Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is the first Virginian Governor in nearly a decade to declare April (the month Virginia seceded from the U.S.) Confederate History Month.  I wonder if this will be in Keeling’s next “Governor envy” post. 

Here’s some passages from McDonnell’s declaration:

  • April is the month in which the people of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America in a four year war between the states for independence that concluded at Appomattox Courthouse;
  • Virginia has long recognized her Confederate history, the numerous civil war 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 Commonwealth in a time very different than ours today

It was not a “war between the States.”  It was a war between the Confederate States and the United States of America.  It was an open rebellion, not just a fight for independence, by the slave States over the election of Abraham Lincoln as President…which makes it ironic to see a Republican–the supposed heir of Lincoln’s legacy celebrate the confederacy in the manner McDonnell does.  In using such language, McDonnell attempt to ignore the historical fact that the Civil War, was, in fact, a civil war.

And by “fought for their homes and communities” you mean invade Ft. Sumter, then you’d be right.

With the prevalence of neo-Confederate thinking in the Tea Party movement and efforts by Republicans like State Senator Shannon Jones to take the rejected Confederate legal doctrine of state nullification as a means to frustrate federal health care reform, this isn’t just an “I love sunny weather” proclamation.  McDonnell’s entire proclamation echoes the Lost Cause of the Confederacy at a time when the Republicans and Tea Party movement seem to be adopting the rhetoric and ideology of the Confederacy.

When does Virginia celebrate antebellum History Month? Or Germany Nazi History Month?

Bob McDonnell, a candidate Keeling championed, is celebrating a revised, sanitized, and romanticized version of the Confederacy.  As a person born in South Carolina and raised by proud Tennesseeans, it makes me sick.

It’s time that we stop trying to relive the Confederacy by remaking what it was.