Mississippi's governor offers his thoughts:
"Slavery was the primary, central, cause of secession," Barbour told me Friday. "The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery," he continued. "Abolishing slavery was morally imperative and necessary, and it's regrettable that it took the Civil War to do it. But it did."
Matt smirks at this. I'm less inclined to do so.
I think this is an important admission. You can make the case that this is all politics, and not heartfelt. Given that Barbour is a politician, I don't find that particularly damning. George Wallace's racism wasn't heart-felt either, but it still did incredible damage to Alabama. By that same principal, a step away from the gleeful profession of Confederate creationism, no matter the motives, will always earn my praise.
Good on Haley Barbour. It's that simple.