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Capitol History Lesson, Revisited

Posted By Matthew Spalding, Ph.D. On December 12, 2008 @ 4:10 pm In First Principles | Comments Disabled

Amid all the news out of Chicago and Detroit, don’t forget the ongoing scandal simmering at the U.S. Capitol. We stand by our criticism of historical outrages and leftward re-imagining of the Constitution at the $621 million Capitol Visitor Center,  here [1] and elsewhere [2]

From talk radio hosts to regular taxpayers, the common question is: Where do we send our grievances? Those inclined may register their thoughts with Acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers [3] (pictured), AIA, who also is deputy architect and chief operating officer.  E-mail Ayers’  ”communications officer,” Eva Malecki, at emalecki@aoc.gov [4], call her at 202-228-1793 or address a letter to the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. 20515.

 We at Heritage were heartened when The Washington Post’s architecture critic, Philip Kennicott,  demolished the CVC project [5]as having fundamentally changed the experience of the  Capitol for the worse. Then John Miller wrote a great piece [6] for National Review, citing some major and minor  errors in the CVC’s “education experience” and telling more of the story. Despite a  few quick changes, the Exhibition Hall “still includes plenty of liberal bias,” Miller concludes:

 A section on FDR describes the New Deal, in rah-rah fashion, as ‘a creative burst of energy that initiated economic recovery’ during the Depression. There’s a panel on the 19th-century impeachment of Andrew Johnson, but nothing comparable on the 20th-century impeachment of Bill Clinton (except a brief mention in a video). What’s more, conservative icons are almost totally missing. There’s a picture of Robert A. Taft, but no image of Barry Goldwater or Henry Hyde. “

 One Web site, Godless CVC [7], tracks the goings-on, including proposed legislation to “direct the Architect of the Capitol to ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and the national motto ‘In God We Trust’  are each displayed prominently in the Capitol Visitor Center and on a permanent basis.” The legislation also would “prohibit the Architect from removing or refusing to include language or other content from exhibits and materials relating to the Capitol Visitor Center on the grounds that the language or content includes a religious reference or Judeo-Christian content.”   Those who feel moved to do so also may sign a petition there.

The distortions of our Constitution in the Exhibition Hall go far beyond the faith angle,  though, and besides Miller other reporters [8] and columnists [9]and bloggers [10] have taken note.  The alarms sounded by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and a few others in Congress first sparked such interviews, stories and blogs on the CVC boondoggle, and are beginning to have an effect. Stay tuned.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/12/12/re-visiting-capitols-history/

URLs in this post:

[1] here: http://www.foundry.org/2008/11/27/for-visitors-a-capitol-scandal/

[2] elsewhere: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/03/a-capitol-crime/

[3] Stephen T. Ayers: http://www.aoc.gov/aoc/architects/Stephen-T-Ayers.cfm

[4] emalecki@aoc.gov: mailto:emalecki@aoc.gov

[5] demolished the CVC project : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/01/AR2008120103004.html?hpid=artslot

[6] a great piece: http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=N2I4NmJhMmQzYmUxZGYxNWI3ZTlkZTk2ZmVjZWIwYjE=

[7] Godless CVC: http://blog.heritage.orgV

[8] reporters: http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/dec/02/scholar-congressional-exhibits-too-liberal/

[9] columnists : http://www.examiner.com/x-234-Baltimore-History-Examiner~y2008m12d4-Congress-monument-to-self-distorts-the-constituion

[10] bloggers : http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=342696

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