Not even Lemony Snicket could have predicted the series of unfortunate events that would unfold for Virginia Democrats — and Twitter has been eating the drama up.
In just the last week, Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) launched a national outrage over late-term abortion that prompted a former classmate to drag out a copy of a Northam’s yearbook page that featured a racist picture of two men dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and blackface. Northam denied that he was in the pictures, but admitted to impersonating Michael Jackson in blackface.
Despite calls for his resignation, he hasn’t left office. If he were to leave office, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax would take his place.
Fairfax, however, is facing accusations of sexual assault. He has told reporters that he believes Northam, or someone from his team, leaked the allegations to protect Northam. In response to the allegations, Fairfax reportedly brushed them off, saying, “f**k that b**ch.”
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) February 6, 2019
There haven’t been as many calls for Fairfax’s resignation, but the allegations also haven’t been fully investigated. If Northam resigned, and then Fairfax resigned, Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.) would be next in line for governor.
Herring, however, also admitted to wearing blackface. While Northam claimed he was impersonating Michael Jackson, Herring said he was dressed as a rapper. He has apologized for his actions, but many see this as problematic as Northam’s photo.
So, if Northam resigns, and Fairfax resigns, and Herring resigns, the fourth person in line is the Republican Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox. In the House of Delegates in Virginia, Republicans have a one-vote majority, but even that has a story.
In 2018, a delegate race ended in a tie after two other recounts. With the balance of power in the House on the line. The Virginia Constitution requires the two candidates to put their name in a bowl and the victor is the name drawn. The Republican candidate David Yancy won and Republicans won control of the House.
Because Republicans got control, they nominated Cox to be the speaker, but Cox has his own issues. The district he was elected in was found to have unfair boundaries and his district lines have been struck down and redrawn in a way that’s favorable to Democrats.
Reid Wilson of The Hill summed it up in one tweet:
Current state of Virginia politics:
– Gov under siege
– Lt Gov under siege
– AG about to be under siege
– 4th in line, GOP House Speaker, holds his seat under district lines already struck down
– GOP only has majority b/c they won tie-breaking lot draw
— Reid Wilson (@PoliticsReid) February 6, 2019
All of this chaos has been nothing if not outrageously entertaining. Several have taken to Twitter to express their disbelief with the situation.
This story is ? ? https://t.co/TnfojnNxEW
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 6, 2019
We go live to the Virginia Democratic Party. pic.twitter.com/3iEBGGf8iy
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) February 6, 2019
God gave us Virginia Democrats because he loves us and wants us to be happy.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 6, 2019
Who will be the governor?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA? pic.twitter.com/oDJvt9Pczu
— Juliet Lapidos (@julietlapidos) February 6, 2019
virginia dems trying to find someone without skeletons pic.twitter.com/SEQOAgWChR
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) February 6, 2019
Are they all racist?
virginia was craaaazy in the ‘80s.
— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) February 6, 2019
In Virginia they must call it blackface history month.
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) February 6, 2019
What's going on in Virginia? Did they bust all the Democrats going to the same Klan meeting?
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) February 6, 2019
Did he really say “f**k that b**ch?”
Things are going really well over in Virginia https://t.co/6PIQaH79UD
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 6, 2019
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 6, 2019
“Believe all women” was a better slogan. https://t.co/EStbZzjHwd
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 6, 2019
How did this all happen?
Never forget: none of this would be happening in Virginia right now if Kathy Tran hadn't introduced a bill to legalize abortion all the way up until birth. A bill that was going nowhere in the statehouse. That's what made Northam's med-school classmate drop the dime on him.
— Esoteric Jeff (@EsotericCD) February 6, 2019
For now, it isn’t clear what is next for Virginia. Northam, Fairfax, and Herring haven’t shown signs that they are ready to leave, no matter how loud the calls get.