Save your Dixie cups so we can pour more gasoline on the fire

You know, I try to keep my blogging on absolute stupidity to a minimum—there are other people, on this site and others, who do a better job, and I don’t have the time anyway. There’s just too much stupidity out there—I’d never get any work done. But when the Governor of Virginia and the Governor of Mississippi both state pretty unequivocally that slavery wasn’t such a big deal with reference to the Civil War—well, how can I resist?

First up, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who has issued a proclamation celebrating something called Confederate History Month. Well, that might not be so bad—all those Civil War buffs who like to recreate various battles on those old battlefields probably want some sort of official validation, or something. But he managed to leave out that anti-slavery language that one of his predecessors had inserted, on the grounds that slavery wasn’t one of the issues that was “most significant for Virginia.” Like one of his predecessors, the always stimulating George Allen, McDonnell’s proclamation refers to the Civil War as “a four-year struggle for [Southern] independence and sovereign rights.”

Not to be outdone in this race to the bottom, Haley Barbour, the Republican Governor of Mississippi, doesn’t think this is much of a big deal. In fact, the relevant direct quote from Barbour here is

To me it’s a sort of feeling that it’s just a nit. That it is not significant. It’s trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn’t matter for diddly.

Mississippi has a similar proclamation honoring the Confederacy, as does Georgia. None mentions slavery.

It should go without saying that both Virginia and Mississippi are taker states. It should also go without saying that the next time any of these morons talks about wanting to secede, we hold them to it.

The above stamp was issued in 1940 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the passage of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery.

18 replies »

  1. Wufnik, while I abhor slavery, you are obviously not a Southerner. Where’s the celebrated liberal compassion for the poor guy? After all, he is a victim, too. He put his foot in his mouth and as they say, ’nuff said.

  2. We had a post here during the 2008 campaign noting that Obama was going to get the racists out of the closet and out in the open. It was suggested that this was a good thing, and all we’re seeing here lately is certainly an indication that we were right in the first instance.

    What these yahoos don’t understand is that they’re just BURYING the Republican Party. Why? Well, for starters, it gets harder and harder for people who’d like to be responsible conservatives to ignore the important role that racism plays, and has played for years, in energizing the GOP base.

    Second, the Millennial generation, which is very shortly going to comprise the largest voting bloc in the nation, has ZERO tolerance for racism (and gay-bashing, too).

    So good. Let’s get it all out into the light where we can see it and judge it for what it is.

  3. I’m perpetually late to the political tempests, but it finally penetrated my consciousness that I was hearing and seeing this “liberals are the real racists” meme* all over the place. Judging from the context and depth of the conversations, it was clearly a thought-free soundbite coming from somewhere… it’s pretty easy to tell when people are just spouting what they heard in an e-mail or on the pseudo-news.

    Then a friend posted this:

    It’s beautifully linked to primary sources. Apparently, if you notice racism and point it out, you are now a racist. New rules.

    *I used “meme.”

  4. Meme is exactly the right word to use here. And you’re right, racism is the troubling underbelly of a lot of this. People like Barbour and McDonnell know exactly what they’re doing–it’s just what Nixon and Agnew did, and Jesse Helms, and Reagan with his “welfare queen” comments–it’s been a core Republican meme for some time now. I also have to say that I’m not surprised that someone like Thomas Sowell, from his lofty perch at the Hoover Institute or whatever think tank he hangs out in these days, is oblivious to this–he’s been oblivious to this for some time. This is all playing to the soft (or less soft, in some cases) racism of the base, and Obama has crystallized this. And while Sam may be right in that the millenial generation won’t stand for this, and that it’s not a viable long term strategy for the republican party, it also needs to be said that we’re not talkng about the sharpest tools in the box here, either. Plus there’s the fact that much of this, inevitably, gets orchestrated to some degree by the Fox network and its other media enablers.

    I dopn’t necessarily think that McDonnell or Barbour are overtly racist, by the way, any more than Bush and Cheney were homophobic. But they encourage the festering over some of these issues. And they’re just seeing how much they can get away with.

  5. Ann – that goes along with the “liberals are the real fascists” and “Nazism was left-wing” memes that are cropping up as well, both of which turn the history and beliefs of the fascists and Nazis on their head.

    Orwell wrote “Those who control the present control the past. Those who control the past control the future.”

    And the people who are trying to control the future are attempting (somewhat successfully at this point) to redefined the history of fascism and Nazism to their political and cultural advantage.

  6. Brian: Beautifully succinct summation of the current twisting of facts that the Right is engaging in these days. Let’s hope we keep catching them up short and calling them out….

    Jeff: I AM a Southerner and my pedigree’s impeccable – my mother’s family tree is full of Lees – including some Confederate officers, and my fathers full of Booths – including that well known acting and president shooting branch. If anybody at this blog has a claim on Southern-ness, I do. What McDonnell and Barbour are engaging in here is demagoguery and race baiting of the worst sort. It offends me as a true Southerner – and as a decent person who wants the world to be a better place.

    Wufnik: Thanks for this – I’m reminded of Edmund Burke’s wise words: “ALL it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Thanks for calling these “leaders” out for engaging in behavior that tries make the reprehensible trivial.

    • As long as we’re quoting people, let me add this one:

      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Yeats said that. It was true then and it’s true today.

  7. Well said, Wufnik. And i’m going to stop with that because nobody wants to know what i think about this issue, nor would i be willing to say it nicely.

  8. Y’all just wait. SC will not be outdone. Give us a day or two and we’ll be top of the news, ahead of Mississippi, Virginia, and yes- even Alabama. Jon Stewart hasn’t heard the last of us yet. We’re fat, we’re racist we’re toothless and we don’t never give up. We didn’t lose the war of northern aggression- we just took a breather. We’ve rested, thrown back a few and we’re ready to go shoot somethin again.

    • Keith: Wuf is right. I see no reason why your mission can’t be accomplished in a way that extends the state’s lead in violent crimes.

      Still, don’t do anything to mess up Myrtle Beach….