Who elected Representative Henry Bonilla mayor of Washington, D.C.? Either I missed the report or he possesses an elephantine pair of testicles. Unfortunately, they’re located where a brain should be. Consider:
A Republican congressman from South Texas has proposed renaming 16th Street NW as Ronald Reagan Boulevard.
Rep. Henry Bonilla, co-chairman of the 2000 and 2004 Republican national conventions, quietly introduced the 106-word resolution before Congress adjourned for summer recess July 28.
How is this an appropriate use of congressional efforts? Many local D.C. politicians are publicly mad, as they should be. They’ve pointed out that Rep. Bonilla’s stupid plan would mar the street plan for the District. It would also cost the city $1 million to “alter maps and signs”. Who’s going to pay for that? Certainly not the citizens Rep. Bonilla claims to represent, unless, of course, he recommends that we use federal money to pay for the change.
I know President Reagan is an American icon. That’s wonderful. But, wielding Congressional power in an effort to change street names in a city in which he’s not the elected mayor and isn’t even in his Congressional district isn’t a traditionally Republican value. I suspect President Reagan would not have fought for such nonsense, so I doubt he would be honored by this waste. Also, the deification of President Reagan needs to stop. Now. It’s unbecoming of a nation with a respect for representative government and the notion that all men are created equal. George Washington knew this in the 18th century. Why should President Reagan be different?
The most surprising fact in this, though, is this little tidbit from Congressman Loose Cannon™. Consider:
Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee with jurisdiction over Bonilla’s legislation, called it “ridiculous” and said he would put it in the “appropriate file,” according to a report on radio station WTOP’s Web site that was distributed by Davis aides.
Davis noted that Congress has renamed Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and dedicated the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. “If Congressman Bonilla wants to name anything else, he has to look at his own district in San Antonio,” Davis said.
Criticizing Rep. Davis verges on sport for me, but I’m happy to offer him praise on this. Here, he’s acting as a responsible elected official, weeding out nonsense on our behalf. I can offer nothing less than a genuine “Well done.”
(Hat tip: Frank Foer, guest-blogging at AndrewSullivan.com)