’t move an animal at least 25 miles, it’ll come back. And so what’s the solution to that? Well, cross a river.

      Host: Send ‘em over to Virginia, that’s right.

      Cuccinelli: Guess why I care about that sort of thing?

      Host: I bet.

      Cuccinelli: Anyway, it is worse than our immigration policy — you can’t break up rat families. Or raccoons or all the rest and you can’t even kill them. It’s unbelievable.

      Was he actually making rats into a metaphor for illegal immigrants? The Post Factchecker said he wasn’t, but even if so (and I’m not sure) he’s an idiot to talk like this about rats and even mention immigration. I don’t vote for idiots:

      • Are there no real third-party candidates running? I would vote for the Democrat. He won’t be in office long — I’m sure he’ll be indicted within the year — and then you can vote in a new election!

        • There is a libertarian, who just today was outed as a likely Democratic operative funded to split the conservative vote. I hope that’s not true, but McAulliffe had a history of that kind of crap when he was DNC chair.

          This is EXACTLY the kind of race we were arguing about a few months ago. A completely unethical hack-sleezeball whose view may be palatable, vs. a wild-eyed ideologue who is probably more honest, but off the charts.

          • I’ll probably be moving back to No. VA in the next few years, but today I am glad to be in MD so I don’t have to participate in this fiasco.

            • Funny… I just recently LEFT VA, for MD, and thanked whatever deities there are for it when I saw who was running for VA governor.

          • This is EXACTLY the kind of race we were arguing about a few months ago. A completely unethical hack-sleezeball whose view may be palatable, vs. a wild-eyed ideologue who is probably more honest, but off the charts.

            Bad choices but in this day and age honest is in short supply. Anything less then that has to be unpalatble because you have no idea what they might do.

  2. I’ll never forget the first time someone refused to shake my hand after a disagreement in relative privacy. In my case I was fortunate enough to return the snub later, with an audience, in a moment of high honor for me that he was sponging off of. For such a minor snub, it really hits deep, and I instantly have a precipitous drop in respect for anyone who does it.

    Oh, and rather than spreading your dog too thin, I propose a certain hound mix of my acquaintance as Lt Governor- he’s got that country charm to balance the ticket, plus he’s a different color 😀

  3. “(Pardon while I retrain my rising gorge..)”

    What will you be retraining it to do? Does this have anything to do with Rugby?

  4. Sad that good ol southern manners have escaped the once lovely state of Virginia. Gosh we all have wished for a man or even a woman of dark skin to be able to speak to the people from a real pulpit….I see nothing wrong with anyone using their opinion in stating “thinks that government programs have done more harm to blacks than slavery”…’cause the way I see it, it is very true. Personally I am so disgusted with anyone who carries the word “Democrat” behind their name or even in front of it makes me violently ill. Not to be civil and shake hands shows no class either!

    Good luck to Virginia…..if it goes to the DemocRATS….you won’t be able to hunt squirrels for supper.

    • You cannot possibly believe that government programs are worse than slavery. That kind of hyperbole just demeans and trivializes a thousand years of horror. Why do people even say things like this? It can only be callous, irresponsible, inarticulate or ignorant—there is no factual or even metaphorical basis on which to make such a claim. Until a government program comes along that steals babies from mothers and sells them to homes where they’ll be chained and beaten, while the mother is raped daily on threat of death, and the father can be killed at will without severe penalty, then such a claim is nonsense.

      • The Anti-Government faction will say anything to demean FDR’s Progressive legacy.

        Claim that Welfare keeps people from looking for work in a Recession, when there are 11 people looking for every job opening?


        Claim that government programs that keep poor children from going to bed hungry are worse than Slavery?


        If only they realized that this crazy talk makes them more enemies than friends… but then, Radicals often can’t think strategically.

        That takes a cool head and an objective mind.

  5. Thirty years ago my father-in-law’s standard voting policy was “throw the bums out.” It’s sounding more and more like a smart idea. The problem is only bums run.

  6. Well, it’s funny, but I do have a handshake story of my own.

    I was Interning at a College with a somewhat conservative bent…

    Just about to graduate with a degree in Robotics.

    And who shows up for the Spring Mud Run but Fred Upton.

    I was unfortunately out front with the hot dog team when Upton popped in.

    He didn’t actually go INSIDE, he just stopped and shook hands.

    And after a moment, I realized I was trapped.

    So I shook his hand, despite disagreeing with his politics.

    But I’ll tell you this; if I was at a Debate with a crazy Right Winger who held homophobic positions and insisted that babies born with birth defects were being punished for the sins of their parents, I would have spit on the ground rather than shake his hand.

    Those kind of nuts haven’t earned Civil treatment.

    Oh, and by the way…

    Complete lie about trapping rats being illegal. They’re exempted from the law on the FIRST PAGE.

    • “Those kind of nuts haven’t earned Civil treatment.”

      One doesn’t have to earn civil treatment, and one’s sincere beliefs don’t forfeit it. Back to class.

      I’m sure in this case it was correct, but find another Factcheck outfit, please, at least to cite here. PolitiFact is partisan, biased, and posing as objective when it isn’t. Example are legion.

      • Politifact sways to the Right several times a week, I’ll give you that.

        Oh. You were probably suggesting the reverse.

        No, sorry. And of course, we have two other major fact-checkers, and they act to keep each other within bounds.

        As you might guess, I don’t trust Politifact unless I can verify their story. The last… five times I’ve done so, I found they were splitting hairs to appear objective, and only once was their opinion dead on.

        “One doesn’t have to earn civil treatment, and one’s sincere beliefs don’t forfeit it. ”

        There was a certain Austrian house painter who had “sincere beliefs” once… what was his name, now…

        Do you suppose all the people who were in lynch mobs held “sincere beliefs” ?

        When someone turns away from rationality, and starts promoting discrimination against a group of law-abiding citizens, that’s the first step toward a lynch mob.

        • 1. One of the rare examples where Godwin’s Law is appropriate. You do know you are confounding criminal conduct with beliefs, right? I hope so. Stop it.

          2. Just for you, I’ll post later on a typical PolitiFact deceit (if you think this famously left-leaning service leans right, you have revealed all I need to know where you lie on the political spectrum—so far left that moderates look like “wing nuts.” Good to know. But it is a cognitive handicap.

          3. You mean like refusing to extend the ancient gesture of non-harm and aggression, the hand shake, because of stated political or religious views you disagree with? Yes, that’s the first step, all right.

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