Mount McKinley and Deference to the States

Forty years ago the State of Alaska’s Board of Geographic Names changed the name of its (and the country’s) tallest mountain from the federally-imposed Mt. McKinley to its traditional name of Mt. Denali. Forty years later, the feds (or more specifically, the Department of the Interior) are finally going along with the change, unless a coalition of Ohio Republicans and Obama-haters succeed in overriding the decision in Congress.

You’d think this would be a pretty straightforward example of the federal government deferring to the will of the states. But nooooo. John Kasich is using the “controversy” to get some attention for himself, attacking Obama for “overstepping his bounds” once again. Karl Rove, who once used to compare himself to Mark Hanna and who has a book coming out soon on McKinley, is piling on.

Where’s St. Joan of the Tundra when you need her?

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.