So what can we read into a name?
Republican members of Congress, in search of yet another way to honor the man who led them back from the wilderness after the Nixon White House debacle, are trying to rename a mountain after Ronald Reagan. In Nevada. Which, by definition, means out in the middle of a desert, though in this case it has a nice view of Las Vegas.
And it’s not even like they’re trying to name a whole mountain after him. They have their eyes set on a peak that’s part of Frenchman Mountain. Which means, technically speaking, Reagan will be secondary to a European.
The mountain is also known as “the Great Unconformity,” part of a geologic distinction described by the University of Nevada Las Vegas as “a surface of rock that was exposed on the Earth’s surface and was then covered by younger layers. Unconformities are important because they represent missing intervals of the geologic record, like pages missing from a history book. The Great Unconformity represents about 1.2 billion years, which is more than one-fourth of the age of the Earth.” Unless, of course, you’re a creationist.
Chances are good the bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), will be passed by the House, if it can wedge it in among all those votes to repeal Obamacare. Chances are slim, though, that it will get much attention in the Senate, where Heck’s fellow Nevadan, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, says he has more pressing Nevada land bills to tend to.
All of which recalls the effort 15 years ago to get the Gipper’s face carved on Mt. Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, which Congress wisely turned down. Other lobbying continues to get Reagan on everything from the dime — knocking off FDR, about as much a reversal as one can think of — to the $50 bill, dropping Ulysses S. Grant.
There already are hundreds of sites bearing Reagan’s name, including Reagan National Airport in Washington (which many liberals steadfastly refer to only as National) and, more appropriately, the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Site in the Marshall Islands.
Follow Scott Martelle on Twitter @smartelleCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times