Reagan worship gone awry

Reagan worship gone awry
Reagan worship gone awry

For the last quarter-century or so, Republican activists have been fairly aggressive in pushing policymakers at every level of government to name things after Ronald Reagan By "things," I mean just about any kind of public landmark or institution: airports, highways, schools, etc.

Once in a while, though, this push to honor the man the RNC once seriously labeled Ronaldus Magnus gets a little silly.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is floating legislation that would name most U.S. coastal waters after former President Ronald Reagan.Issa reintroduced his bill Wednesday to rename the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which generally extends from three miles to 200 miles offshore, as the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone.... Under the proposal, references to the EEZ in U.S. laws, regulations, maps and other documents would carry Reagan's name.

Airports, highways, and schools apparently aren't enough -- our water has to honor Reagan, too.

What's more, it's not just Issa. Mitt Romney's published agenda promises to create a "Reagan Economic Zone" in east Asia, as part of some superficial gimmick intended to pressure China. As Romney's website explains it, Asian countries that join the Reagan Economic Zone will get all kinds of goodies from the United States. "Although China is unlikely to accede to the Reagan Economic Zone given its current approach to trade," the Romney campaign noted, "offering Beijing the possibility of participation will give China significant incentives to end its abusive commercial practices."

Hmm. So, China will see the Reagan Economic Zones in Asia-Pac and feel jealous, or something, leading them to overhaul the entire Chinese trading system in order to get unspecified goodies from a Romney administration.

As a policy matter, this is awfully hard to take seriously. As a political matter, given that the Republican Party has completed abandoned the Reagan legacy, this all seems misguided anyway.