Governor Bob McDonnell did (though to his credit later apologized and changed his position). Which Governor Haley Barbour did. Which former Congressmen J.C. Watts did. Which Pat Buchanan did. These people need to recall that the whole purpose of founding the Republican Party was in opposition to the spread of slavery to new territories, and that any attempt to minimize the importance of that issue tarnishes the founders of their own political party. They need to re-read the history of the decades leading up to the Civil War, in which the only political debate of any consequence was about slavery. And they need to recognize that the only reason the southern states attempted to secede was because of slavery. (The only significant difference between the Confederate Constitution and the Federal Constitution was its protection of slavery.) The Confederacy was not founded in opposition to federal power or in support of states' rights. If the Confederates had a problem with federal power, they would never have endorsed the vast federal powers of the Fugitive Slave Act, but they were always supportive of federal efforts to retrieve their property from states that did not recognize the legitimacy of that property interest.
Current attempts to commemorate Confederate history without recognizing that the entire purpose of the Confederacy was to protect the despicable institution of slavery amount to a re-writing of history. Current loose talk about states' rights and secession and disobedience to federal authority amounts to ignorance of history and the Constitution. You simply cannot raise these issues without implicitly supporting the revival of a racist, anti-democratic vision of America. And that is why it should never be surprising to see white supremacist, hate-filled slogans appearing at Tea Party rallies. These sentiments represent the true face of the movement, which its leaders cannot seem to succeed in suppressing.
If the current apologists for the Confederacy really want to get people to understand the original intent of the Constitution and the philosophical basis for their movement, they might as well come right out and say they support the re-enslavement of black people. Otherwise, they are not quite being honest about the implications of their own rhetoric.
(photo from Huffington Post)