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xcurmudgeon

What's a Virginian To Do?

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:57:53 AM EDT


Texas has gone too far. Too far. I really didn't care when their bouffant-haired governor made his veiled threat to secede from the Union, as if the Civil War was just a bad dream. I even thought it was kind of nice how warmly Texans welcomed their most famous - or infamous - son home after he finished the most disastrous presidency since Herbert Hoover.

Now, however, that Texas State School Board has gone too far.

There are two truisms about Virginia that have lasted down the ages. The first is what William Faulkner's realized. All Southerners, and especially Virginians, never forget the past because it isn't even past to us. We revere our history. We treasure it, warts and all. Our history is like our family, worth defending at all costs.

The other truism is that there are three "saints" in Virginia's history, men who are above criticism, flawed as they might have been: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Thomas Jefferson.

How dare those twerpy, right-wing upstarts in Texas say that Thomas Jefferson's role in American history has to be downplayed simply because he understood that common sense demanded a separation between church and state!

Elaine in Roanoke :: What's a Virginian To Do?
We Virginians have reluctantly accepted the fact that Mr. Jefferson, a slave owner like most of the Founding Fathers, had children by Sally Hemmings, a slave who also was half-sister to Jefferson's late wife. But..we stand our ground when mere Texans dare to speak ill of one of the three things Mr. Jefferson had placed on his tombstone: passage of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, which codified the separation of church and state.

You know, I could  attack one of their icons, if I weren't such a Virginia lady. Oh, I think I will, anyway...

Davy Crockett, who is enthroned in their pantheon of "saints" because of the Battle of the Alamo, they say, died bravely there, cut down in battle by the evil Santa Ana. Recent historical scholarship - gasp, that godless profession those Texans want to emasculate - suggests, instead, he may have been captured and later executed.

Seriously, though, what is going on in Texas in the selection of content for the state's history texts is an extension of the determined ignorance behind so much of far-right ideology. Somehow, those people sacrificed their common sense on the altar of willful ignorance.

To them, global warming is not true because we just had a cold winter.

According to those wingnuts, officials in Hawaii, plus his family and the personnel in the hospital where he was born, all lied because President Obama was really "born in Kenya." How do they know? Some "birther" lady with a mail-order law degree said so, as did Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

The health care bill poised to pass Congress is, according to them, a "take-over" of health care by the government because Fox News says so. The fact that Congress hasn't even put a public option in the bill to compete with private insurance companies - and already insures more than half the population through Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and the VA - is meaningless to them.

Even worse than the Texans is one of our own, but please believe me when I say I sure didn't vote for him:

Mr. Jefferson must be rolling over in his Monticello grave about the antics of our new attorney general - Ken "Kookie" Cuccinelli - who seemed to give credence to the "birther" nonsense recently, right before he renewed his "threat" to sue the government over health care reform, and right after his letter to state colleges and universities inviting them to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

That's just what Virginia doesn't need when our supposedly "jobs" governor says he wants to lure business to the state - a far-rightie attorney general making the state into a laughingstock that almost matches those idiots in Texas.

Almost...but not quite yet.

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Amen
I'm actually offended that Bob McDonnell and others aren't out there defending Mr. Jefferson. We are living his vision, and this commonwealth is his legacy more than anything else.

Where is the defense of the honor of Virginia's most native son? For crying out loud, when Europe came down on Virginia, Mr. Jefferson wrote a enormous naturalist treatise on the question (Notes on the State of Virginia). Yet nary a peep out of our leaders today?


He May Have Had Flaws, But He's a Giant
Thomas Jefferson was an intellectual giant, especially when compared to those people on the far right who believe anything that their "masters" tell them, whether it be Roger Ailes at Fox News, or the corpulent liar Limbaugh, or that clown Beck, or Alaska's own "Miss Congeniality" Palin, etc. McDonnell, to me, is just a little man who may well be in over his head as governor. But, that won't stop him from developing "Potomac Fever."

What really gets me is that a state that produced the likes of Jefferson, Washington, Madison, and Monroe has to have a willfully ignorant bigot for an attorney general for the next four years. However, as I have said many times...

Elections have consequences.

I may be a tad prejudiced in favor of that great man from Monticello since my daughter is related to his uncle, Field Jefferson, through her paternal ancestry. Her great-grandmother was a Jefferson. I guess that means I'm fighting for family for real!   :-)


[ Parent ]
Got
that right Elaine. Now I understand that he is going to sue the federal government for using the "deem and pass" procedure to pass hcr. With OUR tax money. Nevermind the fact that the rethugs have used deem and pass 100 times.

We are truly surrounded by morons.


[ Parent ]
I Prefer "Willfully Ignorant"
Many times I told students I taught who refused to do the work necessary to succeed in school that I could always forgive stupidity, but there is no excuse, when you are smart (as they were), to demand to stay willfully ignorant.

The people who support Ken Cuccinelli are willfully ignorant. They don't wish to be confused by the facts. God forbid that they admit they are simply narrow-minded, selfish, and bigoted.


[ Parent ]
As a great Texan,
Molly Ivins, used to say (of W): willfully ignorant and proud of it.

[ Parent ]
Maybe Texas just needs
to watch this video.

What!


I Like That!
I have a feeling Mr. Jefferson would have liked it, too. Especially since he played a mean violin!

[ Parent ]
There's a group and a petition on facebook
Some of my friends who are more in the know on the latest culture war battles, signed up for the facebook group "Texas Can't rewrite our History Books". So I followed suit and joined, then the group produced a petition, which I signed, as well at least 1000 people. A lot.

Note I wasn't trying to shamelessly promote, just seemed relevant to the topic.


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