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Hmm? — Why Now?
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In the Republican congressional leadership one finds:

McConnell of Kentucky, Lott of Mississippi, Blunt of Missouri, Cantor of Virginia, Putnam of Florida, and, from Texas, Cornyn, Hutchinson, Granger and Carter.

I think that might explain what Oliver Willis finds puzzling in his post: Conservatives Vs. Lincoln.

The period of the mid-nineteenth century tends to be presented in a “slightly” different fashion in American history classes depending on what region of the country you live in, starting with the name of the best known event in that period.

If you look at the change to Presidents Day, from the celebration of Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays, you might find the same geographic distribution among supporters of the change.