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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The War of Northern Aggression

It seems conservatives are not simply content to fight culture wars or the last war. At least one Republican governor is looking to go back back almost 150 years and rewrite history.

While it is hard to argue against honoring the men who laid down their lives in any war, it strains credulity to issue a proclamation marking Confederate History Month and ignore the reason that war was fought -- slavery. But that's exactly what Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell is trying to do:

McDonnell said Tuesday that the move was designed to promote tourism in the state, which next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the war. McDonnell said he did not include a reference to slavery because "there 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."
Now it's been chic in some Southern circles to label the battles as The War of Northern Aggression and the states rights theme is certainly a popular battle cry in today's political wars. But as a tourism promotion it certainly leaves this Yankee cold.

Just a thought: is the newly elected but already term-limited governor thinking bigger thoughts? After all his two predecessors, Mark Warner, now the state's junior United State Senator, and Tim Kaine, the Democratic Party chairman whose name was floated as a possible vice president, rode the governor's chair to higher office.

But they didn't try to sugarcoat the past either.

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