The name game | Arkansas Blog

The name game

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The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page today mulls at some length (no link, sorry) the regrettably growing practice of naming public facilities for people still in office, where they have done, or might do, favors for people passing the honorifics around. The editorialist seems to come around reluctantly to signing off on naming the War Memorial Fitness Center for outgoing Mayor Jim Dailey.

Why the pause? Because some of us have always been leery of naming public facilities after political figures who are still very much with us. There is something a little too obsequious about it for a self-respecting republic. It brings to mind those banana republics where everything from the soccer stadium to the livery stable is named for the current Castro or Trujillo.

The long-ago and quickly aborted idea of naming the airport for Hillary Clinton is mentioned. Mentioned approvingly, though not by name, is library director Bobby Roberts' polite decline of an effort to name a portion of a new library facility for him. Just doing his job, he said, as we reported earlier. But nowhere to be found in the 996-word editorial is a whisper of some real-life banana republicanism -- the naming of at least four buildings and a couple of lakes for the still-Gov. and Mrs. Mike Huckabee, much of the honoring by people directly beholden to the governor for favors and jobs rendered. It's so much easier to invoke Hillary, for whom nothing was done and to overlook the Huckabees, who'd earlier been given a pass by the same editorial page for cadging $6,500 or more in china and crystal courtesy of a non-profit, tax-favored organization nominally established to improve the Governor's Mansion -- not the private lot of those who occupy it temporarily.

For a better take on this, we refer you again to The Leader in North Pulaski..


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