Hero worship gone horribly awry

HERO WORSHIP GONE HORRIBLY AWRY…. One of the more common complaints in conservative circles about President Obama is that his supporters like him too much. The right mocks the president’s support with snide admonishments like “Messiah” and “The One.” It’s not at all unusual for Fox News personalities to compare admiration for Obama to authoritarian regimes like North Korea or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

And every time I hear the right whining about Democrats holding Obama in high regard, I ask myself the same question: aren’t you the guys who embrace cult-like worship of Ronald Reagan?

Reagan devotion is so hopelessly ridiculous in some circles that the Republican National Committee, without a hint of humor or irony, has come up with a new name for the former president.

The new Republican National Committee Web site has been derided for its “GOP Heroes” section — which teaches us that almost all of the great Republicans lived in the 1800’s, and about half of them were black — but there’s another illustrious name on the list: Ronaldus Magnus.

The site’s page on Ronald Reagan includes this citation of the party’s great hero, giving him a stylized name we might see on a Roman emperor.

This isn’t a joke, and the RNC’s site wasn’t hacked to make the party appear foolish. The Republican National Committee literally referred to the 40th president as “Ronaldus Magnus.” The published name was used almost in passing, as if it were routine to describe the former president, in Latin, as Ronald the Great. And for all I know, at RNC headquarters, this is routine.

This really isn’t healthy. I realize that Reagan is the only modern Republican president that the party is still proud of, but when the Republican National Committee seriously starts using phrases like “Ronaldus Magnus,” it suggests the cult has started drinking the Kool Aid by the gallon.

Conservative hero worship of Reagan has been a little too creepy for a while now, with that misguided “Legacy Project” putting the former president’s name everywhere. But with “Ronaldus Magnus,” Republicans are just humiliating themselves. Even Kim Jung Il followers don’t do stuff like this.

Fortunately, after TPM inquired about the Roman renaming of the former president, the Republican National Committee edited the site and started using Reagan’s actual name. That’s a good move.

But I wonder what the reaction might be if the Democratic National Committee casually referred to President Obama as Barackus Magnus. I have a hunch we’d never hear the end of it.