The Stars & Bars: Before Bob McDonnell is through, it may be flying over the governor's mansion in Richmond.

For the most part I’ve been proud of my Virginia heritage. The Old Dominion is rich in history and tradition.

But when a racist lives in the governor’s mansion and a homophobic attorney general serves as the top law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth, it’s hard to remain proud.

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s vapid “apology” Wednesday for “forgetting” to mention the shame of slavery in his proclamation that dug up Confederate History Month from the graveyard where it belonged was about as phony a political ploy that can gush from the mouth of a elected official known for verbal diarhhea.

Thanks to the bumbling ineptitude of Creigh Deeds, who ran one of the worst campaigns in political history, Virginia is saddled with McDonnell and his knuckle-dragging goons for four, long, regressive years.

The damage that McDonnell and his stone-age Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, can inflict on Virginia is immeasurable. It may take decades to undo what these morons will inflict.

Sadly, McDonnell is a symbol of a regressive, dangerous and intolerant mood that is sweeping the country. Driven by phony “grassroots” organizations like the Tea Party, the rabid right-wing is moving swiftly to destroy any sign of progress in Virginia and the rest of the nation.

Too bad.

Virginia had a chance to join the future. Instead, it has chosen to live in the past.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. As I continue you to read the comments in yesterdays article about our Governor and Attorney General. I can only hope that you see how inportant it is to re-elect Rick Boucher this Nov. If we don’t there will be another person (Morgan Griffith) who would like to take us back to the stone ages like McDonnell and Cuccinelli. We the voters took time off last year and see what we have running Virginia! Even if you are upset with Boucher on health care we have to keep him in office. Griffith does not care about Southwest Virginia!

  2. Doug,
    I agree with you 100%. The right wing of the Republican party has taken over in Virginia. The moderates will now have to become either independants or democrats. the next changes will be an attempt to change our text books in school. I remember in 64 when I was in Mr. Sabos Government class and was chosen to give the campaign speech over the school intercom for Johnson. I think Gold water may have won Floyd County that year but I was proud to be On Johnson’s side then.

    • Doug,
      Agree with you totally. we can expect Virginia to adopt the Texas school books next. The tea party group will have Virginia on the list as the tea party center of the country. Fertile grounds for the people who want to return back to how it was in the 20’s and 30’s. It is a shame that so many, expecially in Southwest Virginia, cannot see that it’s all about the money. the right wingers control the money and will let the state go to pieces before realizing that certain things need to be handled by people who can see into the future instead of looking back to the past.

  3. So far I believe the Governor and the two houses have done a great job this year. They managed to pass a balanced budget that didn’t raise taxes in a recession and didn’t cut the schools as bad as everyone thought they would. There may be issues where we disagree with the leadership in Va but overall Va is in better shape than many of her sister states. If Va can come through this recession without raising taxes or cutting services any more then they have the benefits will be immeasurable.

  4. The Battle Flag is not the “Stars and Bars” The term Stars and Bars refers to the First National flag of the Confederacy.

    It is not racist to honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought on behalf of Virginia during the War for Southern Independence.

    Today, those who oppose Bush’s wars (now Obama’s wars) can still honor the valor of our soldiers who serve in them, and we should do the same for the exemplary acts of our Confederate forefathers.

    There were White, Black, Latino, Asian and Indians who voluntarily to serve with the Confederate Army. Even those who identify as “Black” today, can, through generations of inter-marriage, find a few White Confederate soldiers in their family tree.

    Today, everyone can hoist the Battle Flag and sing DIXIE to honor those brave Confederate soldiers, whether or not they agree with the former CSA government’s positions on various issues.

    Virginia could add a BILLION dollars to our tourism revenue by exploiting our Confederate era history. The citizens who live here in the Twenty-first could feed their families and even become millionaires off of Confederate history celebrations, tours, selling regalia and related ventures.

    With both Democrats and Republicans shipping our manufacturing industries off to Communist China, promoting our Confederate Heritage and History, can generate thousands of jobs and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.

    What jobs has your worship at the altar of political correctness created?

  5. It is just amazing to me that someone who uses the descriptions like the ones in the blog (knuckle dragging goons, bumbling, etc) expects to be taken seriously on any level. When both sides of the aisle remembers the art of debate and quits reducing discussions to name calling like a bunch of 10th graders, we may see progress regardless of who is in the governor’s mansion. Until then, we will just continue to spin our tires in the mud being thrown around by both parties.

    You may call them phony grassroots organizations, but the attitude you display in this blog is the very reason they even exist.

  6. The causes of the War for Southern Independence, with the exception of slavery, are again a factor today. Many citizens have a deep seated anger, even hatred, for our federal government. As with the era of the War for Southern Independence, today, our citizens are wondering just how many rights will be taken from them by the federal agencies.

    While a few blame Obama, most began accumulating hatred for the federal government back in the Bush regime, when the Bushies were imprisoning our citizens without trial, then torturing and/or sending them overseas to be killed.

    When we celebrate our Confederate heritage/history, we are saluting the valor of the Confederate soldier, not affirming the value of slavery. Everyone can honor our Confederate soldiers, with or without a proclamation from the government.

    If Virginia promoted Civil War era history, we could add a BILLION dollars to our annual tourist revenue. For that sort of economic stimulus, everyone should gladly stand and wave the Battle Flag while singing DIXIE!

  7. Sorry, JT, but those of us who will NOT do anything for money, will not gladly fly an outmoded flag of hate or sing a song that talks about the “darkies” happily out in the field. The Civil War, just like every other war, was about a few Fat Cats making lots of cash while thousands went to their deaths thinking they were doing something noble. The soldiers were played, like always and wishing otherwise doesn’t make it so. The recent, embarrassing flap with our Governor ought to tell us all we need to know about the validity of glorifying our wrong-mided past. Time to face forward.

  8. Face forward to what? This country was founded on the best intentions, but based on a failed Roman Republic, and instead of taking hundreds of years it only took politicians a few decades to start undermining the “American System”. Our nation’s history is one of bloodshed, oppression, and violent wars of aggression, usually against helpless natives or small foreign countries too feeble to fight back. At least during the “Civil War” there was a chance our Republic wasn’t going to consolidate into a vicious Empire. Might as well remember that war, and all the other bloody conflicts this schizophrenic nation commits under false pretenses.

  9. Doug, you have valid reasons to be irate at the outcome of the election, the Democratic party chose a complete moron to run, and that was apparent to most voters even before the election rolled around last year.

    Saying you are not proud to be from around here though is disheartening though. Even during the bad times, I am proud to live in this great state.

    The fact we have an AG that has the balls to take blatant constitutional right violations by our own federal government is one reason I am proud. Do I agree with everything that he has done so far? Hell no. But, he was doing his job.

    McDonnell has not really swayed me one way or another by his actions so far, I believe that we as Americans should learn as much about our history as possible, and he has done well by pushing for more dedicated history months, as seen lately in national headlines. Only time will tell as to what kind of a job he does for the Commonwealth. The Senate has passed some legislation lately that has pissed off some people, but major changes will always make people unhappy. The main thing is whether they sit and complain about it on the internet, or if they go out and do something about it I reckon.

    Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with politics is the wide range of people in it and their inability to adapt and negotiate. There are way too many people stuck to old ways of thinking and acting, whether it be the hard core leftists that think anyone in office now is not doing their job right and we need change, to the hard core right that think we need to go back to living in the 40’s. Neither side will take their heads out of their asses and look at the big picture, and the fact everyone is in this together. No one will always get along, but dammit you can sure as hell try to!

    There is always an uproar at an election, cause someone is gonna be mad and try to find every little detail to bitch about saying the other guy would have done it differently. Maybe so, but why don’t you just sit back and see what happens?

    I would say go have a drink and calm down, but I know you have kicked that. Maybe go for a good ride? You can come by the shop any time and blow off some steam by target practicing around back if you would like, its an open invitation.

  10. Please people quit belly aching because FOR ONCE someone in office didn’t sugar coat an issue with the tired subject of slavery. EVERYTHING isn’t about how poorly the slaves WERE treated. The Governor told the TRUTH. Deal with it. YES, If slavery was practiced in this day and time, than yes, that would be a suject to belly ache about NOW, but for goodness sake that was over 150 years AGO. The end of slavery was a result of the war, NOT the cause of the war. The sad part is the Governor didn’t need to come back back with a statement.

  11. Sorry M.V. but no less an expert than Dr. James Robertson has stated that bottom line, no slavery no war…and 150 years ago? Sure, those slave owners and overseers didn’t know way back then that it was wrong to rape and beat and maim their black charges because people only just began to know right from wrong in the last, oh, ten years or so (to use your phrase) for goodness sake! And that darned tired issue of slavery, so inconvenient for thinking folks to bring it up, huh?

  12. Doug,

    Thank you for speaking out loud and clear on this issue. We definitely need more folks speaking out so that maybe the damage that McDonnell can do will be lessened. I agree it’s going to be a very long four years….

  13. M.V.:

    In Richmond, at least, the newspapers in 1861 were all about protecting slavery as a cause for secession. Thanks to some research I’m doing on the subject, I’ve got a clipping from the Richmond Daily Dispatch printed while the state secession convention was going on. One passage is typical of those months:

    Virginia may still delay, still put up her hands for peace; but it will be at the risk of being cloven down with the battle-axe of the invader while in the very act of imprecation. Of all the South she is hated most, dreaded most. The war of the fanatic is against the slaveholder and slavery. Once having conquered the seceding States, will he spare the mother of them all, the largest slaveholder in the South, the “slave-breeder”?

  14. And it’s so obvious, huh Danny, that this is an entirely unbiased article, isn’t it? Hardly written in a language meant to inflame. You keep doing that objective research ol’ buddy and you’ll prove a point sooner or later…

  15. That newspaper seems to be describing the rhetoric used by the invading North, not necessarily the actual politics responsible for the war itself.

    I find it deeply amusing how a war by slave owners to succeed from England in the 1700s is revered as a national holiday, but the minute someone wants to remember another war by slave owners attempting to succeed from their government, people want to pull out the racism card. We all know if the Southern states had obtained their independence their nation would be remembering the occasion of that day and slavery would be a long dead topic.

    The winners write the history, eh?

  16. Early: Yes, because all of the folks calling for secession were so unbiased themselves…

    Though if you have your own contemporary records proving your point, instead of a meaningless “old buddy” comment, I’d be happy to look them over.

    Alex: The eastern Virginia / Richmond papers of the time, particularly the Daily Dispatch, were beating the drum in 1861 that they needed to protect the slave system in Virginia. I’m not exactly sure what you mean in this context by “describing the rhetoric of the invading North”.

    –Danny Adams, great-great-great grandson of a Confederate officer

    • I suspect Alex is referring to the word “slave-breeder,” and nothing else. Would the North have referred to itself as “the fanatic” or described itself as having the “battle-axe of the invader?” Not likely. Furthermore, those phrases were not in quotes. Two things the newspaper article indicates is that the author (or the newspaper, if it was an editorial), certainly perceived that the motivation of the North was the abolition of slavery, not the retention of Southern resources (e.g., cotton) for Northern factories, and that Virginia was an especially vulnerable state, as the largest slaveholder in the South.

      Alex: “secede,” not “succeed.” Other than that, your posts are well written, although your logic is flawed. I’m sorry, but you get a “D.”

  17. Yvonne: I suspect you’re right about the “slave-breeder” comment. But if Alex (or Early) would like, I have access to the Daily Dispatch on microfilm. It wouldn’t be hard to find a plethora of similar articles, since there were such editorials in them nearly every day, which I can quote and provide date references for.

    The interesting thing I’ve found in the research is how different the attitudes were depending on which side of the Blue Ridge you lived on. Eastward, which had 90% of the state’s black population, the newspapers raged about protecting slavery. In the west, particularly the Shenandoah and other parts close to what is now U.S. 11–which provided a straight and easy march from the North–newspapers in places like Lexington and Winchester were more concerned about the effects of “foreign” boots on their soil.

    I meant it, by the way, when I offered to look at any contemporary sources Early wanted to provide.

  18. My apologies Yvonne, I did not realize we were being graded on meaningless discussions over the internet. Might I inquire, however, as to the significance of the slavery issue when compared to the campaign of “ethnic cleansing” pursued against American Indians.

    Once again, by participating in the insanity of “main stream” issues, the public is being just as hypocritical as usual. Apparently the suffering of blacks is more significant than the suffering of American native peoples. Might wanna examine Lincoln’s little operations in the “Civil War” in greater detail… (Thanks to Yoder for mentioning this angle a couple days ago)

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