Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the man once heralded by conservatives as their next Barack Obama (following the crash and burn of their other “next Barack Obama,” Bobby Jindal, and before the coming of their next Barack Obama, Scott Brown, who now isn’t seen as reliable so the next Barack Obama is Marco Rubio… or not …) oh, sorry, getting back on track … McDonnell backed down from his full throated celebration of the treasonous Confederate secession movement, by continuing to celebrate the treasonous secession movement but adding that he should have included slavery in his proclamation. Here’s the statement from the governor’s website, which reads in part (and watch for the quick pivot to a major pander to African-Americans in paragraph two…)
“The proclamation issued by this Office designating April as Confederate History Month contained a major omission. The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed. The abomination of slavery divided our nation, deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and led to the Civil War. Slavery was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation. In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly approved a formal statement of “profound regret” for the Commonwealth’s history of slavery, which was the right thing to do.
When I signed the Proclamation designating February as Black History Month, and as I look out my window at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, I am reminded that, even 150 years later, Virginia’s past is inextricably part of our present. The Confederate History Month proclamation issued was solely intended to promote the study of our history, encourage tourism in our state in advance of the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, and recognize Virginia’s unique role in the story of America. The Virginia General Assembly unanimously approved the establishment of a Sesquicentennial American Civil War Commission to prepare for and commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the War, in order to promote history and create recognition programs and activities. …
Yeah, yeah, we get it, dude, you want the bad publicity to go away. The still odious proclamation gets this spiffy new paragraph, meanshile:
WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from this painful part of our history…
… which comes just before the part about Virginia’s tourist sites being open. One wonders if McDonnell was at all influenced by the unending condemnation he got over his omission, including from two Black Democrats who endorsed his run for governor: former Gov. Wilder and Sheila Johnson of BET (what’s with those BET folks and their off-key endorsements, anyway?)
And since McDonnell did say his goal was to promote tourism, it can’t have missed his attention that the same NAACP that also condemned him, could always take a boycott out for a spin, which would be terrible publicity for a supposedly “new south” state.
I’ll probably never say this again in life, but on this one, I’m with Rich Lowry.
More on McDonnell’s misstep in TIME.
Well, Bob will always have NewsBusters.
And for a great rundown of the major causes of the civil war, go here.
And if you want to have your mind blown a bit, read this description of the Confederacy from a pro-Confederate site, and tell me it doesn’t sound familiar (think Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe…)