Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Virginia Governor (and fellow Domer) Bob McDonnell: Jackass

In a pathetic move to pander to the racially motivated base of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan Republican Party, Governor Bob McDonnell, class of '76, yesterday declared April to be "Confederate History Month."  What a douche.

April was the month in which Virginia joined the Confederate States of America, and as such, Governor McDonnell thought it would be nice to set aside this month for:
all Virginians to reflect upon our Commonwealth’s shared history, to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War, and to recognize how our history has led to our present...

this defining chapter in Virginia’s history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live...
Of course, nowhere in the Governor's proclamation does he actually name any specifics of "this defining chapter in Virginia's history."  Nor does he provide any historical reference to, or commentary on, "the context of the time in which it took place."  ...You know, like slavery.  But to understand this "in the context of the time in which we live," is quite simple.  We live in the age of the first African American president of the United States of America.  A tremendous symbol of progress from the dark underbelly of our nation's history; yet one which causes a certain segment of the population (namely, the base of the right wing of the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement) a deep sense of discomfort because of their racist and bigoted inclinations.  Rather than help lead the nation along the path of progress and reject the extremist tendencies of their party, Republican Party leaders have been stoking the fears of their mentally unstable base.  Congratulations, Bubba.  You've made the University of Notre Dame proud.

* In addition to glossing over the small role that slavery played in the Civil War, Bob McDonnell demonstrated his progressive and far reaching intellect in his master's thesis where he decries feminists and working women as "detrimental to the family," harps on the evil that is contraception, and dabbles in gay bashing.  This wasn't merely the blabbering of a young conservative trying to find himself in college... he wrote this as an already married man while 34 years old.  Stay classy, Bob.

UPDATE: 6:11 PM EDT (via The Washington Post)
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) apologized late Wednesday for failing to include slavery in his proclamation declaring April as Confederate History Month. In his statement, McDonnell said slavery "has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation."


Bill said...

To be fair, he did say this on the link you provided

"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"

Good to know he's not pro-slavery. But seriously, does Virginia need a "Confederate History Month"? Why needlessly play with fire like that?

ShamRockNRoll said...

No, actually. His proclamation said nothing of the sort at the time of this posting. I got an email alert from the Washington Post while I was on my way to the God Debate on campus saying that McDonnell apologized for not mentioning slavery in his proclamation.

I read the text in full prior to posting this, and this was clearly added afterwards, when he made his apology. Better late than never??? eh... still a douche.

Grengle said...

You left out the part where he'd said yesterday that slavery "wasn't significant" enough to go in the original proclamation.

So he's a hypocritical douche, which is nice.

(an 08 alum, recently relocated to VA for law school)

ShamRockNRoll said...

Wow. Missed that... link? Sadly, I don't find it surprising...
Thanks for reading our blog, Grengle! How'd you hear about us?

Bill said...

My bad Brendan. I guess I was giving the guy too much credit. I expect better out of fellow Domers, and I know I shouldn't.

"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."

A mistake?! So what, did you just forget about slavery when you declared "Confederate History Month"?

Also, if this was "solely intended to promote the study of our history" why not call it "American Civil War History Month"? Because this looks waaaay too much like it's celebrating a short-lived enemy of the United States who fought a war over the right to enslave other human beings.

I don't know what was going through this guy's head when he decided that this would be a good idea.

Bill said...

The Fix's Chris Cillizza has been talking to national strategists about whether Gov. Bob McDonnell's Confederate History Month proclamation and subsequent apology for leaving out mention of slavery puts him out of contention as a national candidate.

"It's a lasting scar mainly for its combination of stupidity, insensitivity and ignorance about the Civil War," one senior Republican strategist told Cillizza.


Anonymous said...

As a Southerner and a member of the GOP, I would like to cast some light on McDonell's recent decision.

I'll agree it is not the most politically correct move, and probably not the most politically savvy, either. But this blog entry is nothing but a shallow attempt by Dems to paint the GOP as "racist" when there is little ground to do so.

A couple of quick facts:
1. 94% of the soldiers in the Confererate Army NEVER owned a slave
2. Mass riots occurred in many Northern cities after the Emancipation Proclamation and conscription acts, largely because most Northern men were unwilling to "fight to free some nig!@#"
3. MLK's assassin was from ILLINOIS, and the state with the most KKK members is INDIANA. To directly associate this organization with the Confederacy or the South, then, is greatly misleading
4. Despite accusations that Tea Partiers referred to several African-American Congressmen by the "n" word, not one of the thousands of video cameras on capitol hill picked up any audio of such an event occurring on the day the healthcare bill was passed

Quite frankly, to depict the GOP as racist-leaning is as misleading as the GOP calling y'all "Marxist" or "unpatriotic"...

Bill said...

It's fine (to me, anyway) to say the GOP isn't racist, but let's not pretend that there aren't racists in the party. I'm willing to bet that there's some Marxists out there that vote Democrat too.

I would argue that McDonnell's decision is more idiotic and insensitive than anything else. I understand this post to be hypothesizing that McDonnell did this more to pander to racists than to express some sort of racism on his part. If you have a different theory, I'm all ears.

My theory is that McDonnell calculated that more of his constituents would be thrilled with honoring the Confederacy and downplaying slavery than would be offended or disgusted. In effect, to me, this means that McDonnell was betting that the GOP is racist (in his state, at least). Hopefully this whole thing blows up in his face so that the GOP can prove that it isn't racist, or at least isn't as racist as McDonnell had assumed.

ShamRockNRoll said...

To say that the GOP doesn't have some serious racist tendencies among a significant portion (though, not a majority) of its base is just ridiculous. Much of it is evident in subtle ways (all but one Republican primary presidential candidate accepting an invitation to speak at the NAACP) and some not so subtle ways, like the actions of Gov. McDonnell, and the GOP leaders in Congress who encourage the extremism of their base that is so off the wall and blatantly racist that they question the President's birthplace or label him as a Muslim in an attempt to make him "foreign" or the "other." And for more obvious examples simply skim the signage at any decent sized Tea Party rally.

Anyhow, Bill's comment above is spot on.

Henry James Vasquez said...

We've had this debate before on Lefty's. Perhaps the GOP as an organization isn't racist (this is debatable), but it is difficult to deny the great numbers of GOP voters who are. As a more meaningful point, some of the elected officials in the GOP might be guilty of actually "enabling" racism.

To broaden the point- there are plenty of racists in both parties. The more interesting point is to uncover when racism itself is used in behavior/rhetoric or to justify policies. To draw a comparison, most members of the Nazi Party were Christians. The Stalinist Soviet army likely included many atheists. This is uninteresting unless we isolate cases in which religion or anti-theism were used to make decisions and statements.

In this regard, I think it is much easier to find evidence of the GOP using racist rhetoric or enabling racism.

Anonymous said...

Right with Bill on many points. Dumb move by McDonnell, I agree there, and I'm sure that the GOP will continue to seperate itself from the incident. And there are some racists in the GOP, I won't lie, just as there are some Marxists in your party...but if you actually look at the South geographically, the places with the largest numbers of white racists also tend to have THE MOST WHITE SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS. Think of districts like the one that voted for Heath Shuler. Likewise, some districts in Northern states that have more racists per capita go Democratic...look at Murtha's old district. The GOP platform is not racist at all...wewent out of our way to get an African-American chairman, we parade Bobby Jindal...and the GOP does so well in the South not because it plays on racial undertones. It does so because it portarys itself as the red-blooded American party and plays to the patriotic emotions of the region.

ShamRockNRoll said...

Anon, you're totally missing the point. No one is saying the GOP's official platform is racist, but that it's actions often are. And I find it hilarious that you reference how the GOP went "out of it's way" to get an African American chairman... because part of this argument is just how freak'n out of their way your party has to go to do such things. And by the way, you were parading Bobby Jindal until he freak'n tanked on national TV last year. lol