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Glenn McConnell

S.C. Senate President Glenn McConnell is defending his appearance in several controversial pictures that were taken last week at a Charleston, S.C. event sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Women.

The pictures in question show McConnell in his Confederate General’s uniform posing with a pair of African-Americans dressed in “antebellum” attire.

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford and numerous other prominent Republicans attended the event, dubbed “A Southern Experience.” Sanford spoke at the event and presented the organization a “certificate of appreciation.”

In an exclusive interview with Yvonne Wenger of the Charleston Post and Courier, McConnell – a Confederate re-enactor – says that people who are offended by the images shouldn’t be, and that those who criticize him for his Confederate obsession are trying to “sanitize history.”

Here’s an excerpt from Wenger’s story:

State Sen. Glenn McConnell, a Charleston Republican regarded as the state’s most powerful politician, says a snapshot he posed for Friday in a Confederate general’s uniform with a pair of black re-enactors in dress from the slavery era shows how the ways of the segregated South are behind the state for good …

… “What the ladies had put together was a smorgasbord of Southern culture,” McConnell said. “It was reflected in the dress, the historical accuracy of the performances and even down to the food. It was a wonderful, entertaining and educational night for those visitors. It showed the approach we have in this state of a shared history.

“ … If somebody is trying to be politically correct and use a tunnel vision on it and hook in the slavery issue, they’re on a slippery slope toward narrow-mindedness and they should extend the charity of understanding. Receive it in the spirit that it is presented.”

McConnell had plenty more to say to Wenger, but you’ll have to read her article to get the rest of his comments.

As we noted yesterday in the post that broke this story, we have no problem with McConnell playing Civil War dress-up games. It’s when he starts blowing millions of tax dollars on his obsession (and then lying about it) that we start to get pissed off.

And despite his appeals for “charitable understanding,” as we’ve noted on numerous occasions in the past there is no one who has worked harder to maintain South Carolina’s antiquated nineteenth century system of government than McConnell.

Anyway, here are a few of the news outlets that have picked up the story so far …

STATEWIDE

Charleston Post and Courier – McConnell discusses controversial Civil War re-enactors photo
Charleston City Paper- Glenn McConnell’s Week In Rebel Hell Begins
The Digitel – SC Senator posing in Civil War regalia
The (Columbia, S.C.) State – McConnell Defends Slave Pic
WLTX TV-19 (Columbia, SC – CBS) – “A Southern Experience” Photos of Glenn McConnell, Others Causes Stir

NATIONAL

AOL News – SC State Senate Majority Leader Glenn McConnell’s Confederate Obsession
Arkansas Times – Republicans Party Like It’s 1865
Gawker – Why Is This South Carolina Senate President Playing Confederate Dress-up With Slaves?
The Politico – Antebellem
TPM – How South Carolina Republicans View The Idyllic South
Wonkette – South Carolina Republicans Have Fun Slavery Dress-Up Party