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Justin Fairfax

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax 

I await the fierce defenses of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax from all the folks who came to the defense of Brett Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, as someone who believed Christine Blasey Ford and felt her story disqualified Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, I want to say that, I haven't heard Vanessa Tyson speak yet, but her story seems credible and if it continues to hold up, it should disqualify Fairfax from becoming governor.

It can be harder to hold onto principles when they hurt politicians you agree with than when they hurt those you'd rather not see in office anyway. But if they're not applied evenly, they're not principles, they're weapons for attacking your ideological foes. They're excuses.

In this case, the principle is that credible stories of sexual assault should have serious consequences for the accused, even if they cannot be prosecuted criminally. The key word here is "credible," and credibility can be in the eye of the beholder. The absurd argument made by folks like Lindsey Graham in the Kavanaugh case was that Ford was credible — they believed she was attacked — but not by Kavanaugh. 

Now it's Democrats in the uncomfortable position of saying either they believe the accuser — Tyson — or not. In this case, they don't have the wriggle room Republicans found in the Kavanaugh case, because Fairfax has admitted there was sexual contact between him and Tyson, but he says it was consensual. So this does come down to one person's word against another's.

Who do you believe? That is the question, not only in this case but in many such cases, because these encounters usually happen in private. I see no reason why this successful woman would subject herself to the attacks and invasions of her privacy that are guaranteed to happen now that she has come forward, unless she was telling the truth. Fairfax, on the other hand, has every reason to lie. I believe her.

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Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at

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