Northam's college roommate: That wasn't him in the photo (and what about those plaid pants?)

WWBT in Richmond spoke to Ralph Northam’s medical school roommate about the Halloween party in 1984 where Northam, or someone, dressed in blackface. According to Rob Marsh, a military doctor whose actions were portrayed in the book Black Hawk Down, Northam dressed up as an attorney in a three-piece suit for that party.

Marsh says he first found out about the photo on Friday – with everyone else in the country.

“I was at the Halloween party the governor went to and I know what he was wearing exactly,” Marsh explained.

Marsh said Northam’s costume was supposed to be that of an attorney.

“Ralph comes out and I remember he was dressed in a three-piece suit and he had a briefcase,” Marsh confirmed.

Marsh says he’s sure the person in the photo isn’t Northam but claims he doesn’t know who it is and seemingly doesn’t recall anyone wearing that outfit or the KKK costume to the party. Marsh has remained friends with Northam and has been in touch with him since the photo was published last Friday.

So you could say this is an old friend backing up his buddy after talking to him, but I’d be hesitant to call Rob Marsh a liar after reading a bit about him. So does this mean Northam really isn’t the guy in blackface? On that point, another photo from the medical school yearbook began to circulate online over the weekend. It shows Ralph Northam and a few other guys who were part of some group at the school. And it looks like one of the guys, who is clearly not Ralph Northam, was wearing the same plaid pants seen in the blackface photo:

Those do look like the same pants but Northam is the guy on the left in the plaid shirt, not the one in the plaid pants:

So does that prove Northam is not the guy in blackface? I’ve seen some people online saying the pants aren’t identical and others saying the guy wearing the pants in both photos is Northam, so not everyone agrees about what this shows. My take is that Northam is not the guy in the plaid pants in the group photo but he clearly knew that guy. I guess if those two knew each other they could have shared pants for a costume party, but as it stands you’d have to say it’s at least possible the guy in the plaid pants in the photo on the left is also the guy in blackface on the right. Even the hair sort of looks similar to me. I’m not saying it’s conclusive but it’s a piece of evidence that seems to point toward someone other than Northam.

The video report featuring Northam’s college roommate isn’t embeddable so you’ll have to click here for that. I think the evidence at the moment is pointing toward the guy in blackface being someone else which means, incredible as it seems, Northam might be telling the truth about not being in the photo even though he said it was him last week. And as I said over the weekend, if that’s true then I hate to see the mob claim his scalp even though I do not like his politics. Over at National Review, Charles Cooke argues that maybe we should let the left eat their own as part of the partisan circle of life. He says this even though it’s not at all clear to Cooke this should be a firing offense even if it’s true:

The rules that would save Northam are those that are coveted by a conservative libertarian guy who loathes mobs, who believes broadly in redemption, and who resents the relentless flattening of categories that social media renders quotidian. They are not the rules by which the contemporary Democratic party lives. They are not the rules cherished by the progressive movement that is at present ascendant within that party. And, judging by his disgraceful behavior during the 2017 gubernatorial election, they are not the rules by which Ralph Northam plays, either. Surely, that has to matter? Again: I think that there is a creditable case against Northam’s resigning — or, at least, I think that there was before he muddied the waters. Whatever his past mistakes, he is quite obviously not a white supremacist, and, whatever the hell he was doing in college, he quite obviously is not that man today. But, again: I am not of his party. I haven’t taken its money, accepted its votes, or sought to inflict its Catechism. If our politics are to work, there have to be some consequences to signing on to an agenda, to a worldview, to an outlook, to a set of tactics, as Northam has — and those consequences can’t just be reserved for the other party.

This is the “these are their rules” response I wrote about over the weekend. My response is this: The truth should always matter. At Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing there were plenty of people on the left who wanted Kavanugh’s scalp. The right, collectively, refused to let the left-wing mob tear him apart without solid evidence he’d done the things he was accused of doing. The evidence to condemn him never materialized and so he was ultimately confirmed. The SJW mob was furious and still is, of course, but the principle that the facts matter was reinforced. And that’s a good thing for all of us.

The same should be true for Northam. If he’s lying about the photo, he has disqualified himself and deserves whatever he gets. But if the proof just isn’t there, then we need to tell the SJW mob to go to hell. I think that’s true even if Northam was a card-carrying member of the same mob 4 days ago. Because this is about more than one Democratic Governor. If we abandon the facts in this case, it hurts all of us in every future instance where the mob swings into action and we’re left wishing the facts still mattered more than SJW group-think.

It may be too late for it to matter for Northam. There are so many people calling for Northam’s resignation now that I’m not sure you can roll back that tide unless someone comes forward and says “that was me in blackface in that photo.” Even then, Northam has already admitted he dressed in blackface for another event so his innocence is relative. But I’m sure of one thing. The worst case scenario here is for the mob to win even when the facts don’t back them up.