Name of a mountain should take a back seat


The Republicans Ohioans have sent to Congress – Sen. Rob Portman and 12 of the state’s 16 U.S. House members, including House Speaker John Boehner – are demanding that the Obama administration reverse its decision to restore the historical name Mount Denali to the Alaska mountain long called Mount McKinley.

“McKinley” refers to William McKinley, an Ohio Republican who was president from 1897 until his 1901 assassination in Buffalo. McKinley had no connection with, nor had he visited, the mountain or for that matter Alaska.

Denali is the highest mountain in North America. On Aug. 28, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, an Obama appointee, changed the peak’s name to Denali. State officials in Alaska had requested the name change as long ago as 1975, Jewell said in her order …

Then again, thanks to Portman, Boehner and their allies, maybe America’s major challenges are behind us. Maybe the federal budget is balanced. Maybe the nearly 10,000 uniformed Americans posted in Afghanistan are no longer in harm’s way …

If so, have at it, gentlemen: Having solved so many of our other problems, the name of a mountain, thousands of miles from Ohio, deserves to be at the top of your agendas.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer