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Confederates in the statehouse [Updated w/apology]

Bulletin: McDonnell apologizes, The Post reports. Excerpt:

"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."

In addition the Governor announced that the following language will be added to the Proclamation:

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...

--

[My post from this morning.]

Bob McDonnell's decision to commemorate what he might as well have called the War of Northern Aggression is a reminder that we're still fighting the Civil War 150 years later. We're coming up on the sesquicentennial of the firing on Fort Sumter, and we'll be having some version of this conversation, I bet, for much of the next five years. Why, exactly, did the country get ripped apart? It's a complex issue, but the short answer, the obvious answer, and the unavoidable answer -- unless you're the governor of Virginia -- is slavery. You just can't get around it.

The Republican Party was the anti-slavery party in the 1860 election, and Lincoln's election triggered a secessionist wave in the South [the South Carolina secession declaration will erase any doubt about slavery's central role in all this] that eventually swept up Virginia. Slavery and its perpetuation were always at the center of the schism. There was a great deal of effort by northern leaders during the war to maintain that it wasn't fundamentally a conflict over slavery -- because the North needed the allegiance of the border states. But in 1865, Lincoln acknowledged the obvious in his second inaugural address.

"One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it."

But McDonnell's proclamation makes no attempt to acknowledge, in any way, the institution of slavery, or the many thousands of African Americans for whom the war brought freedom. Asked to explain why his proclamation makes no mention of slavery, McDonnell said, "[T]here were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia."

But it looks like a poke in the eye for black Virginians and a hearty backslap for the confederates in the attic.

--

Speaking of history: There's a piece in the paper today about a Russian-Polish summit to discuss the Katyn forest massacre during World War II. Another reminder that history isn't just something you find in textbooks: Events reverberate for decades and even centuries. (Had I copy-edited the piece I might have changed a few of the references to "Russia" to "the Soviet Union.") The Wikipedia article is quite good, but chilling.

Update: I dug out my copy of David Remnick's book Lenin's Tomb, thinking I'd find something in there about the Katyn forest massacre. Remnick's premise, as you recall, is that the collapse of the Soviet Union was triggered by the recovery of memory -- by the liberation of history from the repression of Soviet dogma. You can't be a free people if you don't own your own history. In any case, turns out (and I must have known this, somewhere deep in my compost-heap skull) that Remnick begins his long narrative with a Soviet officer excavating a mass grave in a birch forest near Kalinin, where Polish officers had been massacred as part of the same operation that had led the murders in the Katyn forest. Remnick:

The Kremlin took history so seriously that it created a massive bureaucracy to control it, to fabricate its language and content, so that murderous and arbitrary purges became a "triumph over enemies and foreign spies," the reigning tyrant a "Friend to All Children, the Great Mountain Eagle." The regime created an empire that was a vast room, its doors locked, its windows shuttered. All books and newspapers allowed in th room carried the Official Version of Events, and the radio and television blared the general line day and night....The KGB was so keen to keep its secrets that it built its vacation houses in the village of Mednoye near Kalinin, where the Polish officers had been executed and buried in mass graves, the better to keep watch over the bones.

--

[Bulletin: Ace commenter bc has just reminded me that today is the 5th anniversary of the world-famous boodle. See full history here. How could I forget that milestone? This is huge. Hold on and I'll see how many comments the boodle has racked up over the years...Would you believe 220,482? With still a bit more than a hour to go until the 3:56 p.m. anniversary proper. (Of course, wouldn't you know, the first boodle comments have vanished! Just like my old Rough Draft columns. I'll fire off some angry emails now.)]

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 7, 2010; 7:15 AM ET
 
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Next: Civil War revisionism

Comments

Shorter Confederate History: They lost.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 7, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

The war was over states' rights. Specifally the right to own other people. Despite Dredd Scott slaveowners were losing the long game. And they convinced a lot of people to act against their best economic interest to defend it. The more things change...

Posted by: yellojkt | April 7, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The issue of what the Confederacy meant is one that I never encountered until I moved out here from the Pacific Northwest. Up until then this whole "Yankee/Reb" business was one of those ancient divisions about as relevant as the one between Sparta and Athens.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find the simmering tensions still very much in evidence.

There are people, intelligent well educated people, who assert that the whole unpleasantness was about asserting the rights of the States against the Feds. That the issue that prompted this constitutional issue was Slavery is presented as being almost irrelevant. It was the noble principle of the thing, they assert, that mattered.

And, I really think many of these people believe this. My position is to just smile and make no sudden motions. Hey if this makes the grits taste better to them, then fine.

But if one is going to be tolerant of this relatively benign interpretation of the War Between the States, then it seems just to be tolerant of the other legitimate interpretation - that the South refused to abandon slavery and State's Rights was simply a convenient mechanism for legitimizing this refusal. And in this interpretation, which is hardly a minority view, celebrating the Confederacy really is akin to celebrating slavery.

All this should just be one of those smoldering semi-private disputes - like if America shoulda stayed the course in 'nam. Which, of course, is why what McDonnell did is so insensitive. He is publicly ratifying a hotly disputed interpretation, and a profoundly painful one at that.

But since this is the state that used to celebrate Lee-Jackson day, I am hardly surprised

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that Wiki article is chilling. The corrosiveness of war never ceases to horrify me.

And here's the thing about old conflicts. I like to think that there is a difference between giving respect and understanding the results of an ancient hatred, and perpetuating it.

To me, the notion that the long dead are somehow crying out for vengeance against the offspring of those who wronged them is positively obscene.

Instead, I assert, to refuse to pick up the hatreds of one's parents is the highest virtue. It's the upside of a short attention span.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My maternal grandfather's father served in the Confederate army as a guard at the prison camp in Salisbury, NC. He was 14 when he enlisted, certainly an indication of the desperation of the Confederate cause. His family owned slaves. This is not something I am proud of, nor am I sorry that the Confederacy lost.

Even George Washington acknowledged the fatal flaws of slavery as an economic and social system. It was morally wrong as well as unsustainable, and our goal today should be to wipe out the inequalities still with us from that system. One of the first items on that agenda should be NOT to glorify the conflict. Instead, we should admit the errors of our ancestors and channel our energy into improving the lives of the victims of that conflict.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Well....it is probably telling that the Governor did not stand on the steps of the State Capitol, ringing a large handbell to alert the populace that he had a proclamation forthcoming.

It is also telling that the Commonwealth of Virginia is the only state left in the Union with a four year term limit for our "royals"consecutively speaking. A good thing I have always believed.

McDonnell sez tourist season is comin' up and next year will be 150 years from the beginning of the Civil War, and let's take advantage of it. I wonder what my ancestor from North Carolina who fought and died in the Second Battle of Manassas and is buried in a memorial in a cemetary in Warrenton would think about "tourism". He never had any slaves, he was young and probably would have been home with his people. In fact, I wonder what ALL the fine young soldiers who fought and died for both the North and South would think about McDonnell's "tourism". Not much.

Much of the Civil War was fought in Virginia and we have our battlefields and memorials and cemetaries and Confederate Museum and I daresay each and every one of them references slavery as a primary cause of the war.

As far as black Virginians who had ancestors in this state who were slaves being upset with the Governor's proclamation, maybe they are, but I hope they don't waste too much energy on their upset, imo McDonnell is an idiot.

Posted by: VintageLady | April 7, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Your Vintage Ladyship!

I will admit that my jaw dropped upon reading this latest idiocy in yesterday's online WaPo. I guess there's just not anything more important to do for Virginia's guv. An appalling spit in the eye.

*casting expletives across the Potomac to land upon McDonnell and may you be well rid of him soon*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The Shop Steward's Office interrupts this Boodle to announce that in about half an hour, a goody package of assorted pastries and such will be delivered to the home of Scotty's late FIL (Nukespouse's parents' house) in Louisiana, with a card that says "Condolences from Joel and the Boodle."

Scotty and Nukespouse say howdy, and say thank you.

I gave him the day off.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The thesis, as I understand it, of Remnick's book seems to be that the horror of Katyn was an indictment of Soviet Ideology. And it certainly was. But I think it dangerous to conclude that this was the only cause. I think a significant cause was also the innate corrosiveness of war. When one gets in the habit of killing people to further military aims, then it becomes increasingly easy to view this as a legitimate solution to a whole host of perceived problems. Which is why, I assert, so many of these massacres have occurred with war in the background.

None of which makes me a pacifist. But it do think that war, as much as ideology, can lead to a reduction in our inhibitions against slaughter.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

As usual, RD says what I would say if I were smart enough to do so! The southern slave owners were wealthy and powerful due to 'unpaid labor' and they knew that they would lose both without slavery. Money and power - it always comes back to that.

Almost dry here after more than a week of pumping and vacuuming. I am celebrating by going out to lunch with a friend. Beautiful day here, going to be in the 80's. I don't have anything to wear ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | April 7, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Yay RD. I love it when you post a nice reasoned argument so I don't have to think; I can just agree.

VintageLady, that kind of "tourism" would be like taking Oklahoma's rich and painful tribal history and treating it as an Indian zoo. Also, the Gov's logic fails on its face. You don't have to emphasize one side of the conflict in order to promote battlefield tourism, and Civil War states as a whole have done a pretty good job of promoting the war sites without favoring ideology.

As yellojkt says, the confederacy lost and lost big. One pop-culture historical interpretation is that much of the resentment, anger, floating displaced rage in the Southern white population is fed by clinging to pre-Civil War memories of when their families were "somebody" and the belief that the devastating aftermath of the war took that away - that is, that the white people were wronged and are still owed. About the time we began to see this articulated, there also arose in the South a strong feeling that it was time to get over it and move on. I guess McDonnell didn't get the message.

One of my great-great-oughts fought for the Confederacy and the other for the Union. Neither were slaveowners. I was surprised, when I moved to the East Coast, at how many people whose forebears had been here during the Civil War era didn't know whose side their families fought on.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 7, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Growing up in Virginia during the Civil War centennial (1961-65), which occurred a few years after Virginia's "Massive Resistance" to school desegregation, I got a snootful of states' rights verbiage. I couldn't help noticing that this concept was promoted most vocally when the issues were (1) abolishing slavery and (2) abolishing segregation.

I don't recall states' rights being trumpeted much on non-racial federal "intrusions" such as the interstate highway system, insured bank deposits, farm subsidies or the GI Bill.

Those were pre-Tea Party times, of course. Today's states' rightists are more ecumenical, at least when Democrats are in power.

Posted by: cbustard | April 7, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

What Vintage Lady said, especially the part about McDonnell being an idiot.

I think one thing worth commemorating about the Civil War is the fact that when it ended, no Confederate leaders were tried and hanged; highways and schools are named after both Union and Confederate officers. Is there any other country that has done that after a civil war?

After spending a day at Appomattox Courthouse, I realized what a hero Robert E Lee was for negotiating a good surrender and sending his men home. He could have sent them into the woods to continue a guerrilla war, but knew what was best for the South and the USA.

Men were allowed to keep their horses and personal side arms and return home. What an amazing thing, don't you think?

This is Grant's proposal to Lee, which was accepted...

"The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged; and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside."

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

good morning boodle!

VL made me laugh. Ma Frostbitten starts most of our phone conversations with "McDonnell is an idiot."

Too much hard outdoor labor to be done at Chez Frostbitten South to hang out here, but at least it's not going to be 91F as is predicted for the DC metro area. Stay cool boodlers.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 7, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I was laughing yesterday about various people re-fighting the Civil War in the YouTube comments sections. Yeah, that'll make a difference. Hope it doesn't happen here today.

My impression is that many from the South have no idea what was going on in Kansas before the war. I'm also pretty sure many from the South don't know where Kansas is.

I'm Southern so I can say these things.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 7, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Of course, my 9:58 post is only reiterating what yellojkt said at the top of the boodle.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Probably everyone but me already saw this baseball magic.
http://www.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=7282679

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 7, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

TBG - you make a great point. There is a distinction between honoring the participants in a war and honoring the underlying cause.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"When their families were 'somebody'"

This always cracks me up. When I think about the fortunes my ancestors made and lost and made again, and all the continent-to-continent moves that started with their journeys to the New World no earlier than 1860, I have to laugh at someone who is still reaching back that that far for glory. Be what you are, not what your great-great-greats would have been if not for the vagaries of history.

Posted by: csdiego | April 7, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Thank you badsneakers and Ivansmom for such kind words!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, cbustard.

I believe it's still true that us civil war books outsell other history genres. There's an outstanding book I'll look up and post tonight (unless someone else posts it first. It's about how so many of the generals on both sides had been at west point together and knew each other well.

Me? No ancestors is that fight, so i'm idly wondering if I ordered enough RAM for the new laptop.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 7, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

May I please interrupt this Boodle to make an announcement? We have an IBPH coming up on April 15!

Yes... our very own Yoki is coming again to DC for a visit and will be available for Boodle Porching Hour on Thursday, April 15.

So after you drop off your taxes at the post office, please join us at our alternate IBPH location that PROVIDES AN ACTUAL PORCH...

The Quarterdeck Restaurant
1200 Fort Myer Dr
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 528-2722
www.qdrest.com

See you there!

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

TBG asks if there is another country which has commemorated both sides of a civil war as we have. I'd say yes. England is pretty liberally sprinkled with monuments to Oliver Cromwell, who signed the king's death warrant yet is buried in Westminster Abbey and has a statue at the palace. France I'm not sure about. China I guarantee has monuments to only one side.

Despite the current bozo in office, I think the single term rule for Virginia's governors is a mistake which leads to short term thinking and political expediency. The governor's office is just a step on the road to a senate seat. Even worse though is the practice of off-off year elections. Does anyone seriously think that Bob McD could have been elected in 2008?

Lastly, I've always been uncomfortable with the saintly image of Robert E. Lee. His treatment of his slaves is enough to put me off, but beyond that is the fact that the man was educated at West Point and served as an officer in the U.S. Army for over thirty years before resigning his commission to take up arms in rebellion against the Constitution he had sworn to uphold, defend and protect from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Sounds like treason to me.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 7, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Thanks for managing that delivery, Mudge.

Joel, thanks for in pointing out how history comes forward in time with us, consciously and unconsciously, and sometimes changing as we do.

RD, I appreciate your takes on the Civil War from your Northwestern US perspective. I believe it was (and is) was a more complex situation than I think any of us could adequately cover here (how many books have been written about it?), but I think yellojkt has a good point that a significant portion of the reasons both sides went to war was about the conflict between economics and states' rights versus civil rights of the enslaved and national authority.

The North wanted to abolish slavery because it was the right thing to do (what place does slavery have in a free country? None), and this was likely perceived as a significant and untenable threat to the large businesses - and entire economies - of the southern states (particularly the agricultural and transporation industries, as well as the industry of slavery itself. (What a terrible thing to contemplate.)). To my thinking, of course the politics followed the money, and pretty soon afterwards, so did the guns.

I think McDonnell's continuing to perpetuate something hurtful and contribuing to the ongoing the misunderstandings of sides of why that war was fought, IMO.

To some folks, it was about states' rights and the authority of the national government over them, to others, it was about civil rights and the idea that all humans are created equal; that an economic system that exploited people by making them property and free slave labor is comptletely and utterly wrong and unfair.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

kguy... you're right about England! Thanks... I was actually asking the question, not making a rhetorical point. Any others?

I think it's hard for us to understand in this century, what it was like during those times to be a citizen of a state. I do agree that Lee took up arms against the country he swore to defend, but I think the idea of being a Virginian first was understood at the time.

And I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, just pondering out loud.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Yoki's coming??? Woo-hoo!!!

For them what know -- is there parking (i.e., convenient parking for someone who uses a cane) at that restaurant? And what time will it start?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Couple of other things, quickly.

If McDonnell had aspirations for the White House in 2012 or subsequent to that, I think he's put a round right through his foot. Anyone running against him in an election going forward will bring this out and use it to clout him liberally about his head and shoulders, figuratively speaking.

I also believe that if the Confederacy were allowed to secede peacefully, there would eventually have been resource conflicts and moral and ethical head-butting that would have resulted in far worse, vicious and prolonged war(s) and even worse conditions of slavery over the years.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

dbG, the book you're thinking of is probably "The Class of 1846," the West Point class that graduated Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, A.P. Hill, Darius Couch, George Pickett of Pickett's Charge fame (one of the worst, dumbest students), C.M. Wilcox, and George Stoneman. 59 graduated that year, and 53 of them served in the Mexican War under officers who were only a few years older: Lee, Beauregard, Hancock, Grant and Longstreet. There are some historians who think it wasn't so much that they all graduated from West Point and knew each other there -- although they did -- but more important the fact that many of them served together in Mexico together. In other words, it's not so much that they all knew each other "in school," where things were'nt all that important and "life or death," but that they all knew each other in combat and in the field, where it was much more important to know which of one's comrades were competent and could be trusted, and which ones weren't.

In Michael Shaara's excellent, moving, and oft-praised novel about Gettysburg, "The Killer Angels," he makes much of the very close friendships many of these men developed, whether serving in Mexico or as pony soldiers serving out west. Shaara makes a very subtle point, too, that not only did the men know each other well and fondly, but so did the wives, who were often stationed with them at various pre-war Army posts.

Wilcox was Grant's best man at his wedding, and Longstreet was one of the grooms. Thomas (a great Union general, very unsung), Stoneman (another good one), John Bell Hood and Albert Sidney Johnson all served under Lee for 6 years in Texas, and Armistead, Hancock and William "Tecumsah" Sherman all served together in California. In "The Killer Angels" there is a tremendous scene about Armistead's agony and apprehension (he was one of Pickett's generals in the charge) going up that hill against his dearest friend Hancock (Class of '44), and who was close to Hancock and his wife Almira. Hancock And Armistead's CO in California had been A.S. Johnson. It was Hancock who sent the 1st Minnesota into the famouse "Wheatfield" to counterattack a Confed force four times larger. The 1st Minnesota took 87% casualties and was virtually wiped out -- but stopped the Confeds, saved the Union line, and was a key moment in the battle. Hancock was badly wounded at the top of the hill during Pickett's charge, but refused to be evacuated. Armistead was wounded while attacking him not many yards away, just down the slope, and died two days later.

Gen. Harry Heth (Class of '47), and the only officer Lee called by his first name, was Pickett's cousin, was the guy basically responsible for "starting" Gettysburg (by sending a patrol there to steal some shoes), and the only officer ever to beat Hancock (at Pettersburg).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

There is a parking lot (free) at the Quarterdeck. We will make a reservation for a big table under cover on the front porch. The metro is about a 10-minute walk and the bus does come around there from the metro I understand.

I hope some folks can arrive by 5:00. Yoki's plane arrives 5:30-ish, but is very nearby so she'll be there by 6:00 I'm sure.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Virginia still celebrates Lee-Jackson Day, or at least the state employees do. Instead of sharing Martin Luther King Day, it got moved to the Friday before MLK Day, making a nice 4-day weekend for state employees, and a nice little profit for Virginia ski resorts!

Posted by: meezermom | April 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Joel, meant to tell you, too -- I appreciate the title of this Kit.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

ftb, you can park within 10 feet of the Quarterdeck's er, quarterdeck. No steps, even. (The steps down to the basement bathrooms are somewhat problematic, however.)

Don't know what time.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

When your ideas cannot deal with the present and future, you revert to the past; those "good old days" when times were simpler and the darkies knew their place.

No amount of revisionist history and spinning of this horrible chapter in American history can change the fact that too many of those who want to celebrate it harbor racist tendencies, latent or not.

For a governor of a state like Virginia to use this tactic to shore up his base is not only shameful but a disservice to the state and its future. Virginia will grow and prosper not by dividing its citizenry by by harnessing it, all of it!

Posted by: bobfbell | April 7, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Regarding "Governor Moonbeam" from the last boodle, Royko regretted that nickname as he got to know Mr. Brown.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics/Mike-Royko-Governor-Moonbeam-California-who-gave-brown-nickname-86756107.html

Posted by: rickoshea1 | April 7, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The racist underbelly of America has been closer to the surface since the '08 election, though it's often expressed in tortured code words disparaging Pres. Obama. Jimmy Carter nailed this phenomenom in his "intensely demonstrated animosity" comments. How about April as slavery history month?

Posted by: webfreddes | April 7, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if even more cynical issues are involved here--besides tourism. States rights have become a new battle cry; resistance against that black man in the White House. How completely and totally sad, that we still don't know better.

Posted by: jm817 | April 7, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

If Governor McDonnell wants to show that "Confederate History Month" is not a racist code word, he can fix it immediately by changing it to "Civil War History Month." It would attract more tourists and be less offensive to many of us.

Posted by: dricks | April 7, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link, Maggie. I knew Royko coined the nickname way back when-- but never knew he came to regret it. It certainly makes for an interesting case study, doesn't it? A pretty good, prety creative and unusual politician whose career was hampered (and ultimately killed) essentially by media riducle. A young single guy dating Linda Ronstadt -- o the horror!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Our "JOBS" Governor and AG need to focus on the real issues facing Virginia. Stop with the announcements and proclamations and do the jobs your being paid to do. BTW Governor, reel in your AG. Why are you allowing him to waste money on a frivolous lawsuit (Healthcare) that could have saved many teachers their jobs is beyond me? Do you hear ticking Bob? That's your cue to focus on the people's business instead of your own agenda.

Posted by: classicskins | April 7, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yup. Front page alert.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Nice comments, RD Padouk. Well said.

What struck me most about the story the other day of the Gov announcing this was that it was done “quietly.” Maybe an editorial intrusion by the writer, but the most significant word in the article.

If I posed, and ran, as a sane and moderate politician, I’d do this quietly too.

But now he’s on record as playing to the yahoo vote.

This guy poses as a moderate (remember those BS commercials by his little girl talking about how he was all about women’s “opportunities”? I wonder if any woman working for him has ever said that? And I wonder how “tolerant” he would be if she had to tell him she was gay?)

Let’s see, in less that than 6 months in office, attacks on gays in the university system with his connivance and approval, lawsuit against the federal government for breaking up the monopoly of health care insurers and protecting individuals, and now exalting, not the terrible struggle and the moral resolution of a great war, but loyalties to a demonstrably wrong-headed, divisive, treasonous and deadly political stance on behalf of a morally bankrupt “lifestyle.” (it’s like honoring the Wall Street mentality that brought about the Crash of 2008. Oh, wait, they do that too, every day, on CNBC. My bad.)

But I think I see where this is going.

And we have 3.5 years of this to “look forward to.”

I’ve walked a lot of my adopted states Civil War battlefields. Absolutely heartbreaking. And every time I hear one of these hillbillies talk about the Confederacy or see someone displaying that flag, I could puke. These fools actually think it stands for freedom. There was little noble in it, except the courage of single individuals, thinking they were doing their duty. Beyond that, NO-thing.

This hick from the pre-Brown vs. Board of Education days, and his equally white-trash AG, need to get out of the way of a state that’s finally joining both the Union, and the twentieth century. (yes, I know I said 20th. It’s too much to hope that they’d join in, and lead into, the 21st.)

Posted by: Ichristian | April 7, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Let's also keep in mind that which of several competing interpretations of the Confederacy and the Civil War is correct is not really the point. The very existence of a large mainstream opposition to this concept should, in my mind, have dissuaded McDonnell from making such an incendiary proclamation.

Further, there is a distinction between what a symbol might have originally represented and what it does now.

I mean, if I were to put a big swastika on my house and claim that I am simply honoring an ancient symbol for good luck, and those who found it offensive needed a good history lesson, I dare say I would not find much support.

In the same way, even *if* the Confederacy and the Confederate flag were not originally intrinsically racist, in the 15 decades since the Civil War I assert that to many, perhaps most, it has become so.

And a respectful politician should recognize this.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Somebody said:
“good morning boodle!
VL made me laugh. Ma Frostbitten starts most of our phone conversations with "McDonnell is an idiot."
Too much hard outdoor labor to be done at Chez Frostbitten South to hang out here, but at least it's not going to be 91F as is predicted for the DC metro area. Stay cool boodlers.
Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 7, 2010 9:58 AM | “
Since you guys are already on line, why don’t you just get some free email accounts (Yahoo and others) and communicate family sh*t that way, instead of intruding into this blog?

Understand, I don’t mind, but it’s kinda weird.

Posted by: Ichristian | April 7, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps odd, given the kit, but I have to say from an outsider’s perspective that in general, I have always admired the way that Americans have came to terms with the Civil War.

If anything, it’s incredible that there isn’t MORE animosity between the former enemies given the amount of casualties and destruction. Likewise I view the re-enactment phenomenon (and it really is a phenomenon - there is no comparable foreign example) as a sign of maturity about the Civil War. I will add that I haven’t spent a lot of time in the South, but I’ve always taken references to the War of Northern Aggression etc. in the same way that the British press loves its WW II metaphors when playing football versus Germany.

Here, by way of counter-example, a 250th anniversary re-enactment of the Plains of Abraham had to be cancelled. 250th! Those events still chafe a raw wound for some. To use a different example, I doubt the upcoming War of 1812 re-enactments will be controversial or stoke any two hundred year old grievances.

So to VL’s point, I have to think a thoughtful soldier would be pleased to know that both sides’ descendents would be having lunch at the same table at the site where he died.

Posted by: engelmann | April 7, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

So not only is Achenbach putting words in McDonnell's mouth he is criticizing what McDonnell didn't say. That's pretty rough.

Posted by: posttoastie1 | April 7, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Someone said:

“Lastly, I've always been uncomfortable with the saintly image of Robert E. Lee. His treatment of his slaves is enough to put me off, but beyond that is the fact that the man was educated at West Point and served as an officer in the U.S. Army for over thirty years before resigning his commission to take up arms in rebellion against the Constitution he had sworn to uphold, defend and protect from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Sounds like treason to me.”

Agreed.

A lot of blame can be laid at his feet for the length and death toll of that war.

He may have agonized over his loyalties, and given the times, that’s understandable. But he was also a man with great advantages, most of them supplied by an already growing, wealthy, and increasingly powerful nation. He WAS in a position to know better. He made the wrong choice.

And as Ken Burns’ film tells, laying blame at his feet is exactly what the QM General of the Union Army did.

He buried the honored dead not only in Mrs. Lee’s rose garden, but right up the steps of the Lee mansion.

Posted by: Ichristian | April 7, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing to see the South still fighting for the "glory" of the Confederacy.

Long ago, but 105 years after the end of the Civil War, I moved to North Carolina from Ohio. One of the first questions from the neighborhood kids was "are you a Yankee or a Reb?"

Despite my having two Southern parents, plenty of kin still in the South, and a Confederate ancestor buried at Chickamauga, I didn't know what the kids meant. I had to go ask my parents what I was. In our family, the Civil War wasn't pertinent in our lives and it wasn't even in my consciousness. But it certainly was ingrained into these NC children that the "War Between the States" was an injustice done to them, and that the South would rise again.

A most peculiar culture. When I moved to NoVA in '75, I didn't encounter any of that, but probably because I lived among many military families who came from everywhere and had lived everywhere. I'm sorry to see McDonnell throw a bone to the revisionists and retrogrades of the state.

As others have stated, it's interesting to note what prompts the South to bring up the issue of state's rights and celebration of yesteryear's Johnny Reb. No, it's not taxation or "big government".

Posted by: hitpoints | April 7, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

You get what you vote for. I did not vote for the hamburger happy clown. If there is a way to recall him please sign me up. Pardon me while I puke.

Posted by: hodgensr | April 7, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Ichristian, thanks for your kind compliment and your intelligent words.

But regards to the family sh*t. You are right, it must look a little odd. But, the thing is, it is the nature of this blog that many of us consider one another akin to family.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

*pant pant pant*

Good late morning, y'all.

Been hustling and bustling about today.

*clearing throat*

WHEREAS, April is the month beginning with a day devoted to foolishness; and
WHEREAS, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia has acted in a way that can reasonably be considered foolish; and
WHEREAS, many Achenblog boodlers have imaginative boodle handles;
NOW, THEREFORE I, MsJS do hereby proclaim that for the month of April 2010 the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia be given the honorary boodle handle of GuvnorMcDunnit, in recognition of his historic acts.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Another illustration of the direction that these wingnuts (Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Teaparty, now BD)of the republican party would take us. The south succeeding form the Union was an act of treason, nothing less. We are the United States, not Virginia, Maryland, etc. I understand these wingnuts hate the federal governmnent because without it slavery would not have been abolished, women would not have equal rights, etc. This is a slap in the face of every American who has died or served to maintain the freedoms we hold dear as as Union united.

Posted by: ILuvUS | April 7, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The Party of Lincoln celebrates the Confederacy.

Strange Fruit, indeed.

Posted by: leftcoaster | April 7, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ichristian, I'm guessing your login name has nothing to do with your worldview. We don't consider it 'family sh*t.' If you hang out and discuss Important Stuff all the time, ignoring real life, you run the risk of a hard heart, eliminating an important part of your ability to understand the Important Stuff.

See, we strive to be (and stay) well-rounded people. Join in, don't, but walking in the door and immediately criticizing how things are (without figuring out how those things play into the bigger picture no less) isn't a good way to make friends or influence people. Very uncool.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

lchristian, you are pretty new here, so you can be excused for not quite comprehending what you are reading. This "Boodle" has been in existence for over five years now, and in that time there are well over a hundred of what we'd call "regulars," regular posters and commenters, and over that time we have come to know a very great amount about each other, many close friendships have been formed, and many, many of us have met each other in person, not just in cyberspace. We often liken ourselves to a neighborhood corner bar, where everyone knows each other, knows each others' jobs, families, foibles, peccadillos, quirks, rants, schtick, and so on.

So when you suggest we all just pack up and go somewhere else to chat about our personal stuff, you are unwittingly walking into a neighborhood bar and telling all the drinkers to get out and go somewhere else. You aren't aware of what you've done, but that's basically it. Being new and not remotely understanding the context of what this blog is, you are forgiven.

And you are quite welcome to stick around, pull up a stool, and metaphorically hang around, shoot the breeze, and have a brewski. But no, we aren't going anywhere. But Ma Frostbitten (Frosty's mom) and VL (Vintage Lady) are all integral parts of this blog, and if you don't want to accept that, then you are quite free to go elsewhere on the Internet and find new territory to graze other than here. Just so you understand the context here.

This place is unlike any other on the Internet (so we've been told). Whether that's true or not, I don't know. Weird? Maybe; that's in the eye of the beholder. Unusual? Probably. But you'll just have to deal with it the way it is.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The only people fighting the civil war are the losers of that war and the loser Republicans who cater to them.

Posted by: clairevb | April 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The only people fighting the civil war are the losers of that war and the loser Republicans who cater to them.

Posted by: clairevb | April 7, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

As I said, I don't really care, it just breaks the flow of the conversation.

I guess I'll just have to live with the burden of being "uncool" in your eyes.

Posted by: Ichristian | April 7, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Question for supporters of holiday:

How many Americans did Jeff Davis kill? How many American did Osama bin Laden kill?

Posted by: Garak | April 7, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Fur therapist
ready to soothe hurt feelings
Pay in steak bones, please.

-Wilbrodog-,

Neighborhood bar pooch
And reigning Haiku slam poet
(Breed: Pro Gnome shepherd.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The ability to sell your crops overseas, no matter how they were tended, and not have some New York commodities broker take all your profit was another huge issue. Remember that the reason slavery was not banned in the Declaration of Independence or The Constitution was that the representative from South Carolina reminded the New Yorkers how much their constituents would lose without slavery, or with a precipitous ending to it.

As Judas was on Christ's side, so were the Confederates strengthening the Union.

BTW, if the descendants of slaves in America had fared a little better in the last 150 years, you might have reason to crow about winning the war between the states. But, hey, from what I hear, and from I read in columns like Eugene Robinson's last, they have not fared very well at all. In fact, even in this day, he makes it out to be a horrible existence. So tout all you want, but the burden of freeing the slaves was to make their descendants better off and the Union has failed them miserably.

Posted by: jim4postnatl | April 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

You misread me, lchristian. I never suggested you were "uncool." I suggested to you that there *is* no such thing as the "flow of conversation" around here. We routinely break any such flow whenever we want. We routinely diss and ignore Joel's essays at the top of the page (called "kits" in our vernacular).

One aspect of Joel's blog is that very often this is a humor blog, and sometimes people wander into it not quite realizing what it is, or how Joel's personality and writings are to be interpreted. Sometimes people arrive her and take him very seriously, and don't get the jokes (sometimes he can be, shall he say, "dry," or wry?)

Also it is not at all unusual for us to have two, three, four conversational threads going at the same time.

In any event, I could hardly form any opinion about whether you are "uncool," since I know nothing about you. (And anyway, three-quarters of the people who hang out here qualify as "uncool" in many, many ways. I mean, this here is as strange a collection of geezers, cranks, moonbats, circus clowns, geeks, freaks, wizards and weirdos you're ever gonna run across. We even have a talking dog here who writes haiku, fer criossakes. I mean, c'mon. On this blog, two of the favorite topics are knitting and the sport of curling. I kid you not. So please dispense with the "uncool.")

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I said that referring to it as 'family sh*t', slamming others while barely in the door, was an uncool act.

And for what it's worth Mudge, I think you're cool. I won't list here some of the way cool things you've done, but... pretend all you want, there's no getting away from it. You're cool.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 7, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Not to us, lchristian. Hang around, you'll see.

The very book, mudge. Thank you.

Bumped it up to 8 Gb of RAM. Mortii will understand!

Posted by: -dbG- | April 7, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

well, now 2 people have told me to shut up and get lost and/or go f myself.

Politely.

Charming “bar.”

(and no, I don't think I misread you at all. you jump very quickly to defensiveness and correction of perceived faults. that's pretty much evident and self-revelatory.)

The thing is, if you go to a meeting called for, oh, let’s say a zoning issue, do you get up during the meeting to show slides of your latest trip somewhere?

Blogs can be whatever the initiator and participants want it to be.

And you have acutely discerned that I am “new” here and don’t “understand.”

My, aren’t you tolerant about that?

Sorry for invading your private little club.

Your having been here and doing all these things all these years, doesn’t make it right.

It also doesn’t make it wrong.

It’s just what you’re used to.

and you guys seem to believe your own mythos that you are somehow cooler or offbeat than other sites. a bit high-school, don't you think?

You might try to understand that others from elsewhere are used to something else.

And maybe you should be the one making space at the “bar” for the visitor/stranger/outlander.

Posted by: Ichristian | April 7, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Um, jim... I've been treated by black doctors, met black lawyers, professors, hospital administrators. I had black teachers, too.

Jim Crow held back african-americans from succeeding on an equal basis. It's only been 40 years and there has been a lot of accomplishment in that term.

In 150 years, should idiots like you NOT create any more trouble or tolerate further inequality in civil rights, we will see a much fuller integration in society at all classes.

I say let the Confederate flag burn. It should be dusty history, and I say this as somebody who grew up knee-deep in Civil War stuff and Virginia history.

Mark Twain said the South suffered from a disease of romanticism, he called it the Walter Scott Syndrome.

You should read his "Life on the Mississippi" to see exactly how those "enlightened" post-Civil War southerners treated people, not just slaves and ex-slaves.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 7, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Ken Burns made the point that before the Civil War, the US was a collection of states. After the Civil War, it was the United States of America. I think he said the pronoun referring to the US changed from plural to singular. But I can't find the exact quote, so I may be completely wrong.

I would say it was Lincoln and Grant who should be admired for their generosity in victory, not Lee for accepting it. Although I suppose he deserves credit for that. When I saw McDonnell's declaration, my first thought was that maybe some of them should have been hanged backed then. Coming my this normally non-violent person, you can see what I thought of this.

My mother's grandfather fought in the Civil War, for the Union, in a PA regiment. We have a commemorative poster that he got around 1900, which has his service dates, a flowery statement of some sort, pictures of horses and swords (it's at my sister's house). So we sort of felt a personal connection to the war.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Miss Manners says this:
Getting along with people
Means smiles, not growls.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 7, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

*Catching up after a morning of meetings*

Thanks, dricks, for your 11:36. You said it so I don't have to. And a belated "bravo" to RD.

Maybe I'm connecting dots that ought not be connected, but I see a common theme here. Back in Civil Ware times, rich folks (i.e., those with slaves) convinced poorer folks to fight in the war (i.e., do something against their self-interest) by convincing them it was about States Rights. Today, rich folks are convincing poorer folks to do something against their self-interst (voting Republican and against health care reform) by calling it a States Rights issue.

*Going away to find Motrin for the headache I caused myself*

Posted by: Raysmom | April 7, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

*faxing headache relief to Raysmom*

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how things remain the same, isn't it?

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The Civil War was NOT fought over slavery. It was NOT fought over states' rights.

It was fought over money!

If the South had been allowed to leave the Union, then the North would have been unable to enforce tariffs on imported goods. The border between North & South would have been impossible to seal off against smugglers.

Tariffs were not only how the Northern government raised revenue, but they ensured fat profits for Northern manufacturers.

PLUS, Southern cotton and Rice were the US's major exports.

ALSO, with the South in control of the Mississippi, grain grown West of the Appalachians would have been subject to taxes leaving the port of New Orleans.

Posted by: pmendez | April 7, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Um, Mudge, do we get to choose our own category ("geezers, cranks, moonbats, circus clowns, geeks, freaks, wizards and weirdos")? I'd like to be a moonbat, please. Can a squirrel even BE a moonbat? I need a zoologist, stat!

As someone who studies the subject of today's Kit for a living, I'm sorry to say that Gov. McDoofus is just the latest in a long line of people who misunderstand, misinterpret, and misuse history. Given the news from Texas, as they try frantically to re-write history to reflect a right-wing bias, we can expect more of this kind of stupidity when an entire generation will be taught that Jefferson wasn't an important figure in the founding of the nation or that our government was riddled with Soviet spies in the 1950s. Among their proposed changes, studying Jeff Davis's inaugeration address alongside Lincoln's. Because it was so significant for the nation's history [ouch -- is it possible to roll your eyes so hard, you sprain your eyeballs?].

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | April 7, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

And there's pmendez to prove my point. . .

Posted by: 7900rmc | April 7, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

*faxing eyeball relief to Snarky Squirrel*

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I say if they want to commemorate Confederate History Month then get the matches out and burn Richmond one more time. I like how there is no month dedicated towards Virginia's role in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korea Conflict or Vietnam conflict.

States rights my you-know-what. Crank out that revisionist history. Idiots like the Governor make me glad that my ancestors moved from VA.

Posted by: HeddWyn | April 7, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I beg to differ with the person who said...when my Irish ancestors came over in the 1800s they were considered worse than black people and Chinese.
---------------------------------
Were your Irish ancestors separated from each other - father sold to one plantation, mother to another and children to yet another? I don't think so. Were your Irish ancestors lashed (whipped) within an inch of their lives and/or killed, on a regular basis, because they wanted to learn to read, to worship, dared to love another, or to secure their freedom by taking flight? I don't think so. Yes, it is true the Irish were treated poorly and so were others who came here. But Africans, my ancestors, were not here by choice and were treated like animals. There is no comparison. I find that nothing to celebrate. To those who say the Civil War was not about slavery, I say you are attempting to revise history.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | April 7, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The author must have been asleep during history class. No war in the history of mankind has ever been fought over slavery, or democracy, or to help some poor country fight back against another, or for good intentions, or any other b.s.. Every war has the same root cause: power.

The justification for the war was not over the South's right to make laws restricting or allowing slavery. The war was fought over the South's right to secede from the Union.

Posted by: vk5u | April 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"...that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse." --U.S. Grant, 'Personal Memoirs'

Posted by: jthaddeus | April 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

No, Mc Donnell's racist proclamation is NOT "a reminder that we're still fighting the Civil War 150 years later."

The Civil War is over. Has been for a long time. The South LOST. It's DONE.

All that's going on here is that manipulation of teabagger ignorance and stupidity is spreading through Virginia faster than Sherman went through Georgia.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | April 7, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

certainly seems to be a "teachable moment". Wonder why so many are so horrified. Not really. There is a lot of power in being a victim and those who wield it are not going to let go without a tooth and nail fight.

Next thing you're going to tell me is it was all a bad dream and never happened. Don't commemorate 9/11 or the Holocaust, or both World Wars . You will be glorifying those dark periods. It happened for a reason. Let's talk about those reasons and learn from some pretty monumental mistakes. Those who do not learn history are destined to repeat it.

Posted by: theduck6 | April 7, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

William Faulkner, of course, understood the impact of history (especially in the South, but with implications for Poland and Russia too) as well as anyone, and he perhaps summarized it best: "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 7, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The argument for "states rights" as opposed to being for "slavery" is akin to today's tea party accusing Obama of being socialist or the anti-christ instead of calling him a ni--er.

Posted by: dc1020008 | April 7, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

7900RMC:

Read, "Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich" by Kevin P. Phillips for the root cause of the Civil War being financial interests of Northern Industrialists and their puppet government.

(Assuming you read books that don't have pictures.)

Phillips is not exactly "right wing."

Posted by: pmendez | April 7, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"The Civil War was NOT fought over slavery. It was NOT fought over states' rights."

The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were about slavery. The "House-Divided" speech in 1858 was about slavery. The Dred Scott decision a year earlier was a landmark case about slavery.

The Confederate Vice President Stevens is quoted as saying "that slavery was the chief cause of secession" in his Cornerstone Speech before the fighting commenced.

All the major legislation of the period was about slavery: Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Lincoln's election killed other compromise Bills before Congress. The divisions in the Whig party on the slavery issue killed the party.

Your interpretation of history is stupid and wrong. Lincoln himself described the times by saying "...no other national question can even get a hearing just at present."

Slavery was 9/11 and Michael Jackson dying rolled into one in the 1850s. No other question could even get a hearing.

Suggesting that the single issue driving almost all political activity leading up the the civil war wasn't the cause of the civil war is pretty ignorant.

Posted by: Gover | April 7, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

VK5U SEZ:"Every war has the same root cause: power."

Amen!

Posted by: pmendez | April 7, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The Civil War was about a lot of things. You can Google "Nullification Crisis" to learn about the issues in South Carolina in 1832. The issues were free trade and taxation (dealing with Federal tariffs), and were similar to issues leading to the American Revolution. Slavery was just another issue that brought states into conflict with the Federal government. Slavery, i.e., physical bondage, was never a viable economic model because of the high initial investment required for labor. Northern industry, mining, etc., tended to use economic bondage that has a low initial labor cost (and low replacement cost as long as there was unrestricted immigration). Federal policies tended to favor northern industrial states, the cause of the 1832 Nullification Crisis that was related to protective tariffs.

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | April 7, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will... The Confederate past (like abortion, religion, and tax policy) is a gift that keeps on giving. Always good for riling up emotions and spilling plenty of ink.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Why are they still diggin up Confederate history? uh, why are people still diggin up Nazi this and that... there are some who relish the past and all that entailed and, it isn't going away in this or the next generation so stop asking questions. The history is skewed so bad at this point that even within this article you calling folks African American and then black and reference the Kremlin ... This country is black and white and there is no changing that. Look around and see who has jobs - Mexicans and Asians - laborers and the contractors - Look at the census - look at what people are calling each other again - still and just get used to it. This is a basic crude and prejudiced society. I do get a laugh though at the numbers... You say 1/8th of the country was black slaves and for years and years people have been saying oh, those people just lying around having kids on welfare etc... and still the population numbers still only 12% are black. And I am sure this census will be no different. Wave your confederate flag all you want - I don't care - you just like all the other foreigners waving their country flag. Speak english and go USA.

Posted by: mytbone | April 7, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

GOVER: Sure slavery was a big issue leading up to the Civil War, but it was not the cause.

If it weren't for financial interests of the North, the North would have just let the South secede and say, "Good riddance! Don't let the screen door hit ya' on the way out!"

After 1865, did the North invade Brazil to end slavery there?

Don't feel bad. You're just like all the other brainwashed public school victims who think they know what US history is about.

Posted by: pmendez | April 7, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I turn my back for 48 hours, and look what happens.

Excellent Kit, Joel, and I praise both Padouk and those who praise him.

I have always been impressed at how North and South reconciled (in the sense of Truth & Reconciliation) and can't imagine what political advantage McDonnell sees in this revisionist move.

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

JUST AN OBSERVATION --

WHY DID WAPO GIVE THIS STORY SUCH VISIBILITY?
WHY DID WAPO USE THE OLD STARS AND BARS?

There is much heavier news that will affect all Americans happening throughout our world that bears much more ink -- but, WaPo decides to spread a lot of ink that will get those prone to divisiveness to either get in their pickup trucks and run down the road tooting their horns, or the other side start pouting and marching.

WaPo, take a look at what the European press is covering, and TAKE A HINT!!

Posted by: wheeljc | April 7, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line, is that the Civil war about many things how Federal money from customs and other revnues would be used, whether we would be an agricultural nation or an industrialized one. However, the real over arching reason for the war was to decide what kind of a nation we would be which incorporates all the other so called reasons. Slavery was also a labor issue for most Northerners and a moral one to a minority.. If the south had slave labor instead of free, it disadvantaged poor whites in the south and workers in the north as well. GFor most in the North the war was fought to preserve the Union. We did preserve the Union. Now they want to pull it apart again.

One would think that as far down the line from that time as we are that the south would understand they lost and move on. We are not going back to antebellum times. For many years, the South would not celebrate Lincoln's birthday. So to accommodate the South, we merged Lincoln's birthday with that of Washington, losing a holiday in the process. Thanks confederates. This silliness in Virginia is simply more of that type of stupidity. I have no issue with Virginians or any other southern state honoring their dead from that war but this move by this governor is not really about that, it's a political statement and it has racial overtones, considering that slavery was not mentioned, and considering the fact that occupant of the White House is half African American and that one of the rallying cries of his racist opponents is "take back our country". Take back your country from whom? A president elected to office by a majority of the citizens. Do we need two thirds of all voters to get to that now too?

It should be realized that the actions of Southrons, (old Civil war term), of the time were treason. If Virginia wishes to celebrate its past treasonous acts, the balance of the nation outside of the old confederacy should take notice. I believe that in Texas, at least, they want to secede it again. Treason then and treason now. Do you hear Rick Perry? I've vacationed in the south occasionally and I never looked with favor upon it, when people in the south flew the stars and bars over the national flag. That's treason too and you know some of you do it. Not funny Southrons.

Posted by: robertmerry | April 7, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

wheeljc - Ummm, did you actually look at the newspaper or website today? This subject provides a very, very small percentage of the content. Look around, son/gal, it's a big ole world out there!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

seriously there are a lot of good comments in here and lot of them are idiotic. Especially Ichristian, you shouldn't model yourself after the comic book guy, it's not very becoming.


Posted by: MNMNT | April 7, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The Civil War was about states rights - yes, slavery was part of it, a BIG part of it - but not all of it.

To say you can't remember the complete history of the Civil War - with all it's warts and lumps - would be a mistake.

As for the author's statement that to acknowledge Confederate History is 'a poke in the eye for black Virginians' is grossly inaccurate - to not acknowledge it is to ignore one of the greatest disputes regarding the freedoms of black people throughout America.

Do we ignore the prison camps of Germany because we don't like the horror they caused? No. Why should we turn a blind eye to the Confederacy?

To not acknowledge history, or to protest history because of claims of 'racism' only shows that the author is pushing an agenda.

Posted by: Disbelief | April 7, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Bring it on, I say.

The Confederacy lost in a humiliating defeat to the North.

Whet we see here is butthurt southerners who don't know the difference between victory and defeat.

Defeated armies, yeah, that soreness lives on.

Get some help, before you get your panties all in a bunch again.

Yup - you'll make a big stink, and lose again.

Posted by: pgibson1 | April 7, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The article states "why are we still fighting the Civil War"?...the answer is quite simple. There are still a whole lot of closet racists in this country. Many in ole Virginnie. Oh Yea....let's us celebrate a now defunct government that kept 4 million human beings in slavery. Oh! Those were the good ole days....?

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 7, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with McDonnell, and it was good that the South lost in the long run. What annoys a lot of Southerners is how simplistic the media and society smugly paints the issue of a southern resident's complicity in slavery and racism. As a Virginian, if I were to admit my admiration of Robert E. Lee, I would IMMEDIATELY be perceived as a racist, and would be asked to account for my opinion.

This comes from, what I believe, is an overly self righteous opinion Americans in regions outside the South have of themselves. It's easy to do, if you overlook the blatant racism that exist throughout the country, in degrees that are much more extreme that currently exists below the Mason Dixon.

How integrated are New York City's public schools? The Hamptons? Howard Beach? Chicago? Los Angeles? Boston? Philadephia? Long Beach, CA? Kansas City? St. Louis? Cleveland? Detroit?

Which state holds the record for the most public lynchings? Indiana.

What state elected the first African American governor? Virginia.

Racism exists - that's a simple fact. Those guilty come in all forms of ethnicity.

This a Virginia quirk, not quest.

Posted by: robl | April 7, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

All you need to know about this issue is this: people in Rhode Island, NY, PA, Conn, etc. don't go around waving Union flags. It's only the willfully ignorant Southerners that act like the Civil War is still going on.

Also, "Lincoln's election triggered a secessionist wave in the South ", sounds quite parallel to Obama's election triggering a wave of "tea partiers" and "conserevatives".

Posted by: jakeyrotten | April 7, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

When Jim Webb was running for Senator, the Post didn't bat an eye over the fact that he'd given a sympathetic speech at the Confederate Memorial. This is selective umbrage designed to serve a purely political goal.

Posted by: tomtildrum | April 7, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for Virginia celebrating the Confederacy. Speaking as a former CW re-enactor, let's re-enact the burning of Richmond this week. I'll bring the matches.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 7, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Consider an American theme (different groups responded to different themes). Our culture (s) differed greatly from that of Europe. I think that the Louisiana Purchase was the single most important event in American history. It set the stage for manifest destiny, the idea of the frontier, and the glorification of the axe, the rifle and the highway. Maybe the Civil War would not have occurred without expansion of our territory westward- the expansion certainly made slavery much more profitable than it was in 1789, even more than the cotton gin. White Protestant Americans heard the call "An almost unlimited territory remains to be settled. Freehold estates, many of excellent territory, may be purchased on moderate terms" (David Humphreys, 1804, long before the Homestead Act). The land was assumed to be unused, empty, waiting for settlers, but potentially dangerous- settlers heard stories of abduction by Indians. Few sympathized with the problems of nonwhites. No wonder that our culture teaches us that we are suckers if we allow ourselves to be taxed for the common good.

Forebears like Andrew Jackson, Indian fighter, ethnic cleanser and land speculator, could not consider the rights of nonwhites. Europeans, seemingly much more secular, learned that anyone can become ill or dispossessed; they feel an obligation to sustain a real safety net.

Posted by: bobsnodgrass | April 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

RD, although I agree that war wears away inhibitions, I'm not entirely sure it factors more than ideology. At the very least ideology will lie at the root cause of the war. I'd argue any form of conflict, violent or not, fueled the right way, will eat away at inhibitions in proportion to it's intensity. That's why it usually pays to keep an open mind and a civil tongue. An ideologue rarely has these traits.

I take comfort in the fact that despots have to resort to burying themselves in secrecy or obscuring history to make their actions palatable. It says something positive about human nature that these regimes are not viable without the obfuscation and propaganda.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad somebody finally brought up Kansas. When I was a Lawrence Kansas resident, I'd become appalled when I'd see a car with a stars-and-bars sticker. It takes massive insensitivity to display a rebel flag in that town.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then look it up.

Posted by: steve1231 | April 7, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The Reconstruction period was a great tragedy. Had Lincoln not been assassinated, I think the aftermath of the war would have been much different. Not sure that he would have come up with Truth and Reconciliation, but some of the worst injustices may have been avoided. In so many ways, we're still fighting the Civil War.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

HUH??? Confederate History Month? See my blog today at http://bit.ly/9tx1GC or visit www.trinitydc.edu and join the HUH??? contest...

Posted by: TrinityPresident | April 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Gotta run ... so this is off the cuff, and I don't know now how I came to credit any of it: The recent history of this Republic might have been less contentious had the Grant Administration been allowed to prosecute Reconstruction fully. However, they were distracted by the collapse of the railroad bubble, which brought home to them the notion that their plans were already overextended.

Posted by: Entenpfuhl | April 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Hell Yeah the Civil War is being refought by the GOP..

What else, what other ideas do they have left ..

Other than
hate
and
disolusionment
and
propaganda
and
practicing bitotry

Posted by: Fei_Hu | April 7, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

robl....I would agree with most of what you say about unfairly judging the entire State because of the actions of a few. But the rise in this kind of stuff, ie: Confederate Month smacks of closet racism with our first black president in office. Celebrating or even commemorating a now defunct psudo-government that advocated the enslavement of millions of human beings is not something to be proud of. Especially, if I were a Virginian.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 7, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

What I find really amusing about the old-school Southern idea that the Civil War took it all away is that most of the white families in the South weren't wealthy plantation owners. Some poorer white families had a couple of slaves, but many weren't even slaveowners. They often were sharecroppers, didn't even have their own land. I know my Confederate family branch weren't prevented by the War from their rightful place. If they'd been at all successful they wouldn't have chucked it all for the Land Run and a new start in 1889.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 7, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't the Iraq War was over weapons of mass destruction but it is not convenient at this point to say that.

It was a spontaneous civil war to throw off a tyrant. That sounds better.

Posted by: MHawke | April 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Why? Two reasons.

1. There are still plenty of racists in this country.

2. Sore losers.

Posted by: _Cowabunga_ | April 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know precisely which ones, but I know that there were members of my family on either side in the Civil War.

Also: McDonnell is a horse's backside of the highest order.

Also: Carthago delenda est.

But McDonnell still will be an ass.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 7, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

This is just another example of how the North won the war and lost the peace. We Northerners allowed the South to glorify the confederacy and sometimes we still let the do it now. I can understand why this happened 145 years ago. Northerners were tired of war. They wanted to knit the country back together and that meant not bruising delicate, fragile Southern egos. The South wasn't really forced to change until the 1960s, and by that time, the South believed its own propaganda and had raised monuments to its Confederate past, instead of vilifying it. Today, however, we should know better.

Posted by: CSS747 | April 7, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The teabaggers and their leaders think they want another civil war, but they have no idea what's at stake. You should wonder why your opposition isn't in the streets being loud and stupid like you...don't take our silence as weakness--that would be a huge mistake. Bring it on...you'll lose again, but in a way that you won't want to remember.

Posted by: Beingsensible | April 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Other than in parts of Africa even today, America was the only country to shed blood over the issue of slavery. It had previously been abolished peacefully in Europe on moral grounds and earlier in the Northern States as unprofitable. By 1860 with the beginnings of the mechanization of agriculture, new immigrants spreading farming and ranching into the Midwest and more importantly, Europe, was discovering cotton could be had even more cheaply from their own colonies in Egypt and India. The natural and peaceful demise of slavery in the South was certainly less than a generation away. The fact that the war erupted with so little attempt by wiser heads on both sides to effect some last minute compromise makes it tempting to think that perhaps deeper societal, cultural and economic issues were at play with slavery being the most visible manifestation and became the lightning rod of these underlying problems.

Posted by: slim2 | April 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So what if it was about states rights and slavery and expansion into the western territories? It was noble and selfish, a little of one followed by plenty of the other; the nobility of a plucky upstart in a vain fight against a foregone conclusion. It harkens back to our history of our state and our struggle, for us, not for people born elsewhere who live here now. Think of it like attending your spouses high school reunion.

Posted by: ronjaboy | April 7, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach

"The Republican Party was the anti-slavery party in the 1860 election"


Honest Abe

"the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it [slavery]"


Who ya gonna believe?


Posted by: blasmaic | April 7, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

FINALLY! I think I can cash in all those Dixie cups I have been saving all these years!
Gotta love the Gov!

Posted by: movette | April 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell have people to answer to if he didn't commemorate Confederate history month. The author said that this commemoration was a poke in the eye to black Virginians. In reality as a black from Virginia, I don't care because what do you expect. Virginia is still considered a Southern state and conservative. Black folks didn't rush out and vote for McDonnell and besides he can't run reelection in Virginia because of the state constitution. It is not going to hurt him politically unless he decides to run for Senate or President, then it maybe a real big problem because this act of commemorating the Confederacy doesn't have that broad appeal to people outside the South. Trying to build a multicultural coalition and winning nationally and statewide again maybe an issue. This issue can be used a fodder by opponents in the future particularly in the politics of race.

Posted by: jharris3 | April 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell have people to answer to if he didn't commemorate Confederate history month. The author said that this commemoration was a poke in the eye to black Virginians. In reality as a black from Virginia, I don't care because what do you expect. Virginia is still considered a Southern state and conservative. Black folks didn't rush out and vote for McDonnell and besides he can't run reelection in Virginia because of the state constitution. It is not going to hurt him politically unless he decides to run for Senate or President, then it maybe a real big problem because this act of commemorating the Confederacy doesn't have that broad appeal to people outside the South. Trying to build a multicultural coalition and winning nationally and statewide again maybe an issue. This issue can be used a fodder by opponents in the future particularly in the politics of race.

Posted by: jharris3 | April 7, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

“How come we're still fighting the Civil War”?

Because that’s the only war “we” have won.

Posted by: Shanan1 | April 7, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"America was the only country .."

America is a hemisphere. The USA is a country.

Try getting into the USA by saying "I am an American."

Good luck with that?

So are people from Canada, Mexico and even Brazil. Americans all.

And probably with better educations, too.

Posted by: gary4books | April 7, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Achenbach.....Stick to 20th Century European history. Your belief about the North soft pedaling slavery as a cause for the sake of the Border States is way off base. MD, KY and MO were battlegrounds throughout the war and many of their sons fought for both sides in the war. The Emancipation Proclamation was a method to undermine the South's war effort. The slaves in the Border States did not gain their free status until the adoption of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution.

Posted by: dollarsforgoofs | April 7, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The civil war was about one group, the southern white aristocrats, preserving it's way of life, which was one of their living lives of luxury off the sweat and labor of the slaves.

It wasn't about anything else, although the confederate apologists and propogandists have been trying to convince people otherwise since the day it ended.

It is something that should be remembered with shame and guilt by the south, not pride.

Gov. McDonnell's decision to reinstate a "tradition" that was started a whole 13 years ago by the racist Gov. Allen (he of "Makaka" fame) identifies McDonnell for the racist he is.

Posted by: toc59 | April 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Look out Y'all . . .
The South will rise again. and This Time...
We will Secede again, fight again, lose again . . . .
Then apply for Foreign Aid!

Posted by: lufrank1 | April 7, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

As a Canadian, I have to disagree. We *never* call ourselves Americans -- we do call US residents that.

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Why are we still fighting the civil war?
Cause of misdirected hill-jack rage and inferiority complex.

Posted by: veronihilverius | April 7, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Because the Democrats are STILL Traitors.

Posted by: Imarkex | April 7, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

As a white Virginia resident, I feel McDonnell has poked me in the eye, too.

Posted by: ArtCee | April 7, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Um, robertmerry, I appreciate your comment, though I feel compelled to note that a simple majority of citizens voting for a candidate is not enough to elect a President.

Otherwise, we'd have had Al Gore elected to office in 2000, wouldn't we?

The Electoral College system is what we've got, and well, it is what it is.

Ichristian - you can tell from the Blog Item (or 'Kit') above that topics may jump around a bit in here from comment to comment, and there are threads - and relationships - in here that go back years. Clubby? Maybe, but as others point out, for those of us who have been around awhile, it's more like family. For all that entails...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Um, robertmerry, I appreciate your comment, though I feel compelled to note that a simple majority of citizens voting for a candidate is not enough to elect a President.

Otherwise, we'd have had Al Gore elected to office in 2000, wouldn't we?

The Electoral College system is what we've got, and well, it is what it is.

Ichristian - you can tell from the Blog Item (or 'Kit') above that topics may jump around a bit in here from comment to comment, and there are threads - and relationships - in here that go back years. Clubby? Maybe, but as others point out, for those of us who have been around awhile, it's more like family. For all that entails...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

bc, you said "Electoral College" and now my head will explode in 3...2...1...

Posted by: kguy1 | April 7, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think that the states rights issue is, in some respects, moving beyond slavery and the civil war. It's now turning to new issues like guns, abortion, taxes, and, more recently, health care. Depending on what Obama tries to do with No Child, I expect that education will probably slip into the mix, too.

Why is this not about slavery and the South anymore? For some in the South, it may still be, but a lot of the states rights advocates have shifted to the West where the Civil War is a non-issue. Slavery never divided the West, and there are no deep-seated resentments over the war or civil rights. In western states, states rights are a code word for states rights, and nothing more.

Politics in this country have been stuck in the Civil War for 150 years, and stuck on slavery for 250 years, and states rights have taken a severe beating ever since the Civil War thanks to its unfortunate ties to the South and slavery. Until states can assert themselves again against the federal government, however, our system is going to remain broken, with Washington governing from afar, spending run amok, and federal bureaucracies ordering around states' budgets and people's lives.

Posted by: blert | April 7, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I certainly hope that some of you "new" people choose to stick around. The others, ... nah, not so much. That being said, Mudge and slyness, I hope the Bunker is accessible. You know, just in case.

BTW, Mudge -- how about if I remit to you what I owe you at the IBPH. K?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Bunker watchdog here:
Boodle is bare and dusty:
Please hang up more kitsch.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 7, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

TOC59 SEZ: "The civil war was about one group, the southern white aristocrats, preserving it's way of life, which was one of their living lives of luxury off the sweat and labor of the slaves."

Nooooooo.... That was was Southern SECESSION was all about.

The WAR part started when the North wouldn't allow the South to leave the Union.

Posted by: pmendez | April 7, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"How come we're still fighting the civil war"?

Because the south is populated to ignorant people and racist people. Just look at the new Texas "curriculum".

These people take pride in their ignorance, they wear their stupidity as a badge of honor.

These are the people that think the bible is a history book.

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | April 7, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

TOC59 SEZ: "The civil war was about one group, the southern white aristocrats, preserving it's way of life, which was one of their living lives of luxury off the sweat and labor of the slaves."

Nooooooo.... That was what Southern SECESSION was all about.

The WAR part started when the North wouldn't allow the South to leave the Union.

Posted by: pmendez | April 7, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey if nothing else aspiring secessionists can come to Virginia and see what their graves might look like 150 years later.

Posted by: Nymous | April 7, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

civil war battle fields and confederate histroical landmarks are a big part of virgina's tourism. i dont know why that is so hard for democrats to understand why mccdonnel, as governor, would want to highlight those attractions. obamanomics is doing so much better obviously what with him presiding over the second half of the longest recession since the great depression and generally exposing his ignorance of the basics of business and jobs creation every time he opens his craw.

Posted by: dummypants | April 7, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Yep.

There's nothing quite like honoring "We wish those N*$$#rs were back in chains month” when it comes to strengthening your conservative base.

Works every time!

Independents, are you paying attention?

Posted by: Cobalt1 | April 7, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

It would have been just as easy for him to declare "Civil War History Month". That he did not is a clear reflection of his intention to stoke the racist flames ala the Tea Partiers.

Posted by: jloveland_sf | April 7, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

*faxing more scratches and tummy rubs to the insatiable Wilbrodog*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Remember, this is the guy who the Republicans tagged to deliver their response to the State of the Union. Their best and brightest.

It is just this type of racist, bigoted nonsense that drove me from the Republican Party.

Posted by: lincolnhunt | April 7, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Hell Yeah the Civil War is being refought by the GOP..

What else, what other ideas do they have left ..

Other than
hate
and
disolusionment
and
propaganda
and
practicing bitotry
Posted by: Fei_Hu
========================================

Spoken like a true liberal that only thinks what his party tells him to. If some of you had any understanding of the history of the south you will see that what caused the civil war was not simply because of slavery. That is too easy a story line for those that dont understand to grasp onto. (Sounds famaliar today with the Democrats mantra of "the party of No")

But what was the war really about. It was really about economics, plain and simple. It was about how to maintain the economic growth that each portion of the country felt was important, agriculture vs. industrial. And yes, it was about the differences in how these economies should work. This leads us to the states rights discussion, and slavery.

And lets not forget the time in which this war was faught. Our country wasn't even 100 years old. All of our founding fathers owned slaves. Was it right to do, definitely not, but it was socially acceptable at the time. There are many cultures through time that have had slaves, and some that still do, and some cultures in the future that will. It is just the way humans are.

But i digress. Part of the issue during that time is that many still feared an imperial take over by the Federal Govt, leaving no rights left to the states. Many of the people during this time had pride for the state they were from. Akin to the feeling some of us have for the US today when watching the Olympics. But sadly the feeling of state pride is not as strong today as it was during the mid 1800's. That is probably why those from states in the West do not understand the feeling and pride many southerners have for their home, and why some northerns feel so strongly about their home. It is no different between regions in europe with long histories and general difference of opinions. It think unless you grew up in it, you will always have a hard time understanding...

So for a state, or commonwealth (my home commonwealth btw), wants to recognize their history and have a confederate month let them. Each state still has the right to dedicate and remember things from their past, or is this something that we need the Federal Govt to also approve!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | April 7, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It is foolish to take offense where none was intended.

When Southerners talk about remembering dead Confederate soldiers or comemmorating events of the Civil War they are not out to insult black people or to defend the social order or the pre-war South. What both Joel and many of the commenters here are doing is essentially saying that the people whose homes were burned and fathers were killed are not entitled to describe their experience of that war.

Virginia's experience of the Civil War was absolutely brutal. The politics behind the war are a whole other thing. Sure, have fun debating the politics of it. Secession was a pretty stupid idea, in my opinion. But the politics that led up to the event should not be confused with the experience of living through the invasion of your home by armies that absolutely devastated the entire landscape.

Look at Afghanistan. The Taliban was harboring al Queda and we had every good reason to invade that country and build a new government there. The politics behind the war were sound. That doesn't entitle me to tell some Afghan family to shut up and forget the fact that we dropped a cluster bomb on their house and killed their father in an infantry assault. Nor am I entitled to tell them exactly how many years or generations can go by before they have to shut up about it.

The politics behind war should never be allowed to overwhelm or to silence the reality of its effects on the human beings that suffer from it. Whether we're talking about Afghans who didn't demand that the Taliban hand over bin Laden, or Southerners who failed to oppose slavery, these political considerations should never be allowed to silence a discussion of the human cost.

I'm far from a McDonnell supporter and I volunteered often for Creigh Deeds' campaign. That said, I think McDonnell is doing something good here. We all know that slavery was bad. Nobody is saying that slavery should be ignored. We have a while black history month where this is examined nationally every year. What we're saying in VA here is that we would like to consider the human cost of the war as well as the human cost of the politics that led to it.

Posted by: JacksonLanders | April 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Official names:

República Federativa do Brasil
Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Dominion of Canada

Hence:

Brazilian
Mexican
Canadian or Canadien

That's why citizens of the United States of America are called Americans

Posted by: omni3 | April 7, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

like it or not the confederacy is part of our history.
those that fought were brave a proud soldiers - even the ones on the losing side.

most southern soldiers did not own slaves and could care less about slavery - they were driven by love of their state and the 10th Amendment.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | April 7, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I've always thought of the boodle as a chatroom more than a message board. A chatroom whose pacing is handled by Kurosawa: you know, alternately energetic and frivoulous, sometimes very measured with pensive rumbling, sighing and gazing at faraway vistas and a few considered remarks. Then it's front page alert, the katanas come out and vivisective hilarity ensues.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a really, truly idiotic issue ... the Civil War is long over, my ancestors fought on both sides of it, and my kids love visiting Civil War sites. That's what's so great about America--we can tear our country apart, bind it back together, and then 150 years later make a living by selling blue or grey caps (and blue and grey plastic toy soldiers) to 8 year olds. I'm being serious here--tourism is the reason McDonnell did what he did and while he might have worded things better we are being way too political to see anything else in it than an appeal to tourism. Yes, the Southerners tried to leave the United States--but when they failed, their descendants went on to be some of the most patriotic citizens of us all. So get in your car, drive out to the batlefield at Manassas (or Fredericksburg or Antietam, for that matter), whistle "Dixie" as well as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and remember that America has always been strongest when it put the past behind it rather than bearing old grudges (as too many societies around the world still do)

Posted by: ToughChoices | April 7, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Until states can assert themselves again against the federal government, however, our system is going to remain broken, with Washington governing from afar, spending run amok, and federal bureaucracies ordering around states' budgets and people's lives."

blert, this line of argument would carry more weight if those Western and Southern states weren't so avid about taking federal dollars. The biggest recipient states (those which get much more in federal funding than they pay in federal taxes) are New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, the Dakotas, Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia, and Montana. If you live in one of those states the chances are that your roads and schools are being financed in part by citizens in Connecticut and New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, California, etc.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 7, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The "outrage" expressed by the perpetually offended race warriors is as fake as John Lewis' claim he was called racist names at the Tea Party rally last week. The fact the Confederacy existed is something that they want to purge from our history like in some Soviet Era textbook. But the Confederacy and the Confederate Battle Flag mean different things to different people. The so-called civil rights crowd want to use the flag and Confederacy issues as clubs to beat the white man into submission and deprive any type of legitimacy forpeople who have perfectly appropriate sentiments toward the South. They are the true racists and they have no tolerance for any point of view that is different than their own. This is all contrived by cynical blacks to jerk around the South and cower liberals who are too afraid of being called a racists to stand up for themselves or good people who happen to have idealized views of the South. It's all fake, contrived, bogus and it is a hoax. You people who trash the South deserve to be the losers that you are. Blaming events that occurred 150 years ago for the total failure of the Black culture today is just wrong.

Posted by: beachbum09 | April 7, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It was!

It wasn't!

Oh yes it was!

No, it wasn't, you idiot!

----

Let us muse philosophically over the power exerted on the human mind, the appeal, of one-factor explanations. Manicheanism lurks behind the curtain. Dichotomize, slice, yes/no, are you with me or against me?

Is my father's ghost real? Is he telling the truth? To be, or not to be?

Can we acknowledge that slavery was a source of wealth, privilege, and power for a class of Southernors? And also that many industrialists profited also from from the system?

But what brought in the rest of the people of the Confederacy? Local loyalty and pride, still wounded? The Jacksonian spirit fueled by the infusion of old Scots borderers, in rebellion against the English for centuries? The resentment of hill people against Federal revenuers? The spreading-westward railroads, tying the agrarian Midwest more closely to the East, less to the South by the old shipping paths along the Mississippi and Ohio?

Let's take a long, slow sip of the brewski, noting that even here the flavor is a complex blend of elements - the selection and roasting of grains, the yeasts, the hops, the timing of the hops, the temperature of the fermentation. Could history be simpler than beer?

Posted by: j2hess | April 7, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Would it be safe to say that there were Virginians who fought for the Union? If so, wouldn't it have been much proper for the governor to have proclaimed Civil War History Month? This would allow the celebrant to make their own decision - an "individual rights" argument.

Certainly VA was a Confederate state and pivotal in that role - the Army of Northern Virginia is but one example. But, there sure were a lot of battles fought in Virginia and sons of the Union died in those battles as much as the sons of the Confederacy. I also seem to have been taught something relevant about West Virginia as well.

Because we have slowly healed the wound of the American Civil War, I believe we should remember the entire context in which it was fought and remember the horrific losses of all three parties- Union combatants, Confederate combatants and civilians. Singling out one side is bad political juju and would make my paternal great grandfather (an Union cavalryman) roll over in his grave...if he had muscles, ligaments and neurons left.

Shall we just get over this and celebrate the memory of the dead, all the dead?

Posted by: mraymond10 | April 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joel.. wanna know why were still fighing the Civil War? Cuz loafs like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson keep stirring the pot. If they didn't, they'd be unemployed.

Posted by: rg019571 | April 7, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln was not going to move to free the slaves in 1861 - and he never had the votes in the Senate to do such a thing -


So why in the world did the South start a war?

I don't get it - killing 500,000 people when the whole thing could have been negotiated out.

.


.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | April 7, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The next Civil War is going to between Democrat Traitors and Republican American Patriots.Coming soon.

Posted by: Imarkex | April 7, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The next Civil War is going to be between Democrat Traitors and Republican American Patriots.Coming soon.

Posted by: Imarkex | April 7, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Louise. *sigh*

Three Points.

1) It should be apparent from today’s discussion and many of these comments that some topics are massively loaded with all sorts of “code,” especially highly emotional and often irrational code and ideas, and the Civil War, the Confederate flag, and everything associated with it (“the South shall rise again”) is probably the single largest “code” topic on the table. At least discussions of things like abortion and many religion-related issues are at least pretty straight-forward (which is to say, un-coded).

2) Although I heartily agree with those who say that Gov. McDonnell is an idiot and a moron (and he is), I recognize that these words are hyperbole and metaphor. While I think he’s a moron of the first water, I also believe when he issued this stupid proclamation he knew EXACTLY what he was doing, and that he was speaking in that very same “code,” delivering a message to a certain segment of his constituency, and that it had nothing whatsoever to do with any d@mn notion of promoting tourism. If he wanted to promote tourism, he should have gone back to that “Virginia Is For Lovers” campaign, but there’s almost nobody who doesn’t like boffing in the great outdoors. But no. He had to pick the one topic even a third-grader knows is loaded with all sorts of innuendo, a lot of it racist on its face. Way to go, Bob.

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

3) Once upon a time, maybe 30 or 40 years ago, I would have been among the first to agree that free and open communications, and wide-ranging, open, no-holds-barred discussion was a Good Thing, a cornerstone of democracy and Western Civilization. I have long since given up that naïve, idealistic idea. My wife and I have been very good/best friends with another couple for 27 years in my case and over 40 years in the case of my wife and her friendship with X. But the thing is, this other couple are politically conservative, pretty devoutly religious, and of an evangelical but not quite fundamentalist bent. My point is this: our friendship has survived for decades precisely because there are some topics (politics and religion) that I am expressly forbidden to EVER discuss with them. My wife kicks me under the table if I even stray close to rendering an opinion touching upon religion. So much, in other words, for free and open communication and the exchange of ideas, dialog, blah, blah blah. The truth is, there are some things people should NEVER talk about, and the Civil War, with all its massive code, is one of them. All of today’s discussion – not only on this blog but anywhere else there are chats and talk and discussion – has been pointless, irritating, useless, counterproductive. Never mind that like a lot of other Rovestorms that it has brought all the wack jobs (on both sides, in all fairness) out of the woodwork; this was still a coded and inflammatory topic well before the Internet. The Internet has simply facilitated the inflammation and given easy access to the formerly disenfranchised “silent” types whose crayon-scrawled letters-to-the-editor used to be rejected back in the days when the media had editors and exercised discrimination, and most communication was all one-sided.

On this topic there is no common consensus, there are no commonly agreed terms, there are no rules, there is no "learning" going on, no one's mind is being changed. There is plenty of heat, but not a photon of light.

So no. McDonnell has simply opened Pandora’s Box, and let all the demons out. And they are running all over this and many other blogs, radio, cable, etc. Shame on him. But who didn’t know he was exactly like this?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If the Civil War were primarily about Northern opposition to slavery, then why did Lincoln wait nearly two years into the war to issue the emancipation proclamation? And why did he ensure it applied ONLY to those states that were attempting to secede? (There were border states that were slave states but that had sided with the North. The emancipation proclamation did NOT apply to those states. Slaves were still slaves in those states. Lincoln refused to extend the proclamation to those states because he did not want to risk antagonizing those states and thereby push them into the Confederacy. So much for principles.)

Whatever the case, the North, which lorded its economic and manufacturing superiority over the South for decades, which never did view the South with any respect, and which also had slavery and racism all over its complexion, is now in utter economic decline and has turned into a rust belt. Just look at Niagara Falls. Or Detroit. Meanwhile, the rest of the country moves to the South in ever increasing numbers.

Posted by: HancockJM | April 7, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Beingsensible- threats are never sensible.

IF you are truly sensible, then take stock of the sides forming up.

One side favors peace and protests war, wants no weapons in the household, and no military. They believe that the government should have increasing amounts of their money for programs that are "good ideas that may work."

The other side has a massive inferiority complex, favors war, has arsenals in their households, and celebrates the military. They believe the government takes too much of their money for programs that "were poorly conceived and don't work."

The military- the locus of power in every sovereign nation- is chiefly constituted from members of the other side, and also has a memory of being spit on when they return home, being called baby killers, and are to this day protested in places considered "progressive."

Both sides have poor citizens. Both sides have lost jobs. One side is ready to protest; the other is protesting and preparing to fight.

Your threats and general incivility would not sensibly allow calmer heads to prevail.

Posted by: dgw1091 | April 7, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

While defending this nation as a member of the armed forces, I was shocked when I went to Montgomery, AL, and saw Robert E. Lee Day on an elementary school marquee. It was February, black history month. I shouldn't have been shocked, but somehow I was. Now I'm not shocked by McDonnell's insensitivity, I'm just appalled!

Posted by: bkhoward1 | April 7, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

We're still fighting the civil war because the conflict is still unresolved. Slavery has nothing to do with that conflict. Here are the stated reasons for the war at the time it was fought: the south felt States had the right to withdraw from the union; the north felt the central government had the right to forcebly compel the States to submit to its authority. That same fight has re-emerged during the health care debate, even to the point of suggestions by some that states should seceed. Many people in this country feel that the central government has vastly exceeded the powers intended for it and that the central government has become an obstacle to a free society. The fundamental ideological split between those who support a top-down, centralized imperial government vs those who support a bottom up, de-centralized aliance of localized governments remains unresolved. It is perfectly reasonable and honorable to recognize and honor the role of the confederacy in idealistically standing up for principles of freedom and local government. Of course you have to also recognize that slavery taints all that, but to say that the fight was simply about slavery is to mis-represent the conflict entirely and to misunderstand the extent to which the fight continues to animate polical issues to this day. You could just as easily dismiss the cause of the American Revolution for its roots in slavery (one of the things the British did during the revolution to get at the Americans was to promise slaves their freedom), as you can dismiss the cause of the confederacy for its roots in that very same abhorrent institution. The fight was really over a principled stand on what it means to be a free society.

Posted by: Rational4 | April 7, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

On a side note, isn't Glenn Beck's new book about an ReRevolution in this country or something?

I wonder if it will be as realistic as Heinlein's "Revolt in 2100" collection.

Oh, keep eyes on the Kit folks -- I imagine there will be some updates as the day progresses.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach: "But it looks like a poke in the eye for black Virginians and a hearty backslap for the confederates in the attic."

-------------------------

Can't it be just about our history? Is everything -- EVERYTHING! -- about race or being a victim? We have become a nation of wimps and PC cry babies. Dear God, help our country.

Posted by: JAH3 | April 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Why won't it die, because the blacks won't let it die. They continually use it to say how down trodden they are even though anything for the last 50 or so years is due to themselves. They learned well from the Jews and the holocaust, don't let a "good thing" die, play it for all it's worth. Time to tell both, blacks and Jews, to put it where the sun does not shine and worth to solve problems, rather than create problems.

Posted by: gmclain | April 7, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If I were a Virginian, I believe that this would be the day that I began a Nat Turner Day campaign.

Would this solve anything? No, but politics is getting so annoying that reacting with cool disdain to all of this hateful lunacy is increasingly difficult.

It would be deeply gratifying (to peevish me) to respond to these kinds of things with an equally offensive but opposite proclamation.

Posted by: KBoom | April 7, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southerner apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance."

-Jefferson Davis

Thank you Gov. McDonnell and AG Cuccinelli for setting the Old Dominion back on the right path. Virginians as well as all Southerners should be proud to wave the Rebel Flag and celebrate our many heroes including Gen. Stonewall Jackson, the Hon. Gen. R.E. Lee, and President Jefferson Davis.

The carpetbaggers from New York and the rest of the North have been fouling our beloved Virginny for too long.

The disgusting, commie Northerners in Maryland and Washington have been polluting the Northern area of our great state with their crime, and liberal bile.

The Northerners accuse us of racism when it is they that are the racist ones. Theyre the ones that give the negro preference in jobs and schools, yet in return the negro commits crimes against them.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There's where the cotton and corn and taters grow.
There's where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go.

There's where I labored so hard for old Massa,
Day after day in the field of yellow corn;
No place on earth do I love more sincerely
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There's where the cotton and the corn and taters grow;
There's where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go.

Carry me back to old Virginny,
There let me live till I wither and decay.
Long by the old Dismal Swamp have I wandered,
There's where this old darkey's life will pass away.

Massa and Missis have long since gone before me,
Soon we will meet on that bright and golden shore.
There we'll be happy and free from all sorrow,
There's where we'll meet and we'll never part no more.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There's where the cotton and the corn and taters grow;
There's where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go.


LONG LIVE VIRGINIA AND THE CONFEDERACY!

Posted by: uva2manassas | April 7, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. My scroll bar is getting a lot of use this afternoon.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I wish white Southerners would get over the need to justify that many (but not all Southerners of that day) defended slavery, which was the primary, but not only cause of the Civil War.

Black people could help white Southerners do this by talking about slavery in context, which is that slavery is an institution as old as civilization, most Africans were captured and sold into slavery by other Africans (not by Americans or even Europeans) and slavery is still going on in some parts of the world, including Africa.

As a descendant of immigrants from Eastern Europe, whose ethnicity is Slav, I point out that Slav means slave in several major languages. Ever wonder why? Its not a pretty story. Human history rarely is.

Truth is that everyone has ancestors who were slaves and ancestors who were slave owners. Its only a matter of how far back you can trace your ancestors.

So, we can either continue the pretense on both sides or we can all admit the truth and move on.

Posted by: jfv123 | April 7, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

When campaigning for the governorship, Mr. McDonnell sold himself as a guy with practical solutions for whom social conservatism was less relevant. He sold us a bill of goods.

Posted by: weiwentg | April 7, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Washington Post- how about pulling the Confederate flag logo off of the front page next to this link?

You wouldn't do it with a Nazi flag, would you?

You obviously did it to stir people up. You're no different than Mc Donnell, stirring up the ignorant rubes in the GOP's base, to take advantage of their fear and racism- while picking their pockets clean.


Posted by: losthorizon10 | April 7, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I respectfully suggest that this kit be renamed "Whither the Superconducting Supercollider?" That should pretty promptly thin the herd.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southerner apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance."

-Jefferson Davis

Thank you Gov. McDonnell and AG Cuccinelli for setting the Old Dominion back on the right path. Virginians as well as all Southerners should be proud to wave the Rebel Flag and celebrate our many heroes including Gen. Stonewall Jackson, the Hon. Gen. R.E. Lee, and President Jefferson Davis.

The carpetbaggers from New York and the rest of the North have been fouling our beloved Virginny for too long.

The disgusting, commie Northerners in Maryland and Washington have been polluting the Northern area of our great state with their crime, and liberal bile.

The Northerners accuse us of racism when it is they that are the racist ones. Theyre the ones that give the negro preference in jobs and schools, yet in return the negro commits crimes against them.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There's where the cotton and corn and taters grow.
There's where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go.

There's where I labored so hard for old Massa,
Day after day in the field of yellow corn;
No place on earth do I love more sincerely
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There's where the cotton and the corn and taters grow;
There's where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go.

Carry me back to old Virginny,
There let me live till I wither and decay.
Long by the old Dismal Swamp have I wandered,
There's where this old darkey's life will pass away.

Massa and Missis have long since gone before me,
Soon we will meet on that bright and golden shore.
There we'll be happy and free from all sorrow,
There's where we'll meet and we'll never part no more.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There's where the cotton and the corn and taters grow;
There's where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go.


LONG LIVE VIRGINIA AND THE CONFEDERACY!

Posted by: uva2manassas | April 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

States Rights, States Rights, Blah, blah. States rights was shouted from wealthy white plantation owners so that the common man who was to poor to own slaves would fight. The Civil War was about slavery, plain and simple. Maybe we could make May Nazi history month, and then June Imperial Japan Heritage month. If we are dedicating months to people who tried to destroy our country and killed thousands of Americans why stop with the Confederates?

Posted by: Mini22 | April 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I bet if Sherman had made his way to VA, they wouldn’t be celebrating because it would have been nothing to celebrate. That’s right VA would have been BURNED. Just ask you confederate brothers.

Posted by: access11 | April 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Happy Anniversary, Boodlers!

[See Kit Update above]

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

With our government the most corrupt it has been in history, when Robert Rubin, Clinton's Treasury Secretary, the author of "Free Trade" and "globalization" (trading U.S. jobs for peace and foreign policy cooperation), the godfather of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, admits his use of subprime loans with full knowledge that it risked a major depression, with mathematical models showing that instead of a "recovery" this country is facing a complete and utter economic collapse sometime within the next two years, with a $2 trillion debt to China, with 4 million jobs outsourced, with real unemployment above 22%, you silly twits want to waste our time and distract us by blathering about the first Civil War? Look, right this minute there are riots in the streets, the government in Kyrgyzstan been run out of office because of corruption and unemployment that are actually less onerous than the mess we have here. If the socio-economic models are accurate, and they have been depressingly accurate thus far, we face a full scale revolution in this country. So, stop wasting our time with politically correct nonsense and get down to the business of writing about the catastrophe awaiting us due to the free trade policies, the Wall Street favoring slant, the ruinous government and foreign debt the las three Administrations have led us into.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 7, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way of honoring the courageous men of the South who fought in the Civil War? Outmanned and outgunned they managed to win victory after victory until the sheer size and industrail might of the North overcame them.

They lost and it is a good thing too. But is it possible to honor the heroism of the warrior without honoring the cause for which he gave his life?

Posted by: InTheMiddle | April 7, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way of honoring the courageous men of the South who fought in the Civil War? Outmanned and outgunned they managed to win victory after victory until the sheer size and industrail might of the North overcame them.

They lost and it is a good thing too. But is it possible to honor the heroism of the warrior without honoring the cause for which he gave his life?

Posted by: InTheMiddle | April 7, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

This is being blown way out of proportion because of political correctness. The Confederacy was a great institution that people are never taught about because they will be "racist." McDonnell has recognized noble Virginians who sacrificed their lives for what they thought was right. Thousands of Virginians stood and died defending our state and our liberty. Not to mention, only 20% of Virginians owned slaves at the start of the war. Do you people really think all the Virginians who died, did so to keep other people's slaves enslaved?? Everyone needs to really understand the time period and the facts about the Civil War before they write about it.

Posted by: hoss37tt | April 7, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

JAH3: Please refer to Curmudgeon's posts of 2:35pm and 2:38pm for the answer to your question of 2:45pm.

If it were just about history the proclmation would have been worded differently. Governor McDonnell knew exactly what he was doing.

And we would be a blog of wimps and PC crybabies if we didn't stand up for what is acceptable and what isn't, especially among our elected officials.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

gmclain....I just gotta say wow. Really. Wow.

Also, I think you have a typo in your login name. There's no I.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I second kguy's motion.

Happy Anniversary to the Boodle! And Boodlers and Boodlees.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in a northern state and I don't remember any proclamations commemorating union soldiers, instead, they were for all American soldiers.

Posted by: trace1 | April 7, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Bunker is open and ready for business. Doilies are clean, beer is cold, chips are crisp, wine is at the correct temperature, and glasses are clean and polished.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who tries to slap the entire cause of the Civil War into the "slavery" bin should be forced to go back and retake American History. It really was a States' Rights argument that is STILL being argued because it's a grey area. It was centered around Slavery in the 1860s. In the 1990's it came up under the guise of "Unfunded Federal Mandates." Now we have 30+ States fighting the same power consolidation in the Health Care bill that got nearly half the "aye" votes from just 4 states. As long as people in California and New York continue to believe that everyone must do what they say, we're going to have this conflict.

Posted by: mwcob | April 7, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not seeing that we are still fighting the Civil War any more than we are still fighting WWI or WWII.

Posted by: hz9604 | April 7, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Virginia sucks! I would never live in a place with so many rednecks NASCAR tracks, and trailer parks, plus one that celebrates the CON-FUD-ER-UH-SAY. New Jersey and Maryland FTW!

Posted by: uva2manassas | April 7, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Happy Anniversary, Boodle!

And now we are five!

I'll have cupcakes and candles for everyone in a jiffy.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

See? They are freakin' NUTS! ! ! "[O]ur government the most corrupt in history[.]" Do they know ANYTHING? ! ?

Where's my Our Government is the Least Corrupt In History sign? Strike up the band and start the parade! YAY! !

And don't forget next month's The Country is Not Headed for Full Scale Revolution week!

Posted by: KBoom | April 7, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The other thing is that, in addition to West Virginia, there was actually a rump Union State of Virginia based in Alexandria that was set shortly after the outbreak of the war in 1861.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restored_government_of_Virginia

Posted by: tcquinn | April 7, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

One comment erroneously observes "But since this is the state that used to celebrate Lee-Jackson day, I am hardly surprised" This is not correct - its still observed as a holiday, state offices and courts are closed - its the Friday before the Martin Luther King federal holiday weekend - just not widely observed in Northern Va, but still is observed.

Posted by: VirginiaResident2007 | April 7, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

And thanks for that Kit update, Joel.

Mudge, yello - before you say anything - yes, I know that the traditional 5th Anniversary gift is wood.

Don't worry, I've got it.

[I'm sure folks heading in here to talk about McDonnell, war, history, the Soviet Union, etc. are going to *love* this public scene...]

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Happy Boodle Anniversary!

MsJS, can you bring those cupcakes down to the Bunker? I'm heading there, now that slyness has finally polished the wine glasses.

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | April 7, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Happy Boodle Day, Boodle. Brings, a tear to my eye.

So, for Confederate History Month, is there some of anti-confederacy flag I can fly outside my house? Besides the obvious US flag, or "Banner of Conquest," as I like to call it.

Posted by: jw703 | April 7, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

*shouting*

I SAID I've always admired how Americans have came to terms with the Civil War.

Posted by: engelmann | April 7, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

TMI, bc.

By the way, has anyone else observed the delicious irony that all the posts which reference a need for the reader to go back and re-study history generally contain the worst distortions of said history? Ah, I love the smell of overheated wingnuts in the afternoon.

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | April 7, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

People who don't want to celebrate Confederate History Month can get out of the Commonwealth and can do it quick. This is my heritage and if you're from Virginia it's yours too, so start packing Yankees.

Posted by: hoss37tt | April 7, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It is too bad that slaves could not communicate to organize and act in unison. For example, it would have been very fitting and right for the slaves to slit the throats of all their "owners" over one night. Imagine! Waking up to a new day where all the rednecks are in hell.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

ROTFLMAO, Snarky Squirrel. Where do you study history for a living?

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Why was the South so very upset that they were fixin' to lose their slaves? Because slaves provided free labor and could be used, abused, sold away, impregnated, and killed with impunity. It is the economy, stupid. If whites had to do all the work, cotton production would dive. Who would pay for the liquor? Who would teach the children? How could the Mistress afford the new brocade hoop skirt for the cotillion? And what about the dowries for the six daughters?

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | April 7, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

We all need to be students of US History! The Civil War was about Power.

Posted by: LeesburgResident | April 7, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey, was that olde tyme boodler jw?

Posted by: engelmann | April 7, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Senator Jim Webb, a Democrat, still celebrates proudly his ancestor(s) who was a Confederate officer. Labeling this a Republican act is as ignorant as the base argument itself.

Posted by: hz9604 | April 7, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

*pant pant pant*

Got both cupcakes and muffins (for those wanting something less sweet). I didn't frost anything, but brought cream frosting and chocolate frosting for those who want to DIY. Oh, and jimmies and candles, too.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

jw, good to see you.

(Um, you are *the* jw, are you not?)

Wow is right, LiT.
gmclain - is telling people to put it where the sun does not shine really an effective problem-solving strategy?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for continuing the mis-information campaign.

The war was never about slavery. Northerners would never have gone to war to free the slaves. Christian Abolitionists had to continually pressure Lincoln to get the Proclamation out of him.

The war was about the conflict that continues to this day: States Rights versus Federalism.

The conflict erupted during the Constitutional Conventions and was central to the Civil War. The North favored a strong Federal Government which they could control while Southerners preferred local control and local politics.

Archenblog is just the product of an education system dominated by Federalist policies. It's great at teaching group speak and group think but terrible at producing well educated citizens.

Posted by: krankyman | April 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The last time I lived down south, I had a southerner trying to convince me that the KKK was a civic group, whose main function was to help maintain civic virtues where local law enforcement was unable to do so. I guess hanging black men qualifies. He said that things didn't get ugly until after the WAr of Northern Aggression. If the north had just left the South alone, all would have been fine!

I've been reading a book that is a diary of a southern woman at the time of the war - seems to reflect the same thought-world. Slaves needed someone to care for them, poor things. Hard to understand why those folks in the North don't understand and like us. Sounds a lot like some of the arguments I heard regarding the war in Iraq. If they don't like us, it's not our fault - they just want what we have, and want to take it from us!

The war was over states rights, including the right to succeed, but the center of the states rights controversy was, in fact, slavery. Other civilized countries had abandoned it, and there was a strong movement to abandon it here as well. The South saw the writing on the wall, and was trying too preserve it, while the North no longer needed it's own version of it (indentured servanthood). The events elading up to the war were all about slavery - where it would or would not be allowed. Although the debate was over states rights, as they say in counseling, "the problem is never the problem" - the elephant in the room was slavery.

McDonnell could have proclaimed a time to remember the Civil War, those events that brought it about, and the tragic losses, and made it a wonderful learning event. Instead, he chose to proclaim a notion that is still prevalant in the South - that their cause was just, that Dixie still lives on, that the war was one of Northern aggression. It is one that also still smacks of racism, not only against blacks, but against immigrants in general, Catholics and Jews.

Posted by: garoth | April 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The notion that somehow you can celebrate "people" without celebrating the cause that made them those specific "people" is ridiculous. Let's celebrate Nazis because they believed in what they did too. Oh and Terrorist. After the "War on Terror" is over let's remember all of them who fight and died for what they believed in too. Confederates committed treason and she be in the same category as Benedict Arnold and Dick Cheney.

Posted by: mpshannon1 | April 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

It's a complex issue,

..... but the short answer, the obvious answer, and the unavoidable answer -- unless you're the governor of Virginia -- is slavery. You just can't get around it.

_________________________________


The first statement is true... the rest is superficial politically correct thinking today - and the natural consequence of the fact that, in general, it is always the victor who gets to write history - once written pushing it out of mind to avoid the "complexity" because no war is ever white and black, if you pardon the terms.

To reduce the most horrific war we have had, that tore the nation apart, saw brothers fighting each other, families divided and so much wanton angry destruction - then the decades of punishment for the vanquished as well as the broken dreams and promises for those for whom the war was supposed to have been fought (if we are to hold to current beliefs).

No I think we need to study the Civil War and especially its aftermath, in all its complexity to understand ourselves and each other on all sides today.

It is very obvious to me that we have not digested or learned the lessons to be learned from our "war between the States" yet.

Posted by: sally62 | April 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, engelmann -- kinda hard to shout over an international border, eh?

And, now, I'm heading for the bunker. Hope nobody waxed the stairs.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Just to celebrate the anniversary of the boodle and the bunker:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60157275@N00/4500265057/

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Southerners here defending the South's secession are disgusting pigs. I wish we could kick all of you out of the Union. There would be a northward mass exodus of human beings from your lands. You wouldn't last five years before you'd be cannibalizing each other.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it is I, *the* jw! I can't believe it's been 5 years. Things have certainly changed. Like this new-fangled log on to comment thing. Nice to see that front-page boodle days are still the same, though.

Posted by: jw703 | April 7, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Virginia sucks! I would never live in a place with so many rednecks NASCAR tracks, and trailer parks, plus one that celebrates the CON-FUD-ER-UH-SAY. New Jersey and Maryland FTW!
=======================================
Like anyone in the south gives a dam if you live in the south or ever go to the south.....stay the hell out of the south....who cares......

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Hippo Birdies to the Boodle. This is a way of saying Happy Birthday in my huge family of non Southern origins.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Southerners here defending the South's secession are disgusting pigs. I wish we could kick all of you out of the Union. There would be a northward mass exodus of human beings from your lands. You wouldn't last five years before you'd be cannibalizing each other.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse
===============================
I would comment on that but its so ignorant and stupid ...I won't

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Here is an excerpt from the secession statement of Texas, adopted Feb. 2, 1861:

[Texas] was received into the Confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal Constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery -- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits -- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.
In all the non-slave-holding states, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those states, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern states and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color -- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind and in violation of the plainest revelations of divine law.

But hey, what did they know back in 1861? I thought the last sentence to be particulary lovely, what with the "beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery" and the " debasing doctrine of equality of all men". Great stuff. You betcha.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 7, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Bunker's open for business. That's where we are.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Y'know, McDonnell's proclamation looks remarkably similar to this one:

Nazi History Month

WHEREAS, September is the month in which the people of Germany joined the Axis Powers in a six year global war that concluded in Berlin and Tokyo; and

WHEREAS, Germany has long recognized its Nazi history, the numerous World War II battlefields that mark every region of the state, the leaders and individuals in the Army, Navy and at home who fought for their homes and communities and Fatherland in a time very different than ours today; and

WHEREAS, it is important for all Germans to reflect upon our Fatherland’s shared history, to understand the sacrifices of the Nazi leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of World War II, and to recognize how our history has led to our present; and

WHEREAS, Nazi historical sites such as the Reichstag are open for people to visit in Berlin today; and

WHEREAS, all Germans can appreciate the fact that when ultimately overwhelmed by the insurmountable numbers and resources of the Allied Powers, the surviving, imprisoned and injured Nazi soldiers gave their word and allegiance to either the Federal Republic of Germany or the German Democratic Republic, and returned to their homes and families to rebuild their communities in peace, following the unconditional surrender of Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, Reich President; and

WHEREAS, this defining chapter in Germany’s history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Germans, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live, and this study and remembrance takes on particular importance as the Fatherland prepares to welcome all of Europe and the world to visit Germany for the Diamond Anniversary of the beginning of World War II, a period in which the exploration of our history can benefit all;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Horst Köhler, do hereby recognize September 2010 as NAZI HISTORY MONTH in our FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

Posted by: Bondosan | April 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The VA Gov's celebration of the Confederacy is absolutely disgusting, and an embarrassment our nation. Abhorrent, racist and disgusting.

The Civil War was over slavery; that was the only reason "states' rights" were discussed. The South seceded (traitors to our nation) so that they could keep human beings in bondage, like animals. And, thanks to a just God, the South was thoroughly beaten. That's what happened, folks. Don't romanticize the ugly truth.

Posted by: clampson | April 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

jw, dude, I went to see the Nats' preseason game last Saturday.

I don't think you did, because they lost...

How's that mojo workin' these days?
And if you want, you ought to explain about how you sorta originated the idea of Boodle mojo...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It's plain to see that the North is still fighting the war, too.

Posted by: JAH3 | April 7, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

220,482 comments in 5 years, hundreds of which were my SCCs.

Well, if the point of Civil War History Month (which is what I intend to call it) was to raise awareness of that war and its issues, it has been effective.

If I've learned anything from reading today's comments, it's that a) people want to interpret events in the way that comports with their worldview, and b) some people's debating skills begin and end with "neener, neener."

Posted by: Raysmom | April 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

David Remnick is correct. Conservatives have tried to create their own false histroy that Ronald Reagan brought about the collapse of communism. As the noted historian and sovietologist George Kennon observed, "....the belief...is childish and silly." It is also a spit in the face of the men and woman who truly brought about the collapse of the soviet union. Men like Solzhienitsyn, Anton-Ovseenko, Medvedev, Sakorov and Elena Bonner and countless others some of whose names are lost to history who preserved the memory of the crimes commited by the bolshoviks against the Russian people. It was this memory that never allowed their gov't to become legitimized in the eyes of the Russian peoples. When it fell, no one would lift a hand to help it back up.

Posted by: kchses1 | April 7, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

this reminds me of my first impressions of richmond when i started college there - its only 100 miles from DC, but boy if it doesn't seem like about a million.

Posted by: soooslye | April 7, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm from the south and proud of it....MY father used to tell me if I didn't know what I was talking about...to keep my mouth shut....Yours should have told you the same..but I guess not ............being that you are so ignorant about the Civil War..

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

bc, I actually was at the game! It is a sad fact, but the Nats have lost every game that I have been to since the column ran.

It probably also didn't help that I was wearing my now-vintage Garciaparra jersey.

Posted by: jw703 | April 7, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse


The VA Gov's celebration of the Confederacy is absolutely disgusting, and an embarrassment our nation. Abhorrent, racist and disgusting.

The Civil War was over slavery; that was the only reason "states' rights" were discussed. The South seceded (traitors to our nation) so that they could keep human beings in bondage, like animals. And, thanks to a just God, the South was thoroughly beaten. That's what happened, folks. Don't romanticize the ugly truth.

Posted by: clampson | April 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm from the south and proud of it....MY father used to tell me if I didn't know what I was talking about...to keep my mouth shut....Yours should have told you the same..but I guess not ............being that you are so ignorant about the Civil War..

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Let's try to keep civil about the civil war, please...Seriously I think there are a lot of good comments today, but there's too much name-calling, too, which is not advancing anyone's cause.

I just read the excellent Team of Rivals. And what it basically says about the civil war is that it was about slavery, mostly. I know it was about other stuff, too. But how could McDonnell not even give a nod to slavery or in any way accomodate in his proclamation the sentiments of the large African American population of Virginia?

Krankyman, I promise to search this blog for signs of undue Federalist influence.

By the way, I'm a born-and-raised southerner -- a proud product of Stephen C. Foster Elementary School, among other fine public educational institutions (secretly infested with Federalists).

Posted by: joelache | April 7, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

My neighbor had a stroke and I had to guide the paramedics and first responders in getting in and getting him to the hospital. I am emotionally drained.

I guess most new commenters here want to rant but not read a book. Or 10. or 2000.

Also an amusing thing is not one in 1000 current defenders of the old Confederacy has any idea what the real Confederate flag was.

And the horrible secret about the Confederate Supreme Court? Ho ho.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 7, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Those who argue that the war was about "slavery" per se are wrong. Those who argue that it was about "states' rights" in some principled abstract are also wrong.

It was about both, together.

The question of slavery in the territories/border states had been simmering for a while before Lincoln won the election; he won the election, sparking the secessions by southern states who (rightly) saw the writing on the wall for their agrarian economies dependent on the massive amounts of labor only slaves could economically provide. Southern landowners were not idiots; they had been north and had seen the future in the factories. For them, the issue was really about "states' rights" - the right to choose their own economy, which included slaves. This doesn't excuse their behavior because, for god's sake, they had to own other people in order to conduct their affairs. But the secessions weren't motivated by some hatred of black people or a love of slavery; many learned southern leaders of the time actually despised the institution and knew that it couldn't and shouldn't last. But many more were delusional and thought they could remain in this state forever.

For their part, the northern states (apart from the abolitionist movement) didn't really care about slaves per se; like Lincoln, the sentiment (at least until the South started winning some battles, allowing the Copperheads to make inroads in suggesting a peace) was to preserve the Union. I imagine the typical reaction of your typical Bostonian or New Yorker was "Who do these southern rednecks think they are?" It didn't hurt that the north's economy was becoming heavily mechanized and was entirely free of the need for slave labor. I'm certain that vast numbers of northerners were "against" slavery as an institution, but no one will argue that they were particularly fond of black people; and it was an easy position for them to take, wasn't it? They risked nothing in doing so.

Bottom line: the war was not fought over an altruistic principle of freeing the slaves. But it was begun because a bunch of southern states believed that their days of slave-owning were numbered. So in that sense, the war was about both states' rights and about the question of slavery.

Posted by: DCAtty | April 7, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

And yes there are various types of slavery in American History. Those who belittle the suffering of the person's Irish ancestors shows no understanding of what went on there.

If you don't think the Irish were separated from their families, then read about the military draft at the docks when the Irish arrived in New York. Forced enlistment separating them from their families. They fought for the Union. Can they celebrate that history?

Oh yeah, and then there were the draft riots after the Emancipation Proclamation where they ran riot killing hundreds of blacks. That was on the Union side. If they dare commemorate that, boycott New York, for that and the profit made on slavery throughout its American existence?

Virginia is a big state. It included eastern Anglican wealthy plantations and the very small lots in the then Presbyterian and Lutheran mountains. When the fighting Scots-Irish moved inland, their cultures came along to Appalachia. They forced Cornwallis out of the South in the revolution.

The Army of Northern Virginia was led by the northern elite, but was manned by the fighting Scots-Irish. They gave the Union quite a fright when they were encircling Washington, ill-equipped and out-gunned. Should their descendants not be able to even know about that history because one of the issues they fought to defend was slavery? Or is it because a man did not say that it was fought to defend slavery?

Lincoln's father was born on a farm in Virginia. Should we not celebrate Lincoln because his grandfather might have been a Virginia Slave Owner? Should we boycott Illinois since it has Lincoln historical sights?

Lincoln's father saw his father killed by Native Americans, as he worked clearing a wilderness for a farm, pressing forth, out in Kentucky, as the easterners' buffer from the Indians. That's what the western Virginians' history entailed.

Oh my God, Lincoln's father was a VIRGINIAN!

So yeah, people should be able to celebrate their ancestors' lives, whether one or more of the forms of slavery in this country's history is present or not. If you are opposed to the way it was presented, then I'm with you, but the idea would be fought no matter how it was presented and you know it.

Have you compared the current flag of Georgia to the flag that flew over the Confederate Capitol in Richmond? At least they should say it stood for slavery.

Posted by: jim4postnatl | April 7, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Southerners here defending the South's secession are disgusting pigs. I wish we could kick all of you out of the Union. There would be a northward mass exodus of human beings from your lands. You wouldn't last five years before you'd be cannibalizing each other.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse
===============================
I would comment on that but its so ignorant and stupid ...I won't

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

----------------

You'll understand it when you realize rednecks are not human, and that anyone with minimal intelligence would flee your lands. We should let all Southern clowns fend for yourselves. I would gladly let them secede from the present Union.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Puh-leeze! No Republican worth his white hood would be caught dead quoting Abraham Lincoln these days... after all, they have Sarah Palin.

Posted by: gmcduluth | April 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"It's a complex issue, but the short answer, the obvious answer, and the unavoidable answer -- unless you're the governor of Virginia -- is slavery."

Joel- PLEASE DO RESEARCH (and not use wikipedia).

Contrary to popular belief, the Civil War was not fought over slavery. It was fought over states rights. More importantly it was a war over government expansion of power. Only Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the Federal Government powers more than Lincoln. (insert Obama snipe here as well.)

John C. Calhoun (D-SC) was a prominent promoter of STATES RIGHTS. Seccession was seen as the final way keep the states in power. Hell, the American people really did not want to fight the war. Lincoln forced them (NYC Draft Riots)

Remember back in American History classes? Lets focus More specifically the ideas of Federalist v. Anti-Federalists. Take President John Adams and Chief Justice John Marshall. theuy are classic Feralists- as they was a strong CENTRAL government. Leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, George Mason, and Partick Henry focused on a strong STATE government. For a modern comparison, take President Obama (Fed) v. President Reagan (Anti-Fed).

On a personal note, I find it funny that Liberals bash a conservative state like Virginia. LET THEM BE. They elected their governor. He should be (and is)making chocies based on what he was elected on.

BEWARE!!! Watch your tax rates, Facebook and bumper stickers!!! The Politically Correct police are on edge because this may hurt the crusade for a utopian society!!!

Posted by: mjc3 | April 7, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

620,000 Americans died fighting that war which was waged to end slavery- by a Republican President. After the war Republican Reconstruction ended the subjugation of ex-slaves, granting them the right to vote. That was too much for Democrats and once again in power, they passed Jim Crow laws to "put the Negro down." One historian of the era calls the KKK "the military force of the Democratic party." Democrats can't get the guilt out of their system and still play the race card at every opportunity. Blacks have become accustomed to dancing to the Democrats' tune and gladly play the victim. Democrats simply don't want any change in the system- without the black vote they would never win another national election. Power is their game.

Posted by: mhr614 | April 7, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, the War was about state's rights! States should have a right to hate blacks! How come we can hate gay guys, but not the blacks, huh? When did we give up our freedom? I'll tell you where! Appomatox Courthouse, that's where!

(Hey, don't blame me... I pulled that right from between the lines of McDonnell's proclamation!)

Posted by: joshlct | April 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The Constitutional States Rights (10th Amemdment) arguments of the Confederacy resonate today. The Governor of Texas has talked about secession and it is not about slavery or racism. Question: If Texas were to attempt to secede from the Union peacefully in 2010, what should the Union response be today? Should we other states send in the troops and kill Texans? I have Confederate and Union soldier ancestors. Study the history. It was more than slavery. (an evil institution)

Posted by: IdahoSpud1 | April 7, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Happy fifth people, wish I'd found this place much earlier.

I think you're right mudge, it looks like Mr.A accidently hit the giant-red-button-of-are-you-crazy-NEVER-touch-the-giant-red-button (with a little editorial help for title and front page link).

*nodding assent at Engelmann and backing away slowly under the cover of the tree line cause I don't think I can make the bunker*

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Micholina1 I would be more impressed if you shared your insights into the Civil War. The simple fact is the war was about slavery. Anyone who has studied the war in any depth could see from what was written and said at the time that the people who fought in the war knew slavery was the cause of the war. To preserve slavery the south tried to break the country in two. Then for another 100 years the south tried to pretend they hadn't lost and could relagate black americans to subservient status. Then for another 10 years large sections of the south fought like hell to stop the civil rights movement. There is nothing here to be proud of. The cause was poison from inception. Let it go.

Posted by: kchses1 | April 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Hippo Birdies, two ewes, dear boodle.

(I wouldn't want to infringe on anyone's copyrights...)

Wow. I sure picked a good day to check back in.

To englemann...I'm not sure reenactments are a sign of healing. The vast majority of reenactors wear gray, and reenactments have problems filling out the Union side. (Hubby worked at a battlefield for past several years, so his experience.)

I'm in the multiple factors camp as to why the war was fought. I acknowledge the right to secede is a matter of debate and what started the war, however, they seceded because of issues with expanding slavery (or not). The economics were also tied in with the agrarian slave society. Nothing is black and white in war. (Pun intended.)

Interesting contradiction: Lincoln branded the seceded states as rebels. If they were rebels, they committed treason, generally punished with death. However, Lincoln legitimized the Confederate Army by exchanging POWs, at least until it became known that the Confeds were simply killing black Union soldiers, not taking them POWs. Even then, they had prison camps.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | April 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Come on, there's the confederate stuff all over Virginia. Most of it is harmless, especially if you don't live near a good ol boy up in the hollers. Ever wonder why the war memorial cannon outside the old Fairfax County courthouse are pointed north?

Posted by: Nemo24601 | April 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Not all Virginians are scum, just the Republicans. Of course, this holds true for the rest of the country as well.

Posted by: daweeni | April 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

To answer the larger question as to why we are still fighting the Civil War. The answer lies in the premature end to Reconstruction. As part of a political deal which gave the Presidency in the disputed election of 1877 to Hayes, the US sacrificed the South to the rule of the so-called 'Redeemers' who instituted Jim Crow and enforced it with savagery

This ensured that the forces of racism and hatred remained alive. We now see them again, now cloaked in the respectable-sounding phrase 'states rights'. Make no mistake: this is what states rights is really all about. We won't be fooled again!

Posted by: BobT3 | April 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are as guilty as any of exploiting the race issue. They Race Bait, they throw down the Race Card when desperately defending their non-defensive Liberalism or their Radical in the White House and they will always define groups by race to separate and divide. Liberals are insidious in their use of race. They intentionally fuel the race issue. In fact Liberal Politicians are the Racists in how they do all the above and enslave dependents with Govt Entitlements to buy votes. To say the South is still fighting the Civil War is a distraction and again a way for Liberals to marginalize a voting block that does not bow to their Socialist views. Again, Liberals are the Racists.


Posted by: jas7751 | April 7, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Southerners here defending the South's secession are disgusting pigs. I wish we could kick all of you out of the Union. There would be a northward mass exodus of human beings from your lands. You wouldn't last five years before you'd be cannibalizing each other.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse
===============================
I would comment on that but its so ignorant and stupid ...I won't

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

----------------

You'll understand it when you realize rednecks are not human, and that anyone with minimal intelligence would flee your lands. We should let all Southern clowns fend for yourselves. I would gladly let them secede from the present Union.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse
=======================================
thats so stupid and ignorant ...I won't comment on that Nimrod Jr...my dad also said..son, if you argue with a fool...what does that make you...so I won'
t argue with you either..

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointing that so many people are attacking the Governor for doing what I believe was the correct thing.

He nor anyone else is condoning slavery or treason, but honoring the history or Virginia.

He stated it should be reflected on "in the context of the time" and "learned from".

Civil War tourism is a large part of the state's economy, and you can't pretend history didn't happen. Richmond was the capital of the confederacy; sure it wasn't the best chapter in our history but it's still OUR HISTORY.

Posted by: mooresap | April 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

(MoftheMountain and gq, bunker is one kit back...)

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Message to Virginia Voters "RECALL", enough said!!!!!!

Posted by: austininc4 | April 7, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

To IdahoSpud1, I suspect if Texas wanted to leave the union most people would cheer as they broke away. Most of us can't figure out why we took them back in the first place. Probably too tired to care at the time.
While I truly do sympathize with the argument that a state should be allowed to seceed if the people in the state wish it as far as I'm concerned this issue was resolved with something more permanent then words. It was resolved in blood and therefore closed in my mind. Not to be opened again just because you don't like the current President or Congress. Leave it. Nothing good can come of it.

Agatha Christie..."Most people don't take good advice. But that isn't a good enough reason not to give it."

Posted by: kchses1 | April 7, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

mooresap

Studying history is one thing, but what is there to "honor"?

Do you honestly have any doubt whatsoever that this was anything but a way to get his base fired up, at the expense of a whole lot of Virginians that he knows will never vote for him? I wonder if Douglas Wilder likes that taste of crow he must have in his mouth.

I loved touring and vacationing in Virginia, but I won't be doing any of that for a while. I might go visit Gettysburg this summer, and then do some white water rafting elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Not all Virginians are scum, but until Massa Robert apologizes, I don't think I want to pump any money into any redneck anal pore's pocket.

Posted by: daweeni | April 7, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I married a Virginian and live in Virginia very happily as long as I avoid the Civil War as a topic of conversation. I have heard it said that Lincoln did not free the slaves because they weren't "his to free". I have heard it denied that Virginia at one time had as its number one export not tobacco but slaves (to the Deep South). I have heard a lot of BS, and read a lot of BS, about the Civil War, from scholarly works that fall for the whole "Lost Cause" myth that started in the Victorian era to "Gone With the Wind" and onward. It comes down to this:

1. The economic prosperity of the wealthiest, and therefore most politically prominent, segment of Southerners pre-1860 relied upon slave labor in a plantation system. Opposed to the independent individual laborer or farmer, the system dominant in the North and also in certain parts of the South.
2. The right to continue or to spread slavery was in fact behind the desire for secession, though it was masked in much rhetoric. The right the states demanded to keep was the right to continued legal slavery. A few tariff type issues cropped up, but slavery was the dominant issue underlying states' rights.
3. The three-fifths clause was designed to give Southerners a disproportionate number of votes in Congress; the majority of blacks lived in the South, and by counting them when it came to drawing up districts (but not for anything else), the South gained more power per white person. This led to the South's ability to block any attempts in the US Congress to solve the issues of states' rights and slavery before it came to armed conflict.
4. The South fired the first shots. At Fort Sumter. That the South expected the US government to let its soldiers be fired upon without response---and to let declarations of open rebellion go unanswered---is to me a measure of how blinded by their fervor they had become.

It is true that the conflict between states' rights and federalism continues. Sometimes to the detriment of both states and federal government. But the Civil War wasn't about states' rights just on the principle alone. It was also about the right to continue and spread slavery, state by state. You can't take slavery out of it and make it some noble struggle against tyranny, without compromising historical fact.

Posted by: leoxthree | April 7, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Here, Here, Leoxthree.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

How odd that in all these comments, there's not a single mention of James Buchanon.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointing that so many people are attacking the Governor for doing what I believe was the correct thing.

He nor anyone else is condoning slavery or treason, but honoring the history or Virginia.

He stated it should be reflected on "in the context of the time" and "learned from".

Civil War tourism is a large part of the state's economy, and you can't pretend history didn't happen. Richmond was the capital of the confederacy; sure it wasn't the best chapter in our history but it's still OUR HISTORY.

Posted by: mooresap | April 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse
============================================
so true...thank you...glad to see someone here with some brains.... and I am proud of our soldiers who fought and died...and if anyone doesn't like that...kiss my.. where the sun doesn't shine.....

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I've got two Virginia Cavalry ancestors from southwestern Va. They both survived.

A while back, economics prof and blogger Brad DeLong linked to Lincoln's address at Cooper Union that greatly boosted his chances of becoming the Republican nominee. It's about slavery, and it's impossible to read without realizing that, contrary to persistent southern complaints, secession and the war were about slavery. Even if the US obviously would never have tolerated control of the Mississippi River by a foreign government (as pmendez pointed out).

A forthcoming book, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War by Donald Stoker, apparently argues that Jefferson Davis, despite his military background, was a lousy strategist who lost control of the political side of the war. Invading Kentucky was evidently a Big Mistake (source, Amazon.com; publisher, Oxford)

Jonathan Yardley reviewed Joan Waugh's "U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth. Grant responded vigorously to white insurrection and terrorism in the South.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112001682.html

I haven't checked the economics of slavery for a long time, but my impression is that the plantation system worked well for bulk crops like cotton and rice. Evidently worker resistance was outweighed by having good organization.

If the war was about slavery, Frederick Law Olmstead, him of New York's Central Park, encouraged its outbreak with his travel book, "The Cotton Kingdom". Northerners had supposed that slave labor enabled plantation owners to live cultured lives, as the ancient Greeks and Romans had. Olmstead reported that the South was a morass of bad taste and uncouth behavior.

Then again, Sarah Ruden's new "Paul Among the People" evidently paints a nasty picture of the Greek and Roman world that Saint Paul sought to overturn. Ruden should know--her translation of the AenHere's the review:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/02/AR2010040201330.html

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 7, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I first experienced southern culture in 1966. It was Columbus, Georgia and FORGET HELL bumper stickers were the rage.

Virgina did you set your clocks back?

Posted by: whocares666 | April 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post should make the Stars and Bars bigger so more people click the link.

Posted by: AlbyVA | April 7, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It is very easy for modern day southerners to assert that slavery was wrong. It is much more difficult for northerners to concede that invading the South was also wrong.

The reality is that our country, which now symbolizes freedom, condoned slavery during its early history, particularly in the South. However, to suggest that southerners in the modern era, such as those represented by McDonnell in Virginia, are glorifying or defending slavery any time their pre-1870 heritage is referenced is a shallow and evasive argument. And this suggestion is implicit, and often explicit, when persons express offense by modern Confederacy references.

Are southerners supposed to expunge any connection or symbol they have to pre-1870 family and culture just because others may be reminded of slavery? Is it so hard to accept that there are positives things (persons, events, traditions, foods, songs, etc.) worth remembering about the early South?

I was born and raised in Virginia, and I find slavery to be the most abhorrent of human legacies. Yet, I am also proud that my predecessors tried to defend their land, their neighbors, their freedom, and their culture from an overwhelming northern invasion. There had to be a better way to assert the dignity and rights of every human being that didn't require the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

It can also be argued that racial integration would have progressed much faster and smoother, despite starting later, if the southern abolitionists had been allowed to peacefully turn the tide against the powerful cotton farming lobby. But war was more expedient then, as it is today. (A predilection that many criticize about the modern Union).

Less than a 100 years after my state had voted to join the Union, Virginia was forcibly not allowed to change their mind. It was not a civil war -- the southern states were not fighting to control the Union. They were fighting for freedom from the Union -- it was a war of conquest/independence. The conquerors won.

But instead of compassion for the conquest and burning of the South, from which some of the deep southern states have still not recovered, southerners receive the honor of being called rednecks and hics anytime they reference their heritage.

Slavery is a tragic reality of American history whose abolition was inevitable without the violent pillaging and humiliation of the South, most of whose residents were not slave owners. But, the death of states' rights, originally intended as the primary check on federal power, was another tragedy that has led directly to many of the biggest problems that our country is facing today.


Posted by: JT61 | April 7, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

To anyone who doesn't think the War was over slavery read McPherson or Foote. They are both wonderful historians and it can't get any clearer in their massive and definitive works. Arguing otherwise is like arguing the slip covers on the pillows are the most prominent feature in a bedroom and ignoring the elephant on the bed.

Posted by: kchses1 | April 7, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Self-government is the principle on which the United States was founded, but regimes which disenfranchise large segments of their own population are not entitled to claim "state's rights" over their own people. The Civil War was a war of liberation against a racist oligarchy and Reconstruction, whatever its faults, was a necessary step to dismantle the oligarchy. The real shame is that children are taught in schools that the Confederacy was in some way a legitimate cause to fight for. As long as students are misinformed about the history, some will perpetuate the racism that caused the conflict.

Posted by: lartfromabove | April 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I love it when the morons say it wasn't about slavery, pretty much like the lawyer saying it's not about the money.

Posted by: orange3 | April 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

JT61, well written but your staring at the slip covers and ignoring the elephant. The issue you want to refight was decided by blood on a battlefield. Words have no power anymore in that argument. The rights and wrongs of that day were decided on the field of battle and are now irrelevant. The issue is over. Secession was rebellion against the legitimate gov't. The rebellion was over slavery. Both sides (but especially the South) paid a terrible price for that rebellion.

Posted by: kchses1 | April 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Um...JT, you said it was "more difficult for northerners to concede that invading the South was also wrong." The north didn't "invade" the south prior to the start, JT. The first shot of the war began when somebody fired upon Fort Sumpter, then a federal installation. But Sumpter wasn't "occupied" by a Northern Army; there WAS no such thing as a northern army, nor a southern one, until after that attack.

Once the war was started (the south firing the first shot), then it's absurd to argue about who invaded who. Given a war status, anybody can invade anybody -- that's the name of the game. Lee was invading Pennsylvania at the time of Gettysburg, after all. Nobody ever said he wasn't allowed to try to do that.

D@mn near pulled it off, too.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget, Joel, to not base your journalism on Wikipedia.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 7, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse


There are many misconceptions as to what caused and fueled the American Civil War. Slavery was indeed one of them. However, less than 20% of the Southern population owned African Americans. It was a major investment to own an African American especially if they possessed valuable skills such as blacksmithing, carpentry, or farming skills. Certainly owning a black man or woman, was a prestigious classification, but very few Southerners and even Northerners, fit in this category of wealth. Thus, the stories that have been perpetuated throughout history of all slave owners beating their "slaves" is quite inaccurate. It is a myth that the media of that time stimulated to build a case to send the North and South to war. In addition, politicians, many of them wealthy and slave-owners, were used as the example or model for the Southern population, when in fact the average Southerner lived day to day and could not afford to purchase another human being for $500-$1,500 .
In addition, while many people have been taught that Southerners were the only ones who did not like African Americans in the United States, Northern sentiment was equally if not more harsh toward African Americans. Blacks were beaten and even killed in city streets of New York City, New York, 9toward dissolvement in the mid to late 1800's, but it was the American Civil War which sped up the abolishment.

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Only people making a big deal about this is the WashingtonPost with this blog, and a couple of morons who hate the South, and those people really don't care what color you are because their East/West Coast elitist types who look down on both Black and White Southerners.

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | April 7, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Wait until McDonnell and his right wing AG start re-writing the History textbooks in Ol'Virginny. They make the Texas crowd look forward thinking !

Posted by: jmsbh | April 7, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Not everyone is still fighting the Civil War. Just the rednecks in the South who still can't believe they lost and that black people have the same rights as they do! There's just no accounting for stupidity.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | April 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Only people making a big deal about this is the WashingtonPost with this blog, and a couple of morons who hate the South, and those people really don't care what color you are because their East/West Coast elitist types who look down on both Black and White Southerners.

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | April 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Only people making a big deal about this is the WashingtonPost with this blog, and a couple of morons who hate the South, and those people really don't care what color you are because their East/West Coast elitist types who look down on both Black and White Southerners.

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | April 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If the war was about "states rights", why did the confederate constitution REQUIRE the confederate states (and all future Confederate states) to allow slavery?

Could it be that Northern propagandists wrote the confederate constitution, or is it possible that Southern propagandists have spent 150 years rewriting history to sooth southern egos?

Posted by: writinron | April 7, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Only people making a big deal about this is the WashingtonPost with this blog, and a couple of morons who hate the South, and those people really don't care what color you are because their East/West Coast elitist types who look down on both Black and White Southerners.

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | April 7, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The only point I would add to the (correct) criticism about slavery and the Civil War is that, whatever the cause of the conflict, it was a seminal point in the history of the State of Virginia. It would be as wrong to forget or fail to honor the heroism, sacrifice and personal achievements of those who fought for the Confederacy as it would be to ignore the Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (many of whom were rebels against their own government) or the actions of the pioneers, both heroic and dispicable, in settling the West. History is not always either pretty or positive, but it is OUR history. Good or bad, ignoring it does not make it go away, and whitewashing it does at least as much harm as glorifying the negative parts.

Let me be clear: I am not a pro-Confederate; I am not an advocate of the Lost Cause school, and I am delighted that the cause of slavery, nulification and states rights was decisively defeated in 1865. However, I cannot help but be moved by the stories of the Civil War, north and south. Anyone who is not impressed by people like Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, Benjamin Levi, James Longstreet, Robert Toombs and literally scores of other Confederates is, in my opinion, a poor judge of character. They supported a ghastly system of slavery, and advocated a form of society and government I find personally abhorrant, but they were still impressive people. Their flaws are great, but no more so then Washington (a slave owner), Hamilton (an enemy of democracy and advocate of military rule), Jefferson (a slave owner, a bigot and a womanizer), Jackson (a slave owner, a genocidal military leader and a man who led us to fiscal disaster) or JFK (a womanizer who lied to the country about his medical problems).

In short, I support and even advocate Virginia's recognision of their Confederate heritage, if for no other reason then it is far better for us to remember our past, and hopefully learn from it) then to bury it because it is ugly.

Posted by: haldon12 | April 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Michina1, everything you say is correct but tangential to the issue. Secession was over the issue of slavery regardless if only 20% of southeners owned slaves. Secession was considered a rebellion against the gov't. That rebellion was put down at a horrible cost. Whatever misconceptions people had or still have now cannot erase these simple truths.

Posted by: kchses1 | April 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Only people making a big deal about this is the WashingtonPost with this blog, and a couple of morons who hate the North, and those people really don't care what color you are because they are Southern elitist types who look down on both Black and White East/West Coasters.

Posted by: writinron | April 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Can't it be just about our history? Is everything -- EVERYTHING! -- about race or being a victim? We have become a nation of wimps and PC cry babies. Dear God, help our country.
Posted by: JAH3

Why won't it die, because the blacks won't let it die. They continually use it to say how down trodden they are even though anything for the last 50 or so years is due to themselves. They learned well from the Jews and the holocaust, don't let a "good thing" die, play it for all it's worth. Time to tell both, blacks and Jews, to put it where the sun does not shine and worth to solve problems, rather than create problems.
Posted by: gmclain

****

Why don't you boys go off by yourselves and talk it over, and then when you've come to an agreement you can come back and share it with the rest of the class?

Note to the Bunker: It's not so bad out here - mostly just spittin' and hair-pullin'. I'm going to hang out on the porch for a while and watch the show just in case someone comes up with an original move. Any chance you could send up a glass of tea?

Posted by: j2hess | April 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Joel, you're the first person in history to ever use the phrase "still fighting the civil war'. You must be brilliant, innovative, creative and a genius. Where is the fighting taking place, Joel? You moron.

Posted by: chatard | April 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

It's kinda nice (?) that the WaPo decided to use the proper Confederate Battle Flag (e.g., square)than the 3x5 flag usually displayed in redneck pickup trucks. The latter is actually the Confederate NAVAL ensign.

Those rednecks ignorant of their own history.

Posted by: tkavanag | April 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

This place is unlike any other on the Internet (so we've been told). Whether that's true or not, I don't know. Weird? Maybe; that's in the eye of the beholder. Unusual? Probably. But you'll just have to deal with it the way it is.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

_______________

Way to go curmudgeon6. am not a boodler, but Love your name. My dad was affectionately called Mcurmugdgeon as he was the most wise and wonderful ol' Irish curmudgeon on the planet. Even his it on his tombstone.
So a drink to the smile you brought to me face Curmudgeon6

Posted by: racerdoc | April 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The South has absolutely nothing to be proud of. Rebel soldiers and their leaders died because they represented the very worst in man. If I was religious, at least I would take some comfort that they were all rotting in hell, but since I don't, I will do what I can to keep their awful legacy from gaining any respect.

Posted by: johng1 | April 7, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Coming up, j2hess! Sweetened, right? With lemon? I'll bring you a cupcake too.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

johnnyapplewhite123, want to repeat that? I didn't understand it the first hundred times. Talk about making a big deal about something!

Posted by: -dbG- | April 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Could the City of Richmond use a reproduction of the equestrian Jackson statue at Lafayette Square and Jackson Square in New Orleans. The plinth could cite the President's affirmation that states did not have the right of secession, nor the right to nullify federal law.

More seriously, the counter-Reconstruction after federal troops were withdrawn from the South is one of the more shameful chapters in national history. Many citizens were systematically denied their rights with the connivance of Congress and, especially, the courts. Fortunately the courts stopped short of allowing peonage, though Florida's system of farming out prisoners to labor contractors gave the state something resembling a gulag, as a book titled "America's Siberia" attests. The system finally ended in 1922 under pressure from the State of North Dakota, which made a stink about the death of one of its citizens in a lumber camp.
http://books.google.com/books?id=Q2jNAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA11-PA2&lpg=RA11-PA2&dq=martin-talbert&source=bl&ots=SF1mmSgOKj&sig=5u8kaHYGOnDnUgk6j_genEjI5jE&hl=en&ei=OfW8S__QMYnW8ASOo-iDCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=18&ved=0CEoQ6AEwEQ#v=onepage&q=martin-talbert&f=false

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 7, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION YOU STUPID STUPID GOP-ers:

1. VA - Returns to pre-Civil War attitudes.

2. NJ - Cuts public education spending in half.
At the same time, slashes taxes to the wealthy.


This is AMERICA is it?... ugh.. I'm going to be sick!


USA #1 in world's ignorant population.

Posted by: theman_in_black | April 7, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Next thing you know Your Guv will be offering up REPARATIONS to the families of WHITE SLAVE OWNERs to help pay for the LOSS of their beloved negroes.

Posted by: racerdoc | April 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to the Boodle! Long may she meander! Howdy to jw, MoftheMountain, other occasional regulars. Y'all new folks (nutcases excepted, we usually tell by the shouting) are welcome to stick around but be warned. Soon there'll be a new Kit and we'll be talking about something completely different.

There's a lot of passion here, an occasional reasoned argument, and as Joel noted (without apparent effect, alas) a lot of name-calling. Hey, it's his blog, folks. Let's show some respect.

I think it preescient, or a fine coincidence, that on the Boodle's fifth birthday Joel posted a Kit which encouraged visits by posters many of whom apparently stopped learning to reason around kindergarten. Very subtle humor, that.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Question for supporters of holiday:
How many Americans did Jeff Davis kill? How many American did Osama bin Laden kill?
Posted by: Garak | April 7, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse
This is a pretty stup1d question. The Civil war was an actual war. Osama is a terrorist that killed innocent people where as soldiers killing soldiers is how wars are fought. But leave it to a LIB to come up with something like this. LOL

Posted by: askgees | April 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"How come we're still fighting the Civil War?"

Because many in the South refuse to acknowledge that they lost the war. Sometimes I think General Sherman's biggest mistake was stopping at Atlanta, perhaps he should have burnt more of the South to the ground just to drive home the message; YOU LOST! GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON!

Maybe it's becauase I'm a northerner but why is the South so enamoured by the Confederacy anyway?

Afterall, the Confederacy's single most defining feature is that it allowed human beings to own other human beings as property.

If that were my heritage, I think I'd act like most Germans do when it comes to their Nazi Past - I'd be ashamed, not proud.


Posted by: cjpotter19 | April 7, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"How come we're still fighting the Civil War?"

Because many in the South refuse to acknowledge that they lost the war. Sometimes I think General Sherman's biggest mistake was stopping at Atlanta, perhaps he should have burnt more of the South to the ground just to drive home the message; YOU LOST! GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON!

Maybe it's becauase I'm a northerner but why is the South so enamoured by the Confederacy anyway?

Afterall, the Confederacy's single most defining feature is that it allowed human beings to own other human beings as property.

If that were my heritage, I think I'd act like most Germans do when it comes to their Nazi Past - I'd be ashamed, not proud.


Posted by: cjpotter19 | April 7, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"How come we're still fighting the Civil War?"

Because many in the South refuse to acknowledge that they lost the war. Sometimes I think General Sherman's biggest mistake was stopping at Atlanta, perhaps he should have burnt more of the South to the ground just to drive home the message; YOU LOST! GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON!

Maybe it's becauase I'm a northerner but why is the South so enamoured by the Confederacy anyway?

Afterall, the Confederacy's single most defining feature is that it allowed human beings to own other human beings as property.

If that were my heritage, I think I'd act like most Germans do when it comes to their Nazi Past - I'd be ashamed, not proud.


Posted by: cjpotter19 | April 7, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"How come we're still fighting the Civil War?"

Because many in the South refuse to acknowledge that they lost the war. Sometimes I think General Sherman's biggest mistake was stopping at Atlanta, perhaps he should have burnt more of the South to the ground just to drive home the message; YOU LOST! GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON!

Maybe it's becauase I'm a northerner but why is the South so enamoured by the Confederacy anyway?

Afterall, the Confederacy's single most defining feature is that it allowed human beings to own other human beings as property.

If that were my heritage, I think I'd act like most Germans do when it comes to their Nazi Past - I'd be ashamed, not proud.


Posted by: cjpotter19 | April 7, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The Confederate legacy is one of Slavery of Millions as well as systematic Murder, Rape, and Terror to perpetuate the institution of Slavery.

Posted by: liveride | April 7, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, almost 300 comments. Keep it up, y'all.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I find it rather offensive that the picture the Post chose to link to your blog is the Stars and Bars. Way to go WaPo, if Joel chooses to write about the anniversary of D-day, will you use a nice big fat Swastika?

Posted by: JoelB8 | April 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

How come we're still fighting the civil war??? How come we're still on the pre-revolution days of the Boston "Tea Party"? Leave it to old guys who romanticize and long for olden times they didn't live in or really understand.

Posted by: callosumlink | April 7, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

It's kinda nice (?) that the WaPo decided to use the proper Confederate Battle Flag (e.g., square)than the 3x5 flag usually displayed in redneck pickup trucks. The latter is actually the Confederate NAVAL ensign.

Those rednecks ignorant of their own history.

===

Perhaps they consider their pickup trucks commerce raiders?

Posted by: mason08 | April 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I think any African American athlete considering playing for UVA, Virginia Tech or some other school in Virginia should seriously reconsider after this insulting move by the Virginia state government.

Posted by: jimjam4 | April 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Confederate history is a sorry history. Confederates were treasonous and cost 600,000 lives, fighting for a hideous cause. Why anyone who is not ignorant and/or racist want to "honor" that history?

Posted by: lacoatrack | April 7, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Someone writes: "Thus, the stories that have been perpetuated throughout history of all slave owners beating their "slaves" is quite inaccurate. It is a myth that the media of that time stimulated to build a case to send the North and South to war."

That's ridiculous. Confederates attacked first at Fort Sumter and Bull Run with little or no provocation. It was not the "media" that created a war, it was the South. This Virginia Governor's proclamation -- I will not speak his name again -- inaccurately speaks of a Southern war for "independence."

This is exactly the problem I have with Confederate war re-enactments. It downplays the culpability of the South for the Civil War: starting it and perpetuating it. These Southern revisionist historians do not know the true past, or they'd be ashamed to reenact it. There was nothing honorable about the confederal cause, and hundreds of thousands died. It was an evil cause, and it should not be celebrated.

Posted by: lacoatrack | April 7, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Read the southern states' Articles of Secession. Believe what THEY said about why they were seceding. THEY said that it was about slavery. THEY started the war. THEY LOST.

Any other claims are post-bellum, egregious revisionism.

Posted by: kenpittsburgh | April 7, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Just have to correct kguy1's post from this morning about Oliver Cromwell being buried in Westminster Abbey. Not true. He was buried there when he died, but after the Restoration his remains (along with those of others who were deemed to have participated in regicide) were disinterred, the bodies hanged, and heads placed on spikes. In other words, even though he was dead, his body was treated as that of a traitor. Not quite Lincoln's approach.

Posted by: tigrkatz | April 7, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

For good or ill, the South lost a huge swath of its educated class in the Civil War. The effects are still felt even today. Have you read letters from Confederate soldiers? How literate, how full of expressive sentiment. How different from today.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 7, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

In McDonnell's proclamation he states:
"NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert McDonnell, do hereby recognize April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens."

And I think that is just what should be done. Schools should expose the institution of slavery, in all its barbarity, to kids 8th grade and up. High schools should study who fired the first shot. Television programming should educate people on just what the South was and just what started the secession. And, most of all, the end of that war should be studied, how the flag was surrendered, how the southern states were brought back in with no provision for ever succeeding again.

Yes, lets remember the glory of the old South vividly and put to end the idea that the South was ever anything worth fighting for. Virginians and many southerners have a sanitized version of the old south even to the point of saying blacks were better off under slavery than now. Lets use this proclamation to expose the lie that the South was wonderful place and should rise again. An airing of "Roots" would be a good start. I remember my parents watching in horror at what they and most people could not believe took place. But that was decades ago. Seems Americans must be reminded of the the southern state's barbarity and why a war was needed to end slavery in America.

Posted by: Fate1 | April 7, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

No one is still fighting the civil war, except perhaps for some of thos politically correct posters on this page.
Virginia would like tourists to come and visit and see it's Revolutionary War sites, and other historical sites, including Civil War sites.
There is nothing in that to promote the idea of slavery , or to even hint that the Civil War was a good thing.
It is part of our history, though, and many people are interested in the path we have chosen over the years for America to arrive at the place in the world that it occupies today.

Posted by: kesac | April 7, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Slaves!? You mean there were slaves in Virginia. Naw...Can't be!

My history text book from the Texas Board of Education says that the Civil War was all about them rotten God-hatin liberals.

Posted by: hayden1 | April 7, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone wrote: "The war was fought over the South's right to secede from the Union."


That's wrong. Take a tour of the Virginia battlefields and see the many references to slavery.


And secondly, even on its face, your explanation for the war is for me -- being in the pro-Union camp -- better summarized as "treason."

You see, you lost, you Confederates lost, and so we get to write the history from the Northern perspective. So when the Governer refers to a war for "independence" -- that's loser-speak. It was treason, bloody treason, and that's the winner/union label. And so it is written. And there's nothing to celebrate or reenact with honor in bloody treason. Nothing.

Posted by: lacoatrack | April 7, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I think those of you who care about a position like state rights aren't helping your cause by investing yourselves emotionally in the Confederacy. It failed to serve these causes then and is not likely to now. Ignore the slavery and you will never understand the flaws that made it fail.

As for the anti-confederate posts, with a few exceptions, most of you have offered little more than crass insults to anyone who doesn't spit reflexively on the confederate flag or happens to be a white southerner.

It was 150 years ago people. Let it go. It's been so long I doubt any of you could really agree anymore on what it means to you other than you all still seem to hate or love it in a visceral fashion. When a politician wraps up some ideas in a dusty old confederate flag (or an editor sticks it to a headline), you'd think you all would see through the blatant emotional appeal by now, but no, most of you go howling after the bait like a pack of hounds.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln changed it from a war about states' rights to one of slavery, so he could incite the north to fight. Evidently history of what was once a peaceful southern society are no longer relavent, if you are a racist.

Posted by: GordonShumway | April 7, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Articles of Secession, State of Mississippi, 1861

A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery ....

Posted by: kenpittsburgh | April 7, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

If Slavery is the defining element of the Confederacy, it is because the media has made it that. The majority of people living in the South prior to the Civil War did not own slaves. By the way, some well to do blacks (or modern day term, African-Americans) owned slaves).So why would poor Southerners go out and put their lives on the line for the plantation owners who did own the majority of slaves? It is not racist to suggest that there were any number of Southern people who were fighting the war because they felt that Washington was going against the original of States rights. Slavery was not even the priority issue for Lincoln when the war started - he brought that in and made it a centerpiece at a later date not only because it was the right thing to do but also because it was politically expedient to do so and gave nobility to some of the atrocious behavior of Northern troops (i.e. Sherman's March). By the way, when slaves tried to follow Sherman's troops and slowed him down, he had no problem cutting off a river crossing behind him so that quite a number of former slaves were either drowned or captured by the Southern troops that followed him. So it was not only the South who mistreated slaves or even considered them inferior - quite a lot of Union troops felt that way also and mistreated slaves or former slaves they encountered. Forever after, the South has been marked as the only place of bigotry but I remember the riots in Boston when school bussing was introduced. Or the treatment of Indians and Mexicans in California and Texas. But no one objects to California or Texa holding up their historical flags.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | April 7, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, if the South isn't sure that they lost the war, we could replay that game again, and I'm sure when we get done, they'll know who lost in the replay, and they won't forget it this time.

Posted by: majorteddy | April 7, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

If Slavery is the defining element of the Confederacy, it is because the media has made it that.

===

The "media" (and what I think you want here is "academia") did not write the declarations of secession that mention, quite explicitly, the peculiar institution as a leading cause of those documents' drafting.

Posted by: mason08 | April 7, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

What is there about the Confedaracy thats worth celebrating?. As far as my reading of history is the whole idea of establishing the Confederacy was treasonous. The leaders -Jefferson Davis and others should have been shot. The Confederacy sought to preserve Slavery. Lincoln fired the slaves and for the Gov of Virginia to now want to revive Confederate History month is a slap in the face of Black Folks.
Lets get real McDonnell. Time to call for his recall.

Posted by: Carprin | April 7, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The media didn't say that secession was about slavery, the seceding states themselves did. Read their Articles of Secession. They said so themselves. Were they liars?

Posted by: kenpittsburgh | April 7, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey Washington Post! How about taking the Confederate flag off of your webpage next to the headline for this column?

You KNOW it's offensive to most people, you're just doing it to stir up trouble.

Would you post a picture of the Nazi flag on your website for a column about Hermann Goering?

Posted by: losthorizon10 | April 7, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Can't we just give the Civil War re-enactors real guns?

Posted by: losthorizon10 | April 7, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

When the Yankees conquered the Old Dominion in the 1860's, they should have spanked her a little harder. Like what was done in South Carolina. Raze the cities and the Plantations and burn them all to the ground. Today it is different, however, we should insist on an economic boycott of Virginia, until she repudiates her Confederate proclamations and issue an apology.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | April 7, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Ask yourself this: Absent slavery, was there any disagreement between North and South in 1861 that would have led to secession and war? ... McDonnell demonstrated that he's both a racist and an ignoramus. How sad that Virginians can elect such a man governor.

Posted by: stuck_in_Lodi | April 7, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Reading Mudge talking about Stoneman earlier brought this song to mind:

Virgil Caine is the name and I served on the Danville train
'Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again
In the winter of sixty-five
We were hungry just barely alive
By May tenth Richmond had fell
It was a time I remember oh so well

Chorus
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing, they went
La la la la la la, la la la la la la la la, la

Like my father before me I will work the land
And like my brother above me who took a rebel stand
He was just eighteen, proud and brave
When a Yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the mud below my feet
You can't raise a Cain back up when he's in defeat

[chorus]

Back with my wife in Tennessee when one day she called to me
Virgil, quick come see, there goes Robert E Lee
Now I don't mind choppin' wood
And I don't care if the money's no good
You take what you need and you keep the rest
But they should never have taken the very best

[chorus]

Here's the version from "The Last Waltz" with a strong Levon Helm performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMHyovwX7JM

And there's even a Wikipedia article about the song:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_They_Drove_Old_Dixie_Down

Posted by: -pj- | April 7, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I think DCAtty sums it up the best. They saw the writing on the wall.

Interesting to compare the Texas declaration of secession that kguy posted with South Carolina's -- SC take about 10 times as many words to say the same thing. Blah blah states' rights blah blah, and then the particular right they really care about. Loquacious Southerners vs laconic Westerners?

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/South_Carolina_Declaration_of_the_Causes_of_Secession

LTL-CA

Posted by: Jim19 | April 7, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

jw,

Great to see you again! I hope you are doing well.

Posted by: -pj- | April 7, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Among the people who agree with me that McDonnell should have mentioned slavery is ... Robert McDonnell. He has apologized for the omission. Says slavery led to the war. See bulletin at top of kit.

I applaud him for fixing his mistake.

Posted by: joelache | April 7, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Nobody really cares except a few people with nothing going on in their lives...ooops looks like more than a few.....move on people....nothing wrong with a little history

Posted by: TerpfanMA | April 7, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

That is better, Joel. Thank you for posting McDonnell's correction.

I hope this doesn't disturb the posters who were invested in the idea that McDonnell was right not to mention slavery because it wasn't important.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 7, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Very quick response by McDonnell and a nicely written addition to his proclamation. I didn't vote for him, but good on him.

Posted by: -pj- | April 7, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

If the State of Virginia truly wants to honor their sons and daughters who fought and died during the American Civil War then why is there no mention of the tens of thousands of Virginians who fought and died for the Union? Why is there no mention of the 500,000 slaves who lived in Virginia during the Civil War? Why honor just the Confederacy? We know why don't we.....and he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Virginia's Confederacy Month is just another part of the current movement across the South with their nonsense talk of secession, nullifaction, and general anti-government rhetoric...again all aimed at the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Raise that Confederate Flag...we'll show you Yankee!

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

McDonell apologized because his own actions caused his true nature to be exposed. He's a klansman in a suit.

Posted by: revbookburn | April 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell apologized because his actions exposed his true nature. He is a tool of the klan and crazy fundamentalists.

Posted by: revbookburn | April 7, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joel: Rodney King was right when he posed, "Can't we all just get along" eh?

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | April 7, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joel: Rodney King was right when he posed, "Can't we all just get along" eh?

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | April 7, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bob. You don't need to apologize. Wear your white sheet proudly.

Posted by: Holcombe1 | April 7, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Lincoln changed it from a war about states' rights to one of slavery, so he could incite the north to fight. Evidently history of what was once a peaceful southern society are no longer relavent, if you are a racist."
Posted by: GordonShumway

The "states rights" the south was fighting for was the right to remain slave states. That's not some academic legal disagreement. That Lincoln used the barbarity of slavery to whip up the north was not only natural considering the rights the south was fighting for, but just plain correct.

Treason is not something that should be celebrated. Americans need to have learned from their past, face it and say "never more". Most in the South have. But there are a few who cling to an imaginary history. If McDonnell really knew that history I seriously doubt he'd proclaim a history month to celebrate it. I hope the history of the confederacy is laid bare for all to see, and I hope it sticks to McDonnell for wanting to honor it.

Posted by: Fate1 | April 7, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

PS....Thank you Gov. McDonnell for your new and improved Proclamation. For all those Confederacy apologists today blogging...that slavery had little to do with the Civil War...well I suggest you read the VA Governor's new and improved Proclamation. It clearly states what I and many, many other bloggers have been saying all along today! So, all you Cornfederates...read it and weep.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 7, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse


My congratulations to our new Governor. Apparently, he's just had his "macaca moment". Good thing he's not running for anything . . . at the moment.

Posted by: kenhyde | April 7, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

They forgot to include any reference to slavery? He must have ordered this "apology" in writing because how could the Governor have faced the public and the press with such a ridiculous "OMISSION."

His study of history must have been just as bad as the "legal" education he got at Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Yet another day that makes this resident of the District grateful to have McDonnell and Cuccinelli around to make this side of the Potomac appear to be the better-governed jurisdiction. Maybe those who escaped to the 'burbs should consider moving back into the City and helping to improve our property values.

Posted by: demostheneswashdc | April 7, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who have referred to the flag WAPO used to garner (incite?) attention, it is NOT the "Stars & Bars". It is a Confederate battle flag. The term "Stars and Bars" refers to the Confederate first national flag. You can see one here:
http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/83/4483-004-A28E7C24.gif

Posted by: m1903a4 | April 7, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

My idea: Massachusetts, or maybe even Virginia itself, should declare a Tory History Month. There are lots of great Tories whose stories are inadequately told.

Posted by: Don19 | April 7, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I think it's rather PC of McDonnell to want to celebrate the losers of the Civil War. I mean, those guys tried really hard. Maybe they shouldn't keep score in wars. It only hurts the non-winners' feelings.

Posted by: cookie714 | April 7, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, a finely worded apology, but how do you overlook slavery.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 7, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, blacks need to get over themselves and worry about their dysfunctional glass houses before they start tossing bricks elsewhere about "unacceptable American cultures and heritages."

THe culture of the antebellum South which significantly changed after the Civil War was far more dominant involving far more people shaping far more of the American culture than whatever contributions came out of the enslaved or their culture. Or the Opening of the West.

Blacks telling people they have no business studying or celebrating the good aspects of that part of American past is like New Englanders saying they have a right to stifle study of and celebration of The American WEst. Or the NAs, for that matter.

Run along blacks! Don't you have some people that could use a little help finding a job or learning how not to get pregnat out of wedlock. Or at least ditch the no snitch...and tell somebody why Rasheed shot Juwon down in Anacostia SE and who was driving the car and gave him the gun.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | April 7, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

What an idiot Virginia has for a governor. Pathetic excuse for one if I ever saw it.

Posted by: fudador | April 7, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

What's hard about this?
The Confederacy constituted Treason against the United States of America. Those who celebrate it, celebrate what it stood for:
treason and the enslavement of human beings in order to make a profit.
Those who romanticize that are sick human beings.

Posted by: djah | April 7, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The score is still NORTH 1 south 0, keep trying but you will never change history.

Posted by: dgates1 | April 7, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

LOL, I-mom. All the most, um, ardent supporters turned out to post their opinions on historical causation and then had the rug pulled out from under them.

Posted by: engelmann | April 7, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"The Republican Party was the anti-slavery party in the 1860 election,"

That is a lie. The GOP of 1854-63 was perfectly willing to allow slavery in the South. The Republican Party was formed to prevent its expansion West or in other parts of the country. The Fugitive Slave Law of the Compromise of 1850 also abetted in its rise.

The GOP was not an abolitionist party although abolitionists were an important faction of it. Had they'd been in control, then in all likelihood it would have been William Seward and not Abraham Lincoln as its nominee for President in 1860. Lincoln, as a westerner, was a seen as a moderate on the issue. Remember it was Lincoln himself who said "If I could save the Union without freeing a single slave I would do so." This did not mean Lincoln approved of slavery, but his primary concern, being a Whig and nationalist first and foremost, was the preservation of the Union. Most abolitionists at the time, wished for the North to seceede from the South because they felt the U.S. Government at that time protected slavery or gave it its stamp of approval which it did. Slavery existed under Old Glory as much as it did the Stars and Bars.

Indeed, it is amazing we are having this discussion in 2010. I don't know of anyone nor have heard of anyone in favor of restablishing slavery all over again. The reason this is still an issue is the efforts by Cultural Marxists in Cosmoland to equate the South to Nazi Germany in order to heap insult and abuse upon those whose ancestors fought for the Confederacy. So make they Lincoln out to be a person he wasn't, make Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee to be people they were not and want to make you believe slavery was the sole cause of the war or secession and make the struggle to be one big morality play. Slavery was a cause, it was a big cause of secession and war, but it was not the only cause and certainly not the reason thousands of Southerners, both white and black, most of whom had no slaves, fought to repel a Northern invasion.

Posted by: sean4 | April 7, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Sure, lets celebrate the confederate heritage! Its a celebration of the war that was fought to have the right to own slaves. Sure..its true that most who faught were not slave owners because they were too poor to even have a chance at slave ownership. But the people were ignorant they were fighting and dying for the rich white slave owner and their right to own slaves. It was just another brainwashing of getting the poor man to fight the rich mans battles. The poor whites were fighting for nothing except for possibly and hopes of one day being wealthy and owning a slave or 2. So yes lets celebrate all the men of the confederate who basically died for nothing other than putting his life on the line for his rich brethren. This is a time for celebration!

Posted by: matrox | April 7, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

This man belongs to a party that wraps themselves in the red white and blue, the same hypocrites that talk about moral values, the same people that claim that they are truly Christians, the very same ones that fly the confederate flag the traitors that if the would have won there would not be a USA AND NOT A RED WHITE AND BLUE FLAG,

The governor of Virginia supports the treasonous SOUTH!!

Posted by: corintonic | April 7, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

This man belongs to a party that wraps themselves in the red white and blue, the same hypocrites that talk about moral values, the same people that claim that they are truly Christians, the very same ones that fly the confederate flag the traitors that if the would have won there would not be a USA AND NOT A RED WHITE AND BLUE FLAG,

The governor of Virginia supports the treasonous SOUTH!!

Posted by: corintonic | April 7, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Simply a wonderful way to spend the month flying the Stars and Bars flag that was used as a symbol for Jim Crow, pro slavery, segregation and proudly flown Ku Klux Klan night riders as they terrorized blacks and others while wilding throughout the darkness of night. Bob McDonald and the Virginians have a lot to be proud of in this month long celebration. YaaaaHooooooo!

Posted by: BeaverCleavage | April 7, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

This man belongs to a party that wraps themselves in the red white and blue, the same hypocrites that talk about moral values, the same people that claim that they are truly Christians, the very same ones that fly the confederate flag the traitors that if the would have won there would not be a USA AND NOT A RED WHITE AND BLUE FLAG,

The governor of Virginia supports the treasonous SOUTH!!

Posted by: corintonic | April 7, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

you are so stupid its pitiful....

Posted by: Micholina1 | April 7, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely spot on, WAPO! Heaven forbid, we offend! The proclamation should have had some mention of slavery. And based on that reasoning, WAPO should insist that any mention of black history in the media also carry a reference to the victimization and trials and tribulations that other minorities experienced throughout our history: Jews, Irish, Koreans, Poles (remember those awful Polish jokes), Japanese, Hispanics, Chinese, Indians, and so on.

Posted by: logicprevails | April 7, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Page views are all well and good, but where's our new Kit, dagnabbit?

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 7, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"TBG - you make a great point. There is a distinction between honoring the participants in a war and honoring the underlying cause."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 10:34 AM

If this is true then it is okay to honor the German soldiers who fought for Hitler.

Posted by: exbrown | April 7, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

That's whistling Dixie! Do these hics in the South realize they operated the first concentration camp in history?

Posted by: Maddogg | April 7, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Jumper1 ~ not just Kansas. One of my ancestors in Southern Indiana was prosecuted and convicted for violating the Run Away Slave Act.

That right there has a counterpart to modern politics that people should look at quite seriously.

The Souf' was safe in its slavery provided they kept it in the Souf' and out of the North. But No, that wasn't enough. They were like the crowd pushing for federal funding for abortion ~ they claim it is a lawful practice and therefore taxpayers should pay for it.

The Souf' demanded that people in the North who aided in the transport of slaves to liberty be prosecuted and jailed.

That was, in effect, the extension of slavery into the North ~ and it turned out to be the very thing that angered Northerners enough to end up burning every stinking little city and town in the Souf' to the ground ~ and laughing about it.

It's worth remembering the Confederate Army, and the Confederacy, and Bleeding Kansas, and the prosecution of Abolitionists in Indiana ~ particularly the part where Hoosiers signed up in such numbers that Indiana had the largest percentage of folks in the Army that any state has ever had ~ and they were all arrayed against the Souf'.

Even better, it's worth studying President Buchanan's worthless regime ~ he made every mistake Obama is making. He kow towed to his enemies. He criticized his friends. He ended up putting his political party (the Whigs) out of business!

The Great War started the day he left office!

Frankly I expect nothing better than that out of Obama.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 7, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Having the middle name of Jackson (evidently I do have some relationship to Stonewall, according to family), I look at this proclamation as more of a tourist-trap as mentioned above. States' rights were deemed paramount to the national government at the period where the war commenced, and slavery was front and center as the main issue. Lee was grilled by a Congressional committee a few years after the war (substitute TOYODA) but was allowed to return to VA to live out his days. Methinks some things never change...
I really believe that the Southern military leaders had more of an honorable bent, in their eyes, for their actions than we maybe understand nowadays.
We probably should revisit our history before we are doomed to repeat it in some form. Or have we...?

Posted by: msuic76 | April 7, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Don19 ~ Tory history ~ they commited war crimes. We retaliated and burned them out. They went to New Brunswick.

Is there something more to that? I mean, like Tories? They were still importing slaves to this country ~ and we were lucky to rid ourselves of them.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 7, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Maddogg ~ first concentration camp?

No, others beat them to that game by thousands of years. You must be referring to Andersonville prison camp. One of my Great Great Grandfathers was there as a prisoner. In his later years he married a young woman. Her daughter wrote me a letter about 20 years ago and made mention of the fact he'd been a prisoner.

It wasn't that it was a concentration camp, but rather was ran so improvidentially run that it turned into a death camp. However bad conditions were in general in the 1860s, they were worse at Andersonville.

One of my Great Grandfathers kept a picture book in his front parlor (kunst kamer) that was all about Andersonville.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 7, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

exbrown ~ the small German town of Kitzingen has a small memorial to the dead of WWII from that town.

They have a picture of each citizen killed ~ they are organized by Christian, Jewish, Military ~ so you know something about the nature of their death.

There were an enormous number of people killed in that small town.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 7, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"'Mr. Rivet' vs. 'The Agrarians'" Rosa Parks Museum [Wheww hu], Montgomery, Alabama.

Posted by: randomsample | April 7, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Wehrmacht yes, worthy of honoring
Waffen-SS NOT worthy of honoring

Posted by: omni3 | April 7, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

cjpotter19 ~ not to disillusion you but the Souf' won on the question of whether one human could own another.

The answer is right there in Roe v. Wade ~ women own their babies.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 7, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, exbrown, I do. In any war there are individuals who try to minimize the needless slaughter, try to be humane to captives, and attempt to retain their humanity. Just as in any war their are those who do the opposite.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I am glad that McDonnell apologized. It is still difficult for me to believe that he didn't realize the firestorm this would start. It makes me worry that he has insulated himself too completely.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's appropriate that Virginia should name April "Confederate History Month." It was in April 1865 that the Confederacy surrendered. At Appomatox Courthouse. In Virginia.

That's when and where the Confederacy became history, as it were....

Posted by: thrh | April 7, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

President Lincoln held no malice toward the people of the South.

In his second inaugural address he stated:

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."


At the conclusion of the war and on his final night, President Lincoln still bore no malice.


‘FELLOW CITIZENS: I am very greatly rejoiced to find that an occasion has occurred so pleasurable that the people cannot restrain themselves. [Cheers.]

I suppose that arrangements are being made for some sort of a formal demonstration, this, or perhaps, to-morrow night. [Cries of `We can't wait,' `We want it now,' &c.]

If there should be such a demonstration, I, of course, will be called upon to respond, and I shall have nothing to say if you dribble it all out of me before. [Laughter and applause.]

I see you have a band of music with you. [Vocies, `We have two or three.'] I propose closing up this interview by the band performing a particular tune which I will name. Before this is done, however, I wish to mention one or two little circumstances connected with it.

I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. [Applause.]

I presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize. [Laughter and applause.] I now request the band to favor me with its performance.’”

“In accordance with the request, the band struck up `Dixie,’

http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/april-10-1865-president-lincoln-asks-the-band-to-play-dixie/


Posted by: chicago77 | April 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

There were many reasons for the WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, one of which was Charleston and New Orleans, two of the biggest ports in American at the time. . . . . . And the protective tariffs the Federal Government had placed on goods coming from Britain were stifling the Southern economic grow in favor of the Northeast. . . . . . And that just names one issue that was not slavery.

Yes slavery was important, but even two years after the war had begun, if the South had a change of heart and agreed to re-enter the union, there would have been no abolition of slavery.

Personally, I wish Thomas Jefferson and others had learned to pick their own cotton. There were many poor Southern whites who remained poor, because Southern aristocrats would rather rely on slavery . . . . AND THEIR ABOMINABLE INSISTANCE ON THE USE OF SLAVES HAS CURSED AMERICA EVER SINCE.

Posted by: Here2day | April 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Mua...women own their babies? Not even close. Roe v Wade addresses the right to privacy. Nothing about anybody owning babies.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 7, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

It is amusing indeed to hear from so many expert historians. Everyone has the answers to questions which haven't even been asked yet. From whom were the slaves purchased ? Were any of the slaves owned by folks from northern states ? Are current players from the NBA, NFL and MLB bought and sold ? Same difference, just more money involved.

Posted by: oldlcop67212 | April 7, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Where's the Jobs Bob?????? Bob promised to be a "Jobs Governor" and so for all he and his Attorney General have done is revive the old "culture wars" that have lost the GOP Northern Virginia. We all knew his ideas on the campaign trail were not going to work--and he has done none of them. Everytime a Northern Virginian runs over a pot hole eventhough we pay much more taxes than the rest of the state a Virginia GOP delegate in Richmond laughs. Bob has up to now proven imcompetent. The only reason people support him is their hatred of democrats. If people actually looked at his body of work and were honest--they would see he has done NOTHING!

Sheila deserved this--she knew he was a culture warrior. She doesn't care about blacks--anybody that gets rich selling young impressionable blacks the "ghetto lifestyle" that encourages them to be dumb and violent so she can get rich and send her child to "horse riding camps" wasn't very black in the first place. BET is a joke!

Posted by: jcar2 | April 7, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Think about this. Liberals want to impose their ideals on others. So...
If the red states secede from the union, there would be another civil war
If the blue states secede, nobody would give a damn.

Posted by: johntu | April 7, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

As a Georgia boy whose relatives have included farmers, civil servants, soldiers, ministers, professionals of various stripes, artists, at least a smattering of ne'er-do-wells, and I don't know what-all else, I can honestly say that I've never heard (or heard of) a relative of mine glorifying the Southern past, other than an appreciation for place and family that's pretty standard in cultures throughout the world and throughout history.

But there is an amusing story about a great-great-great uncle (or some such) in Savannah who was known on occasion (in the 1910's-20's) to express displeasure when someone attempted to ticket his car, which he regularly parked at the same spot he'd been accustomed to tying up his horse. The fact that a no-parking area had been established was not particularly impressive to him.

He sometimes expressed this displeasure by chasing the ticketing official down the street waving his Civil War-issue sword. I'm fortunate to be just old enough that a few folks who actually witnessed this have told me the story while wiping tears of laughter from their eyes. Apparently, he was a colorful & harmless enough old coot that this didn't result in his being arrested or gunned down in the street. Simpler times, indeed.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I believe one of the lasting legacies of the confederacy and the abhorrent institution of slavery is the enduring industriousness and ingeniousness of the citizens of the North.

In competition with the free labor of the south and the consequential lack of industry of slave holders, Yankee ingenuity prevailed through invention and hard work. That legacy lives on today.

In context of the Katyn forest massacre, we should also consider the massacre of surrendered Union soldiers, most of them black, by confederate soldiers at Fort Pillow. It endures as another example of the southern evil.

The commemoration of the confederacy by the governor stands as a shining example that the evils which the confederacy held dear still live on in the nourishing bosoms of southern conservatives.

Fitting this evil should raise it's ugly head whilst a Black Man is the President of the United States of America.

The south continues to remember their treasons because they cannot let go of their racial hatreds.

Posted by: colonelpanic | April 7, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good evening, friends. Just wanted to stop in and say hello. It has been a busy day, and I had my shadow with me, the g-girl. School is out for spring break.

Excellent writing, JA, and oh, so, true. I don't applaud McDonnell for his apology because I believe him to be as VL said.

And yes, the Civil War was fought about slaves. No one wants to own that because even in modern thinking, some still see me and my people as animals of the lowest sort.

And yes, the war is still being fought. Every day in little ways and big ways, but all covered with the biggest lie, but if the truth were told, some of us might look like what we are, racist.

RD, Mudge, as always, excellent commentaries.

Very tired, and still battling the cough and the pollen. I have more pollen on the inside of my car than on the outside.

Congratulations, boodle, on your 5th anniversary. May you have many, many, more. And a special nod, to boodle-in-chief, JA.

Night, boodle.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 7, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

oldlcop, Oh. My. Goodness. You're joking, right?

Posted by: LostInThought | April 7, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is a radical left wing propaganda machine for the Democrats and the Obama administration. All they do is campaign for Democrats and write on hit piece after another on Conservatives. They are a disgrace.

Posted by: sonofliberty09 | April 7, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Gov. McDonnell,

As a child growing up in Virginia I was proud for it truly is the birthplace of America. It's General Assembly is the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere and it produced a majority of the brilliant minds that conceived our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. But today, as a resident of Connecticut contemplating a return to Virginia in pursuit of its bountiful economy, your incompetence has made me ashamed to be a Virginian and insured that I will NEVER return to the state I called home for nearly 25 years and where my family traces its roots back nearly 400 years. I descend from Union and Confederate soldiers, white men and black men, freed men and slave -- nearly all Virginians, and therefore I appreciate the complexities of history. Why not Civil War history month? Why not Virginia history month to be celebrated across America? But Confederate History month without an appropriate mention of slavery just pours salt in 150-year-old wounds. If you can't manage your own public relations than I question how you can be the chief executive of an entire state? As of today, I am a Connecticuter. I am not a Virginian. Thank you Mr. Governor.

Posted by: grl7 | April 7, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

sonofliberty09 - The Washington Post will be greatly relieved to hear your thoughts, as they're often accused of being in bed with the evil neo-cons, because they regularly feature the ink-dribblings of all manner of right-wing hacks.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Slavery was the USA's original sin. The framers of the Constitution crafted a document that enabled a union to be pulled together despite massive differences over the issue of slavery. We can thank James Madison and other founders for every peaceful transition of power we have in America, but slavery was the single issue that would not simply go away.

The Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision in 1857 ruled that slaves were not protected by the Constitution and could never become citizens. When Lincoln was elected, Southern States feared that Lincoln was planning to abolish slavery and the "southern way of life."

Lincoln's arguments during the election of 1860 suggest otherwise. Lincoln's main differences seemed to be over the extension of slavery into the Western territories. He argued vigorously that the "Slavocrats" would have an unfair advantage over white labor if the institution of slavery was extended into the Western Territories. Lincoln's views on slavery evolved during the Civil War.

Nat Turner's bloody rampage in August of 1831 exposed a frightening demographic problem that existed in many communities of the South -- black slaves greatly outnumbered whites. When the abolitionist John Brown raided the Federal Armory in Harpers Ferry, VA in an effort to lead an armed slave revolt, Robert E. Lee was dispatched by the US Army to put down the rebellion. The US Government protected the institution of slavery with federal troops as late as 1859.

When it became clear that the compromise on the issue of slavery was no longer an option, Southern states seceded. That caused a constitutional crisis. Lincoln's primary objective in declaring war on the Confederacy was to save the Union. To argue that the Civil War was fought over the issue of States Rights is to ignore the facts of history.

If you want to get an idea about how awful the fighting conditions were during the Civil War, visit Tredegar Iron Works near Richmond (http://www.usa-civil-war.com/Tredegar/tredegar_vst.html) A must see!

With a civil war brewing in Iraq, with daily sectarian bombings rising as American troop levels are falling, people like Bob McDonnell should pause to recall how much blood was spilled on Virginia's soil over the issue of slavery. Virginia's governor should re-read Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

With the another anniversary of the Civil War fast approaching, Virginia's elected officials need to be a little more careful about how they handle such a sensitive issue.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | April 7, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

grl7 - There were a few women in you lineage, right? Or was it all "Union and Confederate soldiers, white men and black men, freed men and slave--"?

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

dannykurland1 - Well, if you want to get all technical, land theft & racial murder (visited upon the original inhabitants) and treason (against the King) were America's original sins. But slavery's a doozie, I'll grant you that!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Kill 2 birds with one stone. This one month of celebration will double as a Tea Party recruitment convention. With Confederate flags flying and people marching around with pictures of Obama dressed as a monkey will attract be sure to attract the cream of the crop Tea Party prospects.

Posted by: matrox | April 7, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Sonofliberty, you'd do well to check out the Post's opinion and blog pages and note how many conservative/right leaning voices and pieces there are versus left-leaning.
You might be surprised. Do you think News Corp.'s media outlets are as balanced?

Y'know, McDonnell admitted a mistake, apologized, and did something about it.

Anyone else feel like stepping up?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

they took down my post. figures....here it is again, i'm glad i put it in wordpad..

But it's ok to have black history month? where is white history month, or is that racist? too much emphasis is placed on every race, but the white race is racist every time we stand up for our own pride. to me, THAT'S racist in its own right.

Posted by: mailsent_here66 | April 7, 2010 8:57 PM

Posted by: mailsent_here66 | April 7, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

And when you forget part of history, you are condemned to repeat it. it IS part of America's history, like it or not.

Posted by: mailsent_here66 | April 7, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Only liberals care about re-crushing the Confederacy now days. It's a dead subject.

I suspect this is another attempt to distract America from the ObamaCare stink-bomb lobbed at America by Barack and Nancy Pelosi.

Or the illegal immigrant, mass amnesty bill they are cooking up now.

Or homosexual marriage and gay, affirmative action in our military services.

How about the NATIONAL SALES TAX they want to enact to help with their $10,000,000,000,000.00 projected deficit?

Can they do all this before they get disenfranchised by American voters in November.

They gonna try!

Posted by: battleground51 | April 7, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Grew up in the North and learned the "yankee" version of the Civil War. Now I work in an elementary school in Virginia helping out with 4th grade Virginia history. Definitely several ways to view the Civil War!

Northern U.S. colonies were founded for religious freedom, Virginia was founded as an economic venture. Virginia stumbled onto farming using slaves in the 1600s as a way to return a profit to their investors. The moralist views of the North were bound to conflict with the economic pragmatism of the South. It took less than 100 years from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. Kind of remarkable that the infant United States lasted that long before erupting.

McDonnell's re-wording this afternoon was appreciated. If it had been "Civil War" Month, rather than "Confederacy" month, it wouldn't have been so incendiary. But what else would the Sons of the Confederacy request? At least McDonnell's learned a lesson.

Posted by: Concernedschoolworker | April 7, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

mailsent_here66 - Your point isn't entirely unreasonable, but it's worth reviewing the record here. When "Black History Month" became a fairly widespread phenomenon in the mid-1970's, a pretty good case could be made that the historic tribulations & contributions of African-descended folk in the USA were not being presented very well in most U.S. school programs.

I remember being rather amused by hearing black folks say, "Why didn't I learn that in school?", because I'd been fortunate enough to attend schools (overseas in the military schools system, and then in Colorado and back in Atlanta) that definitely did expose me to a good bit of that history, and I think I assumed that those complaining folks just weren't paying attention.

But years of experience has taught me that I was just lucky (and an avid reader), and that lots of folks won't be exposed to some of this history if there's not a special program in place to present it. To bemoan the fact that there's not a special "White History Month" is at least a little disingenuous, don't you think?

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Southerners have been mumbling to themselves about the Civil War ever since they lost it. They've NEVER gotten over it, and they don't think it ended the way was it was supposed to. In their heads, they've never stopped fighting it. They've fetish-ized it, like a porn movie you keep re-creating in your imagination until the ending is just perfect. So do those who keep re-imagining and re-enacting the Civil War, constantly altering the outcome of battles, newly vindicating their beliefs with every victory speech they imagine. And celebrating the Civil War, instead objectively examining it, is the last thing they have to shove in people's and feel good about doing it.

Northerners got over it because we won.

Posted by: Larryman | April 7, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Larryman - Plenty of reasonable thought in what you say, except that the reenactment community is not a particularly Southern thing. [Other than the fact that winter weather is often more gentle in southern climes.] That's more a history-geek / frustrated would-be mercenary soldier kinda thing, and it's quite ecumenical.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Well dang...wave the bloody shirt again...150 years of blame the South..is still alive...damn the south...damn you all forever...

Oh and since we're erasing American and Virginian and Southern history..might as well erase:
-- Lee-Jackson Highway
-- Jackson High School
-- Fort AP Hill
-- Washington and Lee University
-- Sell off Manassas, Fredrickburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Petersburg, Peninsula Campaign battlefields and give the proceeds to .... oh some who can claim 6 generations after the fact that they suffered from slavery.
-- Oh and get rid of Patton's 3rd Army made up of Southerners...And if we're such anethema to the rest of the holier than thou's... well...we'll leave, create our own country.

Oh..cleanse the text books, Smithsonian, erase the histories, uproot the cemetaries.

And prosecute all those racist reenactors!!! And make sure no one is allow to say "ya'll" and be sure to make anybody whose ancestors fought for their State 150 years ago have to wear yellow armbands.

The Socialist totalitarian wiping out of history seems to be greatly admired amongst a certain section of the politcally correct American electorate. Be careful mes amis...be careful...censorship and totalitarian annihilation of a nation's history can bite both ways.

Posted by: wjc1va | April 7, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party, contrary to the author of this blog, was not an "anti-slavery party" during the 1850's or the 1860 presidential election. Lincoln and the vast majority of Republicans until the second year of the Civil War were strongly opposed to the expansion of slavery into the western territories or anywhere else, not to slavery as it then legally existed in the southern states.

Abolitionists were a small minority within the Republican party until 1862. Slavery was definitely the main cause of the war, but most Republicans in 1861 did not support seeking the abolition of the institution.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | April 7, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

its disconcerting that recognizing history gets some people in such a tizzy. now the big questions seems to be whether bob mcdonnell wishes he were a slave holder. or something similarly stupid. it should be remember that john bell was also against slavery but did not think a war that killed nearly a million people and destroyed untold amounts of material propsperity was any better than what it replaced and thought slavery could be ended peacefully, like it had elsewhere in the world. there are books written by liberal law professors tacitly endorsing bell's view. mark graber's "dred scott and the problem of constitutional evil" is but one of them.

should the south invade the north today to end abortion? think about it, even if u think abortion is murder its pointless.

Posted by: dummypants | April 7, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I was recently in Richmond, VA on my first trip to the USA (from Australia).

I was only there for a couple of days, so wouldn't even pretend that I understand the City. The impression that I got, however, is that it is a city still deeply schizophrenic about the Civil War.

I was stunned by the reverence and triumphalism of Monument Ave towards the leaders of the Confederacy, and surprised at their unqualified depiction in statues and busts within the State House.

Even more - late in the day I was in Hollywood Cemetery - a slightly eery time to be in a cemetery - and I was really troubled by the new "Stars & Bars" flags and fresh flowers - not just on individual soldiers' graves, but on what had seemed to become a shrine at the grave of JEB Stuart.

It has been interesting to read this article and the comments - it strikes me that my perceptions were not without a dark foundation, and that there really is a significant group who see 1865 as a temporary ceasefire, and are just waiting for the South to rise again.

Of course the other issue that the USA has to contend with is how you revere the legacy of all the early US Presidents who came from Virginia, whilst simultaneously deploring the attitudes and stance of many of their descendants who believed in, fought and died for the Confederacy.

Posted by: robinamerica2010 | April 7, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Who really cares anymore, anyway?

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 7, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse


Larryman-

Some of us grew up in the North and then moved to the South. And all of this fetishization of the civil war struck me as really weird when I first got here. If it were me, I would be ashamed of my ancestors for having fought a war over something that nearly all would agree is indefensible.


Posted by: jackrussell252521 | April 7, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

robinamer - It's a crazy old world, ain't it? But when you get down to it, most people just want a warm/cool safe place to raise kids, eat a decent meal, and take a crap without being rushed.

Everything else is just details. All the flag-waving and voice-raising and gun-shooting doesn't change these essential truths.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I am a white southerner and I apologize to anyone who is offended by the ignorance and arrogance shown by my brothers and sisters. I am ashamed that we have a history of slavery, lynching, Jim Crow Laws, oppression of those with darker skin and the continued racist agenda of the right wingers of this country. I don't know what else to do but oppose them with my vote and educating my coworkers, friends and neighbors. I am appalled.

Posted by: meowomon | April 7, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The civil war WAS because of slavery but that is not the only difference between the Union and Confederacy. At that time there was a big movement for the strength of the national government when most of the people, especially in the South, identified more as residents and citizens of their states than of the U.S. The confederacy voted in their state legislatures to leave the U.S. (in their view a legal move)and then the U.S. invaded.

Posted by: RJlupin1 | April 7, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

bobs & robinamer, I have southern relatives, and from several decades ago I remember some garden-variety racism and some generalized Jeffersonian suspicion of big government, but no romanticizing of the Confederacy. Looking back, I'd say my relatives regarded it essentially as a failed state, and not, in and of itself, anything to be proud of. But that was a different corner of the South, not Virginia... sometimes Virginia is a little "special" about these things. See, for example, the rather amazing Stonewall Jackson statue at Bull Run.

Posted by: woofin | April 7, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

What is it with Southerners? So many of them seem to think that they're special because they just happened to be born in a certain geographical region of America.

OK, so your meth-head mothers just happened to get pregnant by some random toothless trucker in the bathroom of some random Denny's at some random highway truckstop somewhere in the South.

This is a reason to feel superior to the rest of the country?

If Mc Donnell really wanted to represent ALL Virginians, he wouldn't have done this. It was clearly a way to give the finger to black people and everyone in Virginia who isn't a right wing nutjob, and to rake in some $$$ from the riled up white trash.

And you know what? It will probably work for him. What a slimeball!


Posted by: losthorizon10 | April 7, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

to dbG
re 10:35 post

Indeed, a great many generals/officers from both sides in our civil war were West Point graduates, many actual co-cadets.
R.E.Lee was somewhat older than most.
Of more significance is that many of them fought together under the US flag in the
Mexican War (among other campaigns) and even knew one another's tactical thinking and strengths; when they met on opposite sides during the civil war they took advantage of that knowledge.

Someone (I'm sorry I can't relocate the post) called Lee a traitor for siding with Virginia. Perhaps so, but I hope you realize that after his outstanding service of many years he was offered command of the Union forces by President Lincoln. He declined to lead troops against his own state (an invasion, in his eyes) and declined. You know the rest. Keep digging and you'll find all kinds of interesting facts which will enable you to appreciate history more objectively.

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments on this board . . . you're an insightful group of folks and obviously enjoy one another!


Posted by: talitha1 | April 8, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

to dbG
re 10:35 post

Indeed, a great many generals/officers from both sides in our civil war were West Point graduates, many actual co-cadets.
R.E.Lee was somewhat older than most.
Of more significance is that many of them fought together under the US flag in the
Mexican War (among other campaigns) and even knew one another's tactical thinking and strengths; when they met on opposite sides during the civil war they took advantage of that knowledge.

Someone (I'm sorry I can't relocate the post) called Lee a traitor for siding with Virginia. Perhaps so, but I hope you realize that after his outstanding service of many years he was offered command of the Union forces by President Lincoln. He declined to lead troops against his own state (an invasion, in his eyes) and declined. You know the rest. Keep digging and you'll find all kinds of interesting facts which will enable you to appreciate history more objectively.

As one with several great-greats who fought for the South, I think the right side won. And, as someone's wife said above "McD. is an idiot!"

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments on this board . . . you're an insightful group of folks and obviously enjoy one another!


Posted by: talitha1 | April 8, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Apologies for the double-post, but in adding something during a preview the old mouse jumped!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 8, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh dear. A storm. I will stop to wish the boodle a happy anniversary.

I pray that there is some resolution in the conflict this event raises. Without resolution, I fear it is just noise.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 8, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Wish to amend the last paragraph regarding enlightened folks. I had read comments posted earlier in the day . . . they seem to be reasoned. Can't say I appreciate the flaming and rudeness as the day wore on. So sorry folks can't refrain from incivility.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 8, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

What a day. I still like the brevity and succinctness of my first two comments. But so many people said similar things in more erudite ways with much better factual and scholarly support.

As for the others, well, let's just say that my suspicions about a great many people were confirmed.

I would particularly like to applaud two comments. Mudge pointed out that McDonnell's original proclamation was a dog whistle of the most craven kind. By recanting so thoroughly, he gets to eat his cake and have it too. His 'supporters' know, in *their* hearts at least, that the correction was forced on him by political correctness.

Second, omni is perfectly correct that citizens of the United States are properly called Americans. No other country includes the word "America" in its official name. If this weren't the case, what would we be called? United Statesians?

Finally, slyness, I like what you have done with the bunker. Now if only we could add a birthday cake.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 8, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

talitha, come back and visit when there's a calmer topic. This one really raised a ruckus. I am truly amazed by how many people think that slavery had nothing to do with the war. I wonder how many were educated in the South?

Interesting column here:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/04/happy_confederate_history_mont.html

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

there is just no excuse whatsoever for not acknowledging slavery in the original proclamation. it's just appalling. i don't care how much mcdonnell apologizes.

Posted by: LALurker | April 8, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

talitha - Thanks for the kind words, twice! Folks who ain't TOO angry can actually have a little fun even while discussing things that make them angry. I think.

And I really appreciated Concernedschoolworker's thoughtful comment back there at 10:55 PM. Not that my judgment is particularly valuable, but I do bring (as of about thirty-four minutes ago) forty-nine years of experience separating wheat from chaff (although I'm willing to concede that the first few years were largely spent separating pablum from... well, it was a LONG time ago) and I think Concernedschoolworker has thoughts I'd like to hear more often.

[I am not quite so curmudgeonly as Curmudgeon, bur for most day-to-day purposes I'm curmudgeonly enough. But I really, really like to hear from folks who vehemently disagree with me. About almost anything. Really!! But please Lord, deliver unto to me folks who enjoy discussion rather than ranting. It's all I want for my birthday, and I'll let it serve as a Hanukkah/Christmas present, too!!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

insert close bracket

]

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

First and foremost, it was not a civil war -- it was a WAR BETWEEN THE STATES.

Second, there were many reasons for the WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, one of which was Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans, three of the biggest ports in American at the time. . . . . . The protective tariffs were responsible for the great majority of income into Federal coffers, for there was no income tax. So, the Federal Government had protective tariffs placed on goods coming from Great Britain. These going mainly into the South and the tariffs were stifling the Southern economic grow in favor of the Northeast. . . . . . And that just names one issue that was not slavery.

Another issue not related to slavery were the railroads. Unlike the industrial North, the South did not feel like it needed very many railroads, yet because of excessive tariffs, much of the money raised from the South again went to the North. . . . . . Makes one's southern blood boil, but it has nothing to do with slavery.

Yes slavery was important of the emotions stirring the war pot, but even two years after the War Between the States had begun, if the South had had a change of heart and agreed to re-enter the union, there would have been no abolition of slavery.

Personally, I wish Thomas Jefferson and others had learned to pick their own cotton. There were many poor Southern whites who remained poor because Southern aristocrats would rather rely on black slavery . . . . AND THEIR ABOMINABLE INSISTANCE ON THE USE OF SLAVES HAS CURSED AMERICA EVER SINCE.

Yes, even to this day we are feeling the curse of stealing blacks away from their homes in Africa and bringing them to America. I wish we had abolished slavery in 1776, after all Thomas had originally put it in the Declaration of Independence. The fools took it out and perpetuated and enlarged this curse that is with us today.

Posted by: Here2day | April 8, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Even more - late in the day I was in Hollywood Cemetery - a slightly eery time to be in a cemetery - and I was really troubled by the new "Stars & Bars" flags and fresh flowers - not just on individual soldiers' graves, but on what had seemed to become a shrine at the grave of JEB Stuart.
===

Heh... I went to a Renactment at Bull Run Battlefield years ago, and met Jeb Stuart IV, Jeb Stuart V, and Jeb Stuart VI (who was a babe in arms then and must be about 16 now).

Good times!

Posted by: mason08 | April 8, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Someone (I'm sorry I can't relocate the post) called Lee a traitor for siding with Virginia. Perhaps so, but I hope you realize that after his outstanding service of many years he was offered command of the Union forces by President Lincoln. He declined to lead troops against his own state (an invasion, in his eyes) and declined. You know the rest. Keep digging and you'll find all kinds of interesting facts which will enable you to appreciate history more objectively.

===

Some of us know that and STILL consider him a traitor.

Posted by: mason08 | April 8, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to seasea1 and bobsewell for your welcome . . . I shall rejoin you if I can find you! Under Auchenbach?

There was something I wanted to add regarding reenactors of the American civil war:

As a member of the reenactor community I can assure you that it is an homogenous group. Not only "yanks" and "rebs" from all over the US but from Germany, the UK, Japan and about any country with an interest in history.

My husband, a period musician, and I, a period costumer, are involved in many venues including classroom demonstrations.
Teachers invite us during their teaching units on the civil war. The kids are fascinated and learn a great deal that is not necessarily in their textbooks, especially regarding civilian life during the period. We enjoy the work as living historians, not as glorification of the most painful period in our nation's history. I might also add that many African-Americans are also involved in reenacting and their stories and characters are equally compelling, in classrooms and other venues.

And any reenactment that is "performed" to change the outcome of the battle is bogus and would be roundly denounced by historical reenactors.

Thanks for this venue so that I could flesh out the truth about a much maligned group of people.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 8, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Here2day("I wish we had abolished slavery in 1776")

Don't lose too much sleep over it. You weren't even on deck then, let alone at bat.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse


Quote: bobsewell

"robinamer - It's a crazy old world, ain't it? But when you get down to it, most people just want a warm/cool safe place to raise kids, eat a decent meal, and take a crap without being rushed."

I agree Bob - whereever I have been, this is something that I would say is almost universal.

I would add that most people actually want their kids to have a better / easier life than they have had - my goal is to persuade as many of them as possible that the best way to do that is through education. A bit of history is a good place to start, once the readin', 'ritin', & 'rithmetic are mastered, and hopefully the opportunity to acquire and use a passport.

Probably wouldn't do any harm for some of the posters on here, who, quite frankly, appear not to get out enough.

Posted by: robinamerica2010 | April 8, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

mason08, maybe you are the traitor. A traitor to understanding. The northern states had no right to invade the southern states or to lay claim to any of her property. That's why those who truly remember often call it the War of Yankee Aggression.

Back then if someone from Maine on down to Florida had visited Europe and someone there asked, "What nation are you from?"

They might well have answered, "Maine," or "Viginia," or whatever state they were from.

Posted by: Here2day | April 8, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Well, even though I no longer cling too tightly to my Methodist roots, I'll follow the form here and go out with a (hopefully appropriate) closing hymn.

--- --- --- --- ---
Nation, indignation.
Where should I point my indignation?
Black folks, white folks, both of them will do...
Yellow folks, brownish folks, all of them will do fine too...

My nation, indignation,
Is full of folks who bite!

--- --- --- ---

[For those who need a little help, this hymn is set to the tune of the Armour Hot Dog commercial.]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT5z1ClHQoE

Hot dogs, Armour hot dogs.
What kind of kids eat Armour Hot Dogs?
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks...
Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox...

Love hot dogs, Armour Hot Dogs,
The dogs kids love to bite!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'll concede that it's a little creepy that at about 3:30 I placed an order for some stock from one of our printing suppliers. But it's creepier still that my account manager there just sent me an e-mail message asking me if it would be OK to send the material on the afternoon truck, or should hoops be jumped through to get it on the morning truck.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grooving on the incredibly awesome customer service. But c'mon now. At least one of us is supposed to have an actual life!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm gone for a week and come back to this boodle explosion! Great kit though, I think it's amazing what the leaders of our country come up with. I'm wondering if somewhere somebody put the stupid potion in our water system.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | April 8, 2010 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Are we going to be here today? I tremble to open the front door of the bunker; if the mess on the front porch is any indication, we are in for a couple of days of cleanup. OTOH, I'm delighted everyone had a wonderful time last night.

Bob S, you really shouldn't stay up so late. We need your expertise, bright and shining, by 0900 hours!

Hi MotP! Yes, it was quite the day. Not since Rovestorm...

Posted by: slyness | April 8, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Welcome talitha, a costumer, I know at least one other boodler that would be very interested. Recently watched a show on reenactors for the War of 1812 it was an interesting group of people.

Morning all.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 8, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm lost. Are you all here or there?


Vladimir Putin condemns Soviet lie to cover up Katyn forest massacre...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7091047.ece

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 8, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all! I see dawn patrolers slyness & frosty are about. Thanks for putting up McDonnell's apology, Joel; I thought he might, almost mentioned it yesterday morning, but then, did not. Looks like the boodle had a lovely time yesterday/last night. When the topic is the Civil War and there is a comment section, rest assured it will be lively. Hope some of the new folks will accept the boodle's invitation to stay awhile. As you can see topics are varied and interesting. Of course, as a funny old southern lady one of my favorites is the summertime tomatotalk......

Posted by: VintageLady | April 8, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Morning y'all.

It's nearly bedtime on my side of the Pacific, but if it's any consolation, the world seemed to get through Thursday without too many problems - at least from my perspective.

Have a good one.

Posted by: robinamerica2010 | April 8, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Meant to say rainforest. *Hey, frosty, anyway,*

Also meant to mention that the heirloom tomato, Mr Stripy, was introduced to me for the very first time right here in the boodle.

Hey everybody, one big family, yup.

Posted by: VintageLady | April 8, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I come here only to be "mudged."

is that on the FAQ?

Posted by: russianthistle | April 8, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Hi VL. How are you doing?

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 8, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Rainforest.... you could get mudged, too.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 8, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we're all here.

'Mudged' is a relatively new term, but it should be added if it's not in the FAQ's.

Praying for rain to wash away the pollen this afternoon...Everything is YELLOW.

Posted by: slyness | April 8, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee (lots) and OJ on the table.

Yowza, that was quite something! Thanks to those (you know who you are) who dropped by occasionally to maintain order and civility.

TWC has reverted back to late Feb/early Mar weather today. But the weatherfolk are calling for 80s by Tuesday.

I have leftover cookie dough from the weekend (choc. chip). If there's any vanilla ice cream left in the bunker freezer, I shall make some cookie dough ice cream for breakfast. Heck, I may devote the entire day to desserts.

But first, I need more coffee.

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

From MSNBC, "Diplomat Quizzed After Mid-Air Bomb Scare". I can't help but think "What's the fastest land animal?" and "In 'To Kill a Mockingbird', what's Scout's given name?"

Off to get my very busy morning started. Have a happy day.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 8, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and a happy birthday to bobsewell!

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I'll take "Things Diplomats ought not to do on domestic airline flights," for $500, please, Alex.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 8, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

RT, I've never had the opportunity to get mudged. It would be nice to get mudged at least once.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 8, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. It is a beautiful day here, bright, sunny, and just the ticket for one who is feeling so down in the dumps. Please, pray for me, folks. Even if it's not something you do, do it for me. Please.

Where's the coffee? I need coffee.

Love to all. Have a great day.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 8, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Jean Louise.

'Morning, Boodle.

slyness, I took three trash barrels of empty wine bottles (mostly prosecco), beer bottles, soda cans, cartons of buffalo wing detritus, seven pizza boxes, etc., out to the curb. The bunker isn't remotely close to being cleaned up, but I'll get the fire hose in there this morning. And I think it's gonna take a week or more just to inventory and restock everything. I left some blanks checks and requisitions forms and whatnot on the coffee table for you, for the next time you run to the commissary. i didn't actually count the deck of cards, but I know some are missing, since I found a Jack of Spades in the trash that had been used as a scoop for the Ranch dip. So I know we'll need at least one fresh deck (better get two).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, and HFB, Bob.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 8, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

*faxing a giant cup of coffee and two very excellent Dutch crumb donuts to Cassandra*

ftb, didja read that "On Faith" piece about the Rev. Barbie Episcopal priest doll? You're a patent attorney; can you and I get a patent on a "Rabbi Barbie" doll? Or would Streisand and the Yentl people object? Our Rabbi Barbie could wear tefillin (or maybe not). If she did, would that be patent infringement? Get it? Fringe? Because the tefillin...oh, never mind.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday Bob. All good wishes and prayers to Cassandra to feel better.

Another beautiful day here, not gonna hit 90 again, but that's ok. Into dampness removal in the basement now, thank goodness. Still a puddle at the far corner of the backyard so I know the water table is still very high. Busy day doing many small tasks which is just fine with me.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 8, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you paging Scout? Because Jean Louise to me is forever Scout. And, To Kill a Mockingbird would be a pretty good read right now to cleanse the boodle palette.

Costumer gal! Welcome. I have made corsets for the Shakespeare theater, which is a reincarnation-reinactment gig surely. Stay. We can chat about whale bone v. springy coils...and busks, bodices, cartridge pleats, short gowns, petticoats, etc.

And, aussieRobin. G'day.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Bob, is this a 50 times Hippo Birdie moment? Ya look 38, dude, not a day older. Must be your south'ren sweetness kickin in.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

And, this poetical interference with painting chores. A neighbor's huge but decaying porch was redone last week; however, the steady wafting of blossom shreds

Bartlet pears
cherries, many kinds
tulip magnolias, many kinds

interferes today, once again, with the painting of boards in hunter green. The ceiling is watered twilight blue, as tradition advises.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

*faxing two fresh decks of cards to the bunker*

Hoppy Birdies, BobS!

*aiming the joyous mojo gun at Cassandra*

LiT: cheetah and Jean Louise.

*making note to add To Kill A Mockingbird to my netflix queue*

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Lit: your great q's missed in my sloppy refresh. I would even have another baby these days to name her Jean Louise or Jean Louie to have a Scout....

Oh, perhaps the next doggie can be named that. Easy peesy lemon squeezey/

And, Bob, if I were a cat-lovin' gal (am very fraidy-catty of them) I would name it:

Bobcat.

Can I getta rimshot?

Will stop with dialog now.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

new kit!

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Technical question for CqP: if a corset absolutely required the prsences of whalebones splints for it to work properly, would such a piece of whalebone be considered a stay of execution?

Rainforest, once you've been properly mudged, I think you'll find it puts a spring in your step all day long.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, let me know if we need to unclog the Bunker floor drain again, I can get the industrial snake out of the garage. You were so right about installing that drain system.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 8, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the welcome, and I shall return once a very busy day is over.
Happy Birthday, Bob.
Talk to you about hoopskirts someday, CqP.

And if you've ever worn a corset, trust me, you'll be begging for a stay of execution, curmudgeon!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 8, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

What is it with Southerners? So many of them seem to think that they're special because they just happened to be born in a certain geographical region of America.

OK, so your meth-head mothers just happened to get pregnant by some random toothless trucker in the bathroom of some random Denny's at some random highway truckstop somewhere in the South.

This is a reason to feel superior to the rest of the country?
..............................
Oh come on guy lighten up!
Truth is we are cooler here, got better beachs, good music, great ladies, the worlds best climate, the worlds best food, and yes Denny's coffee shops...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqMEEvmfyQU

And yeah, I love it

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Please, I am from the South, family from the South and family died in the Civil War. This discussion is ridiculous! A white Souther governor is ticked off that we have a black President. Pure and simple. The racism here is apparent. Knock it off - CSA indeed!

Posted by: otis1 | April 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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