From PostPartisan at The Washington Post:
So it turns out that slavery did cause the Civil War. So says Bob McDonnell, Republican governor of Virginia — a student of the Better Late Than Never School of Political Damage Control.
On Tuesday the governor issued a proclamation that declared April as Confederate History Month, noted that “all Virginians” honored the Confederacy’s sacrifice and, amazingly, included no mention of slavery or slaves. Never mind that nearly half a million black slaves lived in Virginia at the time, or that large numbers of Virginians (especially non-slave owners) opposed secession.
Governor xKen Dollx McDonnell has also proclaimed that new currency will be used to commemorate Confederate History Month.
That’s Governor xKen Dollx McDonnell on the left and his wife, Maureen xStepfordx McDonnell on the right. As you can see from the picture on the bill, there was none of the “bad” slavery in Virginia, and that’s why the governor forgot to mention it. Look closely, and you’ll see that those aren’t hoes the slaves are holding. They’re golf clubs, and the slaves were having a helluva good time! If not for Virginia slavery, we wouldn’t have Tiger Woods today.
Look at the other cool bill that will be in circulation:
Here’s your guide, kids, as to who’s who:
1. Princess Sarah Palin
2. Virginia So-Not-A Foxx
3. Marsha Marsha Marsha Blackburn
4. Batshit Michele Bachmann
5. Ginny Doody Brown-Waite
6. Shelley Please-No Moore Capito
7. Bob xKen Dollx McDonnell
I tried to find Congresswomen from Virginia, but there don’t seem to be any. And, yeah, I know that Princess Sarah isn’t technically from the South, but she loves that whole states’ rights/secessiony thing. But I digress. Back to the article:
In response to an onslaught of public, private and online criticism — and specifically to one particular critic who McDonnell really cares about — the governor late Wednesday issued a statement that amounts to a mea culpa. He acknowledged that airbrushing the nagging issue of slavery was “a major omission” and a “mistake,” and he apologized for it.
Basically, there are now two proclamations — one that glorifies the Confederacy, the other that wallows in Virginia’s historical guilt. (In addition to being evil, vicious, etc., slavery, said the governor in proclamation no. 2, “has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation.”)
Let’s be fair. While McDonnell was raked through the coals as a candidate last fall for his now-notorious, retrograde 20-year-old thesis, his comportment during the campaign was moderate, civil, substantive and reassuring. Ditto his performance since his inauguration in January. Understated and affable, the governor took pains to align himself with what is undeniably a purple state, and one that has shown distaste for divisive politics.
That’s why the first proclamation — the one that glossed over history — was so jarring.
It took more than 24 hours, but McDonnell finally got that. That’s good. What disturbing, though, is how stubborn he was to get it, initially downplaying slavery’s significance as just one of “any number of aspects to that conflict between the states.” (What history books has this guy been reading?)
What really seems to have opened the governor’s eyes was one person: Sheila Johnson. Johnson, the African-American co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, was a key backer — the key backer — of McDonnell’s campaign. Her support was so important to McDonnell that barely a day passed when he didn’t mention it, and she was featured front-and-center in his campaign advertising.
For a solid 24 hours, McDonnell and his aides defended and excused the first proclamation. But the wind suddenly went out of their defense shortly after Johnson issued the following damning statement Wednesday afternoon:
“I must condemn Gov. McDonnell’s proclamation honoring ‘Confederate History Month’ and its insensitive disregard of Virginia’s complicated and painful history, the remnants of which many Virginians still wrestle with today,“ said Johnson, an African-American business owner.
“The complete omission of slavery from an official government document, which purports to be a call for Virginians to ‘understand’ and ‘study’ their history, is both academically flawed and personally offensive. If Virginians are to celebrate their ‘shared history’ as this proclamation suggests, then the whole truth of this history must be recognized and not evaded.”
Well, that’s that. Everything’s hunky-dory now, right? Not so fast. From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Some neo-Confederates aren’t happy about Governor Bob McDonnell’s apology this afternoon for failing to mention slavery in his proclamation of Confederate History Month.
In an interview with TPMmuckraker, Brandon Dorsey, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, called McDonnell’s move “an insult,” and charged that the governor had undermined the purpose of the resolution,” and damaged himself with his core supporters. But another member of the group disagreed, saying he supported the apology “one hundred percent.”
Contacted this afternoon by TPMmuckraker, Dorsey said he was unaware of McDonnell’s apology. After it was read to him, Dorsey said the apology “comes as a shock,” and accused the governor of “pandering to people who never would have voted for him nor supported any of his policies.”
Making clear that he was speaking only for himself, Dorsey said that the apology “completely undermined the purpose of the resolution.” He added: “We would probably have rather not had a proclamation whatsoever, than for him to add a clause that says that everything that we support and everything we hold dear has to do with slavery.”
But Brag Bowling, who uses the title Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, said Dorsey was “off base.” “I support Governor McDonnell one hundred percent,” said Bowling. “I think he did a courageous thing even issuing the proclamation.”
“It’s not an insult,” Bowling added. “No one in their right mind is in support of slavery.”
Last month, McDonnell issued a statement confirming that discrimination was illegal, after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had advised the state’s universities that they could not legally ban discrimination against gays.