Friday, January 9, 2009

Damn Yankees

The Washington Post (not the Onion, mind you) is reporting on the hard feelings being felt by some Virginians about bridge closings on Inauguration Day. Some of these people believe the reason why the Secret Service is only closing Virginia bridges (and not Maryland routes) is because of some residual ill will from...the Civil War:
"I think that shutting Virginia off from the party is all just an old Civil War snub," Rocky Semmes wrote on a community e-mail list. "The Yankees are no quicker to forget the past than are any of the dyed-in-the-wool Rebels."

Officials said the decision had nothing to do with the Virginia's Confederate past. It didn't even have anything to do with the cultural tension between the perceived conservative Old Dominion and the lefty Free State. In fact, the idea for shutting down the bridges to personal cars came from Virginia's own Department of Transportation, local governments and the Virginia State Police.

"This was not a North-South vengeance thing or anything like that. We're not bringing out Lee's Army," said Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police. "It's really about geography. There's a river. The only way across is a bridge. And once you cross the 14th Street Bridge, within a stoplight or two, you're going to be inside the security zone. There's nowhere for you to go."

"It does seem a little over the top to shut down all the bridges from Virginia into the city," Alexandria resident Paul Connolly said. "It's a bit of a symbolic snub to the bluest corner of the state that our president-elect fought so hard to win. We even have two Democrat senators now, and our governor is going to chair the DNC. Harumph!"