Monday, December 9, 2019
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Addressing this Rebellion Against Anticipated Virginia Gun Laws

This will be appearing in a couple of newspapers in my red congressional district (VA-06), under the heading, Guns and the Defense of the...

A President Who Threatens the Nation with Civil War? What More...

The Ukraine transcript showed clearly that Donald Trump, President of the United States, is all out to serve himself even at the expense of...

Video: On MLK Jr. Day, Descendants of Gens. Robert E. Lee,...

See below for video from a few minutes ago in the Virginia State Senate, where Sen. Mamie Locke introduced the Reverend Robert W. Lee...

The Key Role of Public Opinion in the Gathering Trump War

Two years ago last Friday -- November 9, 2016, the day after Trump won the presidency -- like millions of other Americans, I felt...

How Northam Might Handle the Confederate Monuments Issue

Yesterday, in a series of comments on my own piece on "The Republicans' Smart Move on the White Supremacy Issue," which focused on the...

Video: Fairfax County Public School Board Votes to Change Name of...

I watched this debate for a while last night, including citizens' comments (some were dressed as Civil War reenactors) - for and against changing...

Bob McDonnell Gets It Right on Civil War History, After Exhausting...

I'm very glad to see Bob McDonnell finally get it right on the Civil War, even if he exhausted all other options before he managed to do so. The full speech - delivered earlier today at Norfolk State University, for a conference entitled,  "Race, Slavery, and the Civil War: The Tough Stuff of American History and Memory" - is after the "fold," but the highlights are:

*Today's Virginia is a "diverse" place, in which we are committed to "the founding ideal of equal liberty and justice and opportunity for all."

*McDonnell's Confederate History Month proclamation was flawed, due to its "major and unacceptable omission of slavery"  an omission which "disappointed and hurt a lot of people, myself included."

*"Slavery was an evil and inhumane practice which degraded people to property, defied the eternal truth that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, and left a stain on the soul of this state and nation."

*In April 2011, McDonnell will issue a "Civil War in Virginia" proclamation that will remember all Virginians-free and enslaved; Union and Confederate. It will be written for all Virginians."

Again, I'm glad to see that Bob McDonnell finally got this right. I just wish we could get to a place in Virginia where no governor would ever conceive of getting it wrong, whether an "error of haste" or "of heart."

The 3rd of July Nailed it for the 4th of July

As it happened, the City of Fairfax held its annual Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Display on the 3rd this year. Perhaps this choice of dates was more meaningful than one might at first suppose. By that I do not mean that moving the parade to Saturday, the 3rd, meant that everyone could go to Church on Sunday, the 4th, and still show their patriotism at the parade.  No, it was because, as Walter Rodgers pointed out in the Christian Science Monitor for 5 July, 147 years ago the Union forces won not one but two great victories against the Confederacy on the 3rd of July 1863, at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. The fall of Vicksburg (the "Gibralter of the Confederacy"), and the defeat of Lee at Gettysburg, were so important that "the eminent Civil War historian James McPherson" wrote in Battle Cry of Freedom:
Lincoln appeared at a White House balcony to tell a crowd of serenaders that this "gigantic Rebellion" whose purpose was to "overthrow the principle that all men are created equal" had been dealt a crippling blow."

The Confederacy never recovered from these twin blows, and when Union armies advanced into the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day, as the federal forces implemented the Emancipation Proclamation of 1 January 1863. Whatever lawyerly constitutional splitting of hairs has been offered before or since for secession, the participants in "The War" understood perfectly well why they were fighting: to preserve that union which was founded on the freedom of all men, every one equally a human being.