Now here’s a headline: “Blackface, sexual assault scandals don’t appear to have tarnished Virginia’s image,” the Washington Post declared on March 3.  The story referred to controversies surrounding each of the commonwealth’s three top statewide officials—all of them Democrats.  Gov. Ralph Northam came under pressure to resign after the conservative website Big League Politics discovered that Northam’s pages in his 1984 medical-school yearbook included a photograph of a man in blackface standing next to one in a Klan outfit.  Northam scrambled to apologize at first, then claimed that he was not actually either of the men in the picture, but admitted that he had indeed worn blackface once when impersonating Michael Jackson for a dance contest.  Northam refused to resign, but Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax, a black man himself, had every reason to think he would soon be in the governor’s mansion.  Until, that is, two women came forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault—accusations he denied and that he claimed were somehow stirred up by Northam in an attempt to stay in office.

This might have left the number-three state official, Attorney Gen. Mark Herring, measuring drapes ahead of his surefire rise to the top spot, except that Herring also had an embarrassing blackface story, this one involving an impression of 1980’s rapper Kurtis Blow.  Perhaps the three Democrats should just settle their differences with a celebrity costume contest—minus the makeup, of course.

But no: These politicians, their allies, and the left-wing ideologues who affect to be the keepers of the nation’s conscience (to say nothing of the Old Dominion’s) are at one another’s throats.  The First Lady, who had the good sense to tell her husband not to “moonwalk” at his press conference admitting to his Jackson act, has also been drawn into the flames.  She was condemned for giving black children pieces of cotton plant to touch when they toured the governor’s mansion; she asked them to imagine what it was like to pick the stuff as a slave.  A first lady can’t exactly resign, however, so her apology had to suffice.  And as damaging as the flap might have been to her husband, it was hardly enough to efface the alleged sex crimes of his lieutenant and rival.

The Commonwealth of Virginia markets itself nowadays as a hip, high-tech, postmodern place—the kind of place where Amazon wants to build its second corporate headquarters.  The growth of the federal government and its suburbs in Northern Virginia has tipped the state completely into the “blue” electoral column where statewide offices are concerned, not only those occupied by Northam, Fairfax, and Herring, but also the U.S. Senate seats held by Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.  Maryland, which is also a federal colony, does have a Republican governor, albeit a notably squishy one.  But in part that’s because the Maryland Republican Party was already so close to the Democrats that the partisan label matters little.  Virginia still has some conservative Republicans, who for the most part have been badly led for a generation.  So an increasingly blue Virginia reliably elects Democrats at the state level.  And the private employers attracted to the state are increasingly of the sort whose corporate culture only intensifies the drift to the left—Amazon being Exhibit A.

Virginia’s marketing gurus therefore had a lot to fear in the uncertainty swirling around Northam, Fairfax, and Herring.  But the Washington Post, owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, says the scandals all amount to nothing:

The controversies had brief—though intense—impact but do not seem to have dampened interest in working in Virginia, or investing or studying there, according to business executives, university leaders and recruiters.

The episode is revealing, not just of the left’s hypocrisies but of its priorities as well.  Northam appeared to be doomed before the claims against Fairfax came to light; but now, despite further gaffes on his part (and his wife’s), he is safe.  Why?  Because if he resigned over his racial insensitivity, Herring might have to do so as well, and if the sex allegations bring down Fairfax, that would leave the Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates to assume the governorship.  Partisanship and power trump moral outrage in the end.  But just try to imagine what would be happening if these three compromised officials were Republicans instead—would the left really let these affairs blow over?

Of course not.  The double standard here, which the media enforce even more than the Democratic Party itself does, is well known.  Beyond that, however, what’s striking is the loss of all moral proportion: Is a decades-old misbegotten attempt at looking like Michael Jackson or Kurtis Blow, insensitive though it may be, really an offense that calls for political seppuku?  No one has argued that Northam’s or Herring’s actions in office have been aimed at harming blacks or advancing racism.  The Klansman-and-blackface photo in Northam’s yearbook is worse than a Michael Jackson act and was tasteless enough even in 1984.  It’s something voters would hold against him if Northam ever sought office again.  But whether it has enough to do with his job performance today to merit a resignation is doubtful, to say the least.

Yet Northam certainly should resign over a bigger scandal that has received far less ongoing attention for the most obvious of ideological reasons.  Northam’s yearbook secret came to light because a medical-school classmate was incensed by the governor’s support for a bill legalizing late-term abortion (to go into effect should the Roe regime be overturned).  Northam took the airwaves to say on WTOP that, in some late-term abortions,

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.

For Democrats and the media, episodes of blackface from over 30 years ago merit continuing coverage and worry about damage to Virginia’s reputation—but infanticide does not.  Blackface matters, but black infant lives (among others) evidently do not.