Virginia "Sovereignty March" Claims Rep. Eric Cantor in Movement Steeped in Civil War Rhetoric -- And Worse
Continued from previous page
Of a piece with Virginia's exaltation of its history as the capital of the Confederacy is the law suit filed against the federal government by state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli against the health-care reform law just passed by Congress. (In total, according to the right-wing Tenth Amendment Center, such "nullification" measures have been introduced in the legislatures of 35 states, as shown on this handy map.)
These nullification measures are unlikely to stand up to the scrutiny of the courts, for while their proponents decry as gross overstepping by the federal government actually amounts to a mere tax penalty for those who chose to go uninsured.
And don't leave out the anti-LGBT directive issued by Cuccinelli to Virginia's state colleges and universities last month, in which he ordered them to eliminate anti-discrimination regulations regarding sexual orientation. What's that got to do with the Confederacy? Well, it's based on the logic that the culture of the majority reigns supreme above the rights of all people -- the very logic that led Virginia, in its 1861 declaration of secession from the United States, to bemoan the federal government's "oppression of the Southern slave-holding States." (Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic revisits the secession declarations of several states here.)
Today's Sovereignty March is scheduled to begin in Richmond, the state capital (and the capital of the Confederacy), and move on to a Tea Party protest in Woodbridge, the ancestral home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and then to another in Fredericksburg, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, which the Confederate forces won. Among the Fredericksburg headliners will be former Virginia Gov. George " Macaca" Allen, according to the Web site of the Prince William County Tea Party. Also on the agenda is Ben Marchi, the Virginia state director for Americans for Prosperity, the astroturfing group that, working with Fox News, organized protests against and disseminated disinformation about the health-care reform legislation. There the Virginia Sovereignty marchers, are scheduled to read their sovereignty letter, which is said to be addressed to President Obama and members of Congress.
After what will likely be billed as their triumph in Fredericksburg, the sovereignty marchers will arrive, at long last, for a 5:00 p.m. presentation of their declaration to Cantor and Wittman. Then it's down the hill to the big Tax Day Tea Party rally being hosted tonight by FreedomWorks, the astroturfing group led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, whose Web site trumpets the Virginia marchers' sentiment with the headline, " It's Raining Sovereignty in Virginia."
Oh, and if you see any racist signs or bad behavior at that rally, it won't be the fault of the Tea Partiers, a note on the Virginia Sovereignty March page seems to suggest; they will be the work of dastardly left-wing monkey-wrenchers. The event listing for the march on the Constitutional Sovereignty Alliance pages ends with this note:
Special Note: News reports indicate that ANTI-Tea Party forces plan to take direct action at events on Thurs, to include infiltration, inappropriate signs, acting up, inserting themselves in front of cameras, sabotage etc. CSA denounces such behavior and plans to highlight any inappropriate behavior as not indicative of our message of sovereignty, rule of law, and peaceful protest against usurpation and tyranny.
Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.