We’ve touched on this subject previously, but a recent article by Matt Viser in the Washington Post has brought more attention to it. He examines the new “zero tolerance” policy among Democrats when it comes to how they handle members of their own party who are found (or at least suspected) to be engaging in racism, sexism, or any other ism that comes to mind. The current conversation deals with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and his alleged, now-infamous blackface/KKK photo from his medical school yearbook.
Democrats have adopted a zero-tolerance policy in the age of Trump, working with almost laserlike precision to oust the president and shedding any perceived obstacle to defeating him in 2020. And while President Trump has stretched the limits of what Republicans can say and do with impunity, he has limited what Democrats are willing to sweep aside among their own ranks.
“We’re in a new era, a new age,” said Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina state lawmaker who is African American. “Would we have moved as fast if Hillary Clinton were president? I don’t know.”
But there is also a quieter concern that the party has come to react too quickly. Some of Franken’s supporters are still bitter over how the end of his career played out, and several senators have said they regretted pushing him to leave office.
I agree that they mounted an offense against Northam in record time and the pace of denunciations has certainly picked up since Al Franken’s fall from grace. But we shouldn’t pretend that this zero-tolerance policy is actually set at zero for everyone. I recently wrote about the lack of calls for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax to resign after a woman accused him of sexual assault. But it’s not just the media. There have been essentially zero high-profile Democrats calling on him to resign, despite the fact that this woman’s allegations are arguably stronger than the ones Christine Blasey Ford brought against Brett Kavanaugh. (Allahpundit had a great breakdown of why that’s the case.)
This uneven bar for denouncement and protest isn’t confined to politics, by the way. Liberals are all running with a default assumption that Donald Trump is not just a racist, but a sexist, a homophobe and every other name in the book. As a result, many want to see his speeches and rallies on the boycott list until they can figure out a way to impeach him.
But out in Hollywood, it’s a different matter. The #MeToo movement certainly took down a lot of sexual assault perpetrators, but what about the sexist history of the entertainment industry? That’s the place where women were not only sexually harassed as part of the terms of employment, but female leads were found to be getting paid vastly less than their male counterparts when they did manage to land a starring role. And then there was the whole #OscarsSoWhite thing. But do you see many of those left coast liberals driving boycotts of the big awards shows?
Democrats are coming down hard on perceived bad actors in their own ranks primarily so they can claim to still hold the high ground when they go after Donald Trump. But when you look closely, you’ll see it’s not a hard and fast rule. There are plenty of exceptions made for “the right sort” of people or organizations. And not to put too fine of a point on it, but while the Democrats are crowing loudly about racism, sexism and homophobia, you don’t hear much out of them about antisemitism in their own ranks, do you?