English: Photograph of Ralph Northam at Harbor...
English: Photograph of Ralph Northam at Harbor Park, Norfolk, Virginia, taken by me on 28 October 2008. Cropped using Picasa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. giving a speech
Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. giving a speech (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wish had had seen the whole thing, but the debate started at 7 PM and I did not get home until then. Of course my lady had had a difficult day, and she wanted to talk. So guess I only saw the last third of the debate.

In some ways what I saw of the debate was a disappointment. Because the Democrats largely own the news media and the special interests feeding off government spending are happy to finance their campaigns, Republican candidates always find themselves desperate for free media.  Thus, before accepting an offer to debate, Democrats always stack the deck in their own favor. And so it was.

  • Forum: George Mason University’s Founders Hall Auditorium, a university campus.
  • Moderater: WUSA’s Peggy Fox, a female reporter (gorgeous blonde, of course).

Why was a moderator necessary? Think about it. Did Stephen Douglas (Democratic Party) and Abraham Lincoln (Republican) need a debate moderator when they contested for a Senate seat in Illinois. NO! In the most important senatorial debates in our nation’s history, the Lincoln – Douglas Debates, Douglas and Lincoln debated each other seven times. They posed each other questions. Now? No modern Democrat politician would be caught dead without one of their PC protective Liberal news media political officers.

Of course, WUSA 9 immediately posted their own version of the debate, Virginia lieutenant governor debate. Hopefully, Jackson had enough sense to acquire the right to put a complete video of the debate on youtube.

Consider how GMU billed the event.

The candidates for Virginia’s lieutenant governor, E.W. Jackson (R) and Ralph Northam (D), square off in a live debate Tuesday, Sept. 24, at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus in Founders Hall Auditorium.

Jackson and Northam will focus on “The Fiscal Future of Virginia.” This is the first debate between the candidates and will be the only one held in Northern Virginia. (continued here)

As I said before, I only heard about a third of debate.  However, what I did hear left me caught between confused laughter and ribald disgust. The moderator, determined to get into those juicy social issues (that only Conservatives care about?), framed questions about same-sex marriage, abortion, gun rights, and Jackson’s supposedly extreme religious statements as fiscal issues. Of course, Fox also framed her questions so as to put Jackson on the defensive and Northam on the attack.

From what I saw Jackson acquitted himself well.  He did not backpedal; he just said he understood the difference between serving as the minister of a church and as the Lieutenant Governor.  He would respect the Constitution, serve all the people of Virginia,  and treat everyone with respect.

What the whole episode made obvious is the degree to which the Democrats and the news media will go to portray Jackson as an extremist on social issues. What is puzzling is why people still cannot see it is Democrats and the corporate news media who cannot stop talking about social issues, not Conservatives.

Moreover, it is Democrats and the corporate news media who are taking the extreme positions.  Consider.

  • According to Democrats, same-sex unions equate to marriages. How does that even make biological sense? Shhhhhh! Pointing out a self-evident impossibility, not the health hazards of sodomy, is now mean and extreme. In fact, Democrats insist they have the right to use the power of government to force We the People to recognize two people of the same sex as married.
  • According to Democrats, abortion is a right. Democrats insist that killing an unborn child is so much of right that taxpayers should be forced to finance this right and private charities and businesses should be forced to finance their employees’ abortions.  When our leaders think their job is to interfere with our freedom to put our religious beliefs into practice, that is not extreme? Tyranny is not extreme? Well, maybe the Democrats are right.  When tyranny is so commonplace in this world, maybe it is liberty that is extreme. Yet in America, it was different.
  • The 2nd Amendment says what it says, but Democrats have no problem ignoring what it says. Everyone knows that in the areas where the gun laws are strongest, the crime rates are highest. Nonetheless, Democrats still want to prohibit the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Why isn’t such stubborn stupidity considered extreme?
  • Democrats promote the belief that the Constitution is a “living document.” When self-serving politicians appoint judges willing to say the Constitution says things it does not say, is that not lying? In America, is oath-breaking no longer considered extreme behavior? Why not?

6 thoughts on “VIRGINIA’S LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DEBATE: E.W. Jackson Versus Ralph Northam

  1. I agree with your implicit point that these moderators are essentially unnecessary. There might be room for a sort of time-keeper/umpire to make sure that candidates stay within designated time limits and subject matters, but the moderator shouldn’t be a participant in the debate. The Lincoln/Douglas example is a good one. As your series on that has pointed out, they were each given time limits, and the guy who went first got to finish and rebut. They alternated the order of who went first. That’s how motions get argued in court. Both Lincoln and Douglas were skilled courtroom lawyers.

    There are some errors or misapprehensions in your summing up bullets, however. The same/sex union issue does not make civil unions the same as “marriages” in a religious sense, and I’ve never heard “Democrats” argue that as a matter of party policy. The debate has been whether the State itself can distinguish between a legal status conveyed to heterosexual, dual gender unions, as opposed to same sex unions. There is no doubt that religions can make that distinction if they so choose.

    I don’t think it is accurate to say the “everyone knows” that crime rates are highest where gun controls are strongest. There are a lot of layers in that subject, but probably the best place to start is that the question is whether gun crimes decline in areas of strong gun regulation. I suspect that in America, that issue is pretty hard to dice through, because there are so many guns already in circulation. However, there are certainly a lot of countries where they have very strict gun regulation and very low gun crime rates.

    I don’t think you are correct that “Democrats” are necessarily adherents of what you call a “living constitution” philosophy. There is a wide range of willingness to look beyond bare wording of the Constitution in both major parties, but it tends to switch with the particular issue. Generalizations are completely fallacious in either direction, but Democrats may tend to be more “conservative” about the First Amendment, for example, taking very strict constructionist, absolute views of that segment’s free speech elements, while perhaps Republicans are more absolute about the “Shall not be abridged elements of the Second Amendment (and, conversely, Democrats are more strict about the militia clause in the same amendment). Your use of the verb “to lie” in the context of describing judicial consideration of these issues is uninformed, at best. There is a process by which these things get decided. They aren’t always right over the course of history (see, e.g., Dred Scott, or Plessey v. Ferguson), but this is not because of mendacity. It is because the Founders intentionally wrote a general schematic and could not possibly (as they wisely realized) anticipate every issue that would arise.


  2. Tom – I was at the debate, and yes – your assessment of the moderator being in Northam’s corner both by forcing Jackson to extend his comments with her own rebuttals, throwing soft balls to Northam and her clear body language was right. I happened to be seated by a “reporter” for NPR and couldn’t help but notice this tweeting – pro Northam and slamming Jackson. But then, while I am not a “reporter”, I’m sure I did the same thing from a pro-Jackson perspective. But the press is supposed to report not shape the conversation.


    1. Thanks for the comment. Always good to have some confirmation.

      We all have our “biases,” many of which are quite justifiable. What’s dishonest is when we pretend objectivity even though our reporting is extremely biased.


  3. I’m afraid I didn’t watch the debate so thanks for the re-cap. Sounds like the same-old, same-old. The reason the Dems & the left-leaning media won’t leave social issues alone is because they understand that were the real issues that affect everyone on a daily basis, such as the economy, jobs, the impending doom of Obamacare, inflation, government overreach into our lives, etc. debated that the Democratic party would come out looking very bad indeed. So instead, they focus on issues that people have strong opinions about but that do not affect the day-to-day living of most Americans.


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