NYTimes’ Brooks on Virginia Turmoil: ‘Maybe We Should Have Only Women Leading’

Friday on PBS’s “NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks sounded off on the turmoil in Virginia regarding the state’s top elected officials, focusing on Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D-VA) and Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA).

Brooks suggested that perhaps maybe women should be leading the way in some cases.

“Men turn out to be a problem,” Brooks said. “There’s a lot of male bad behavior. Maybe we should have only women leading our states. That might solve these problems. I think there are two different cases here. The Fairfax case, the Justin Fairfax case, is suddenly looking to be the much more serious of the two to me, that there’s multiple — two women making allegations, with some suggestion that there is contemporaneous evidence, that he assaulted them. And so that, to me, it turns out, is the most serious one to me. I would say he’s in the post peril. He might have done an actual crime. So, there, I think — I’m always very slow to call for resignations. It makes everybody feel good. But I really believe in investigating. And so somebody should be investigating that one.”

“On the Northam case, you know, what he does — we spoke about it briefly, because the news had just broken last week — that what he did was appalling and hateful,” he continued. “And yet I do think, in a lot of these cases, that there should be some path to redemption. And that path should involve an apology. It should involve a lifetime or decades or years of service in the cause. And Northam, frankly, his record on civil rights is quite good. And so whatever hateful thing he may or may not have done as a med student, it’s not evident in his adult behavior. And I do think that that mitigates toward some sense of leniency. Then maybe he can spend the rest of his governorship continuing good work, heightened because of what he did as a young man. So, to me, to throw — to destroy a reasonably good career, whether you — for — over this thing is probably not — we do not have a surplus of good people in public life. When I mentioned the road to redemption, frankly, to be honest, it’s not white people who have the — who are in the position to offer forgiveness.”

“The African-American community is the one that was wronged by this,” Brooks added. “And so it’s trying to work with them and sort of humble oneself before them that I think is the ultimate court here. And that would be a good role for any governor in any state to do something like that.”

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