The Stars & Bars: Before Bob McDonnell is through, it may be flying over the governor's mansion in Richmond.

For the most part I’ve been proud of my Virginia heritage. The Old Dominion is rich in history and tradition.

But when a racist lives in the governor’s mansion and a homophobic attorney general serves as the top law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth, it’s hard to remain proud.

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s vapid “apology” Wednesday for “forgetting” to mention the shame of slavery in his proclamation that dug up Confederate History Month from the graveyard where it belonged was about as phony a political ploy that can gush from the mouth of a elected official known for verbal diarhhea.

Thanks to the bumbling ineptitude of Creigh Deeds, who ran one of the worst campaigns in political history, Virginia is saddled with McDonnell and his knuckle-dragging goons for four, long, regressive years.

The damage that McDonnell and his stone-age Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, can inflict on Virginia is immeasurable. It may take decades to undo what these morons will inflict.

Sadly, McDonnell is a symbol of a regressive, dangerous and intolerant mood that is sweeping the country. Driven by phony “grassroots” organizations like the Tea Party, the rabid right-wing is moving swiftly to destroy any sign of progress in Virginia and the rest of the nation.

Too bad.

Virginia had a chance to join the future. Instead, it has chosen to live in the past.

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