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Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:24 PM

Not Excusing Northam, but I Have A Question

Is there any way a Dem with a tainted history can absolve him/herself? In your opinion, what does it take? What does it look like?

For example, suppose Northam had apologized for his past racist behavior before running. Would that have made a difference? From what some here at DU are posting, it seems like this would have made all the difference in the world. And that brings up another question. Does a candidate need to fully disclose every occurrence of racist/homophobic/misogynist behavior, or does a single, blanket statement cover it?

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Not Excusing Northam, but I Have A Question (Original post)
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 OP
uponit7771 Feb 2019 #1
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 #5
malaise Feb 2019 #18
riversedge Feb 2019 #26
Baltimike Feb 2019 #28
riversedge Feb 2019 #39
Docreed2003 Feb 2019 #30
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 #31
Docreed2003 Feb 2019 #32
MadDAsHell Feb 2019 #2
tymorial Feb 2019 #29
MadDAsHell Feb 2019 #40
oberliner Feb 2019 #3
underpants Feb 2019 #6
EffieBlack Feb 2019 #10
oberliner Feb 2019 #11
MaryMagdaline Feb 2019 #16
whathehell Feb 2019 #33
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 #13
garagedoor Feb 2019 #4
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 #17
garagedoor Feb 2019 #20
guillaumeb Feb 2019 #7
EffieBlack Feb 2019 #8
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 #15
spicysista Feb 2019 #9
Ms. Toad Feb 2019 #22
spicysista Feb 2019 #23
Ms. Toad Feb 2019 #35
spicysista Feb 2019 #36
Ms. Toad Feb 2019 #37
spicysista Feb 2019 #38
WhiskeyGrinder Feb 2019 #12
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 #19
MineralMan Feb 2019 #14
Buckeyeblue Feb 2019 #21
ProudLib72 Feb 2019 #24
whathehell Feb 2019 #34
X_Digger Feb 2019 #41
whathehell Feb 2019 #42
pnwmom Feb 2019 #25
elleng Feb 2019 #27

Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:25 PM

1. NAACP President - Northam should've disclosed past to everyone and not had a gotcha moment. The sin

... in Northams actions isn't just some crap 30 years ago its not coming forth about it before hand.

Where was the democratic background checks?

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:31 PM

5. I think Effie had a good point about his campaign team failing on this account

Their job being to dig up any skeletons in the closet, shed light on them, and put forth statements of apology before their candidate runs.

So the fact that no one on his team did this suggests that either a) he was not forthcoming b) he didn't think his past behavior was reprehensible or c) they did not do a good job grilling him.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 02:43 PM

18. THIS! n/t

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Response to malaise (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:23 PM

26. The opposition reseach failed also.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #26)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:36 PM

28. For that matter, so did the Lt. Gov's people, or else why did he agree

to be his running mate?

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 09:47 PM

39. Good point.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:40 PM

30. I think he knew and I think they knew

No way this wasn't known early on in his vetting process. I just don't buy that this wasn't known or remembered.

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:47 PM

31. I totally buy that it wasn't remembered (as something that was abhorrent)

I buy that it was remembered as "just a silly, stupid thing he did", nothing else to say about, time to move on. And that's part of the problem: he and his team did not recognize how appalling the behavior was.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:50 PM

32. That's very true too

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:27 PM

2. No, you cannot absolve yourself. You make a racist comment or action, you are a racist. Period.

 

There's no gradient, no going back. We will shun and silence you. Permanently.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:40 PM

29. So Johnson and Byrd should be shunned?

Kennedy? It doesnt matter they eventually changed and had a positive impact on our country? It doesnt matter that they apologized later in life for the actions they held previously?

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Response to tymorial (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 01:01 AM

40. Absolutely they should be shunned. No, you cannot "fix" being a racist. Nt

 

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:28 PM

3. What about addressing it before it comes out?

 

If he had acknowledged the existence of the photo when he first got into politics and talked about how awful it was and how much he has learned and grown since then, perhaps the reaction would be different.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:31 PM

6. No they'd still bring it up

He probably wouldn't have been nurtured as a gubernatorial prospect by Tim Kaine but look at how Robert Byrd is still hounded in death regardless of him apologizing for his past. Ted Kennedy. They get one thing and drill it in.

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Response to underpants (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:37 PM

10. No, that's not quite true.

Yes, some people will bring it up. But as the examples you mention demonstrate, it is possible to continue on, have a very meaningful career with the full support of black voters.

Even George Wallace found some redemption in his later years and received strong support from black voters.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:40 PM

11. Great point

 

I think the key is to get ahead of anything like this very early on. Admit to one's past mistakes before they come out. Take responsibility for one's actions and then let the voters decide.

The whole waiting for something to become public and then apologizing for it is not good form, to say the least.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 02:08 PM

16. Unfortunately I think Northam is still arrogant

That part of his personality never changed. He cannot even admit to it today.

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Response to underpants (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:52 PM

33. I never saw or heard Democrats attack him for his past..

only idiot Republicans (some 50 -60 years after he renounced his racist past).

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Response to oberliner (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:41 PM

13. I don't disagree with you

What about in the context of Franken's pic fake grabbing Tweeden's boobs? Is this different since he was an entertainer who had taken who knows how many pics with people?

The question I'm getting at here is, What if you simply don't remember (as I believe was the case with Franken)? Is there a scale of reprehensible behavior, Northam's being at the "worse" end and Franken's being somewhere in the middle?

Again, I'm definitely not excusing Northam's behavior. I do think that it would have been different if he had stated he had done some racist things in the past (not needing to cite the pic in question, just giving a blanket statement).

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:30 PM

4. Had he talked about his images or

more importantly, his mindset of the past early in his political career it would have informed the electorate. That is what is important along with moral character - informing people what type of person you are, all of it, warts and all.

People are really acting as though EVERYONE has a racist or misogynistic photo or actions depicting such sentiments. Really?? I know a lot of people due to my career and past political family and no, there are NOT that many people alive today who were or are racist or coddled racism. Call me a Pollyanna, but the majority of those people have shuffled of this mortal coil.

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Response to garagedoor (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 02:39 PM

17. Is his present mindset similar to his past mindset?

I'm beginning to see that it is. That precluded any attempt to apologize for his behavior when he was running.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 02:50 PM

20. As my 7 year old little cousin would say

"Welp, there you go!"

Northam is acting a little "squirrelly" today. You know the old saying for politicians in trouble, "when you are in a hole, stop digging."

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:31 PM

7. Recommended, and an excellent question.

No one is perfect, but letting people know of the past behavior in advance allows the voters to decide if it makes a difference to them.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:35 PM

8. He could have brought it up himself, expressed shame for it, talked about how he evolved and grew

and became the person he is today. He could have made himself a living example of racial reconciliation.

And let's be clear - this is not a simple case of "racist/homophobic/misogynist behavior." This goes far beyond that. This was a man who went out of his way to engage in behavior that is so racist and reprehensible that cannot be explained away as one thing. It evidences a mindset that requires much more than a "my bad."

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:48 PM

15. I think we may be getting at the crux of the issue here

He can say that he had no recollection of the picture. That in itself is understandable. The problem is that his belief system at the time informed his behavior. If he does not understand that his (hopefully) previously held beliefs constitute a real danger, then he definitely should not be in office. If he does not understand that, then he has not evolved and grown.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:37 PM

9. ...

If a spouse cheats, would the faithful partner feel different if the deed was confessed or discovered? No one expects perfection (especially from a southern male over a certain age). All of us have a past. The difference is in how we own that past. By not admitting or getting out in front of something that was so blatant, it would seem that it is a past that has not been dealt with.

This nation was founded in many sins that have not yet been settled. The best way to move forward is to deal with your (not you, the offender in this scenario) personal shit. Take responsibility by proactively talking about your past, how you've grown, and learned from that past. You should also actively be a part of restoration and seek understanding by listening to the hurt party.

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Response to spicysista (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:03 PM

22. Ask Hillary Clinton.

If that is the standard by which you are measuring, then Northrup is currently in the same position as Bill Clinton - his bad deeds disclosed to Hillary Clinton by discovery, not confession.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:12 PM

23. My standard of measurment is this.....

Has the person in question done the following: dealt with their personal issues, proactively talked (been candid) about their past, and taken steps prescribed by the offended party to make it better.

"The best way to move forward is to deal with your (not you, the offender in this scenario) personal shit. Take responsibility by proactively talking about your past, how you've grown, and learned from that past. You should also actively be a part of restoration and seek understanding by listening to the hurt party."


What has or hasn't happened between Hillary and Bill have nothing to do with this. That "one on one" between spouses is something I am not going to make a judgment about.... ever. This is why it was posed as a question.

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Response to spicysista (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 04:04 PM

35. You raised the issue of a spouse and infidelity. All I did was to respond to it.


If a spouse cheats, would the faithful partner feel different if the deed was confessed or discovered?

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 04:06 PM

36. Right, not to a specific couple or example.... as a rhetorical device.

Again, this is why it was posed as a question. No names were mentioned. No details in reference to anyone in particular.

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Response to spicysista (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 04:10 PM

37. When you use a rhetorical device as a means of illustrating the point that disclosure is better

than discovery, you should expect at least some people to make the immediate association with the prominent Democrat who both survived and did not end up divorced when the infidelity was discovered, rather than disclosed.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 04:17 PM

38. Oh I see the error....

You think that I'm making the statement that "disclosure is better than discovery". No, I am asking if disclosure is better than discovery. I do not know. I have known couples that come down on either side. Since I can not relate to such a scenario personally, I was asking the question.
Would it have made a difference one way or another? Does it hurt more or less? I have no idea. I do know that the "sin" of the matter is the same in either case. Some things are disqualifying. Period.

My prescription still stands. Once caught or at the point of confession, come clean. Leave nothing on the table. Tell how you've changed and then ask what you could do (if anything) moving forward.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:41 PM

12. It depends.

For Northam, at this point, resignation is the only thing that works for me. He was elected by people who didn't know this was in his past.

Does a candidate need to fully disclose every occurrence of racist/homophobic/misogynist behavior, or does a single, blanket statement cover it?


This is a conversation every candidate should have with their campaign team. They need to go over every skeleton in their closet and have a plan to mitigate it if it comes out, OR get ahead of it by disclosing it and highlighting how they have worked to undo the harm the original incident caused.

And honestly, it would take a lot to mitigate it. Maybe something like, "This photo is coming out, I'm deeply sorry for the pain it will cause when my supporters, particularly the black community, become aware of it. Six months after it was taken, a friend of mine saw the yearbook and talked to me about how hurtful it was. I started looking into the white supremacy that our healthcare system is built on, and joined a research team that quantified how much race affects the kind of care people get. This work inspired me to run for state senate, where I introduced Bills X, Y and Z, influenced by that research." But I am sure a black person could get at the details better than I could, and their voices should be centered in what these needs might be.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 02:43 PM

19. I don't see the humility and ownership in his actual statements

The tone of your "statement" is much, much better than the ones he released.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:44 PM

14. That's a question each candidate must ask and answer for him or herself.

All too often, candidates just hope bad behavior in the past doesn't get exposed, and go on and run anyhow. That's the problem.

Frankly, I want all Democratic candidates to be people of strong, positive character. That's what I expect of them. Sadly, I'm too often disappointed.

Every candidate should look at his or her past closely, and measure his or her own character carefully. If there's something in the past that might prevent getting elected, the appropriate thing is to decide whether to run. Every candidate should assume that past behavior will come out if it is negative. If such behavior would prevent getting elected, perhaps not running is the best choice.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 02:57 PM

21. So did he forget about this picture or intentionally not mention it?

Or did he not know about it? I think his initial reaction yesterday was about as bad as it gets. If he truly didn't remember the picture or think it was him, he should have said so.

I think it's quite possible that he has never seen the yearbook.

But if it is him, he should move on.

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Response to Buckeyeblue (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:15 PM

24. Kind of weaselly

That's what makes him suspect in my book.

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Response to Buckeyeblue (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:58 PM

34. I very much doubt he "forgot" about the picture -- We are talking

1984 here, not 1954.

..

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Response to whathehell (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 01:32 AM

41. I have no idea what pictures of me exist in my high school yearbook from 1987.

I envy your (apparent) memory.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 03:21 AM

42. You are not, I presume, running for governor

in a southern state on a democratic ticket -- Makes all the difference.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:21 PM

25. I'm in favor of full disclosure. If the person has a long history of such behavior, then find

some other career. What may have been excusable in Robert Byrd's time was NOT okay in 1984 Virginia.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:33 PM

27. Not a direct answer, but think of Senator Robert Byrd of WV.

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