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Sunday Late Night: Sheriff Haley Barbour sez Criticism of Bob McDonnell a “nit” that “doesn’t amount to diddly”

This is probably not the helpful boost Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was looking for from Mississippi Governor, former RNC head and grandpappy of K-Street pay-to-play lobbying Haley “prototypical Southern Sheriff” Barbour, a guy who calls himself a ‘fat redneck with an accent.’

Shorter Haley: Our Mississippi legislature marks Confederate History Month annually, and they’re Democrats (mostly) plus we have a Confederate Memorial Day in Mississippi. Isn’t Virginia just like Mississippi, dad-gum-it? *ptui* [chaw hits spittoon]

As Bob McDonnell, the new faux-moderate face of the oh-not-so-racist GOP, hoped that the whole controversy over his slavery omission that he’s serially apologized for and re-edited his Confederate History Month proclamation to accommodate, had gone away, here’s the guy Central Casting would send any movie director who asked for a “Southern Sheriff” type, despite being a megamillionaire after inventing pay-to-play K-Street lobbying and a stint as Chairman of the RNC:

Asked by anchor Candy Crowley if McDonnell’s resolution was a mistake, Barbour said, “I don’t think so.”

“I don’t know what you would say about slavery, but anybody that thinks that you have to explain to people that slavery is a bad thing–I think that goes without saying,” he said, adding “Maybe they should talk to my Democratic legislature, which has done the exactly same thing in Mississippi for years…I’m unaware of them being criticized for it.”

As for the criticism McDonnell faced, including from President Obama, Barbour said: “It’s sort of feeling that it’s a nit, that it is not significant, it’s trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn’t amount to diddly,” he also said.

Hey, Haley — this is called giving legs to your buddy’s dogwhistle just when he’d hoped the howling was over. McDonnell managed to reach out to the racists within his party, piss off Virginia moderates, and then piss off the racists with his retraction/apology/editorial tour. He just wants it to go away.

“It’s a lasting scar mainly for its combination of stupidity, insensitivity and ignorance about the civil war,” said one senior [GOP] party strategist granted anonymity to speak candidly. The source did add, however, that McDonnell “has a lot of time to make amends and put it behind him.”

So, in the spirit of making amends, Bob McDonnell’s spokesman, GOP Tucker Number Seventeen, didn’t even mention the omitted-slavery proclamation in his ‘response’ to Sheriff Haley:

Governor Haley Barbour is a tremendous leader for Mississippi. Governing Magazine named him Governor of the year in 2006 for good reason. He has led his state’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina, focused on economic development and job creation, reformed the public education system and put Mississippi at the forefront of alternative energy research and development. We thank him for his leadership and service to the state and country

Shorter Bob McDonnell: Haley’s Republican Governors Association helped elect me over the hapless Creigh Deeds, and the RGA is probably the only game in town given Michael Steele’s fuckups, but ix-nay on the avery-slay oclamation-pray, okay Sheriff?

(And btw: When she pressed Sheriff Haley for an answer, Candy Crowley showed how it’s done.)

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