Monday, August 31, 2015

Obama Renames Mt McKinley Denali: Reactions From Here And There

Just heard on "Hardball" on MSNBC: John Boehner and John Kasich -- both Republicans from Ohio who, like Mckinley, republican from Ohio, have never been to Alaska -- both denounced Obama's move. One of them tweeted: "Once again POTUS exceeds his bounds." An NBC reporter in Alaska reported that indigenous people in Alaska were happy, and that Denali --pronounced with a short "a" according to a native leader -- had been renamed Mt McKinley before McKinley was President, by a gold prospector who liked the fact that Presidential candidate McKinley favored the gold standard. I was surprised that the segment was ended before anything was said about general reactions to the name change among all 600,000 people living in Alaska, and the reporter in Alaska seemed surprised too.

According to the Chicago Tribune, "Alaska's governor and congressional delegation praised the long-sought change." That's an independent Governor, two Republican Senators and one Republican Representative. It seems to me that Ohio Republicans might have checked with Alaska Republicans about this before making public statements -- if they gave a shit about where anybody in Alaska stands on the issue of the name. The Tribune reports further: "Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said he would work with the House Committee on Natural Resources 'to determine what can be done to prevent this action.'"

I can't find anything anywhere about the reaction, if any, of the general public to the name change. Not even in the Anchorage Daily News. I found a story about businesses in Alaska with "McKinley" in their name. Some of them are angry. Whether anybody cares whether they're angry is another question. I found a story saying that 2 Republican US Senators from Alaska had been supporting a bill in Congress to change the mountain's name to Denali. So it appears that Obama has stolen some of their thunder.

I'm guessing Gibbs has an uphill battle in front of him.

I'm also guessing that most people who have been to Alaska have noticed that, whatever the official name is, most people up there have already been calling it Denali for a while. Obama and Alaska's congressional delegation and governor are just keeping up with this parade, not leading it.

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