Friday, February 23, 2007

Look Away, Look Away, Look Away, Dixie Land

The more I observe it, the more..ah...impressed I am with Virginia politics. It's very unique.

Take, for instance, a recent measure that unanimously passed the Virginia State Senate. The Senate voted to join 10 other states in forming a commission to help mark the national 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. It's a pretty pro-forma thing...didn't need any significant state funds...and was just part of one of those historical commemorations that help us remember major voices in our national heritage.

It went to the House, and got shot down in a committee. Why? The Republican-dominated committee members gave a bunch of different reasons, but the committee did vote after receiving input from a representative of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who said that those who praise Lincoln suffer from "historical myopia and amnesia." Virginians should resist efforts to praise a man who "..sent armies into Virginia to lay waste to our land." Most impressive! A helpful little reminder, just in case we'd allowed ourselves to believe that sort of lingering, pointless historical grudge was only an aspect of the Iraqi psyche.

The chair of the committee insists that this had nothing to do with the Confederacy...remembering Lincoln just wasn't a priority for Virginia. Of course, this is the same Representative who authored a bill calling on the Virginia Legislature to celebrate 100 years of UPS service.

And they say politicians don't focus on the real issues.