Conservative Columnist Earnestly Asks: ‘Why Not The Washington Reagans?’

AP

A columnist for The Washington Times has weighed in on the Washington Redskins’ name. If the name must changed, the columnist says, go Gipper.

Last week, The United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled six of the Redskins’ trademark registrations, ruling that the trademarks “were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.” The immediate practical effects of the move were minimal, but the announcement did bring national attention back to the battle surrounding the name.

In a column on Tuesday, Washington Times contributor Michael Taube wrote that because it was “clear some people are going to get constantly worked up about this issue,” he had an “amusing suggestion” for Redskins owner Daniel Snyder: name the team after Ronald Reagan.

This wasn’t an original thought. The idea was born, accoriding to TPM’s exhaustive research, as a joke on Twitter, and Grover Norquist offered a joking endorsement to BuzzFeed last week. But Taube appears serious about it.

“This idea isn’t being seriously considered, of course,” he wrote. “But if people keep getting their knickers in a knot about the Redskins‘ trademarks every 10 or 15 years, why not change the team’s name to the Reagans?”

Taube argued that the name would be the “ultimate tribute” to Reagan, especially given the former President’s connections with football. Plus, Taube said, Snyder is a Republican, and “[o]nly a conservative would ever honor Reagan’s legacy with this type of tribute.” Finally, the name would stick it to Democrats who have been pushing to get the name changed.

“Democrats want Washington’s NFL team to change its name,” Taube wrote. “The Redskins‘ owner, Mr. Snyder, is the only person who can rightfully do this. Hence, if he chooses to comply and pays homage to a Republican president in the process, they’re stuck with it. Any further complaints would smack of political partisanship. … If I were advising Mr. Snyder, I’d tell him to do it — either temporarily or permanently. The political left’s reaction to their game-ending fumble would be priceless.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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