Obama Restores Mount McKinley’s Original Name, Causing A Right-Wing Meltdown (VIDEO/IMAGES)

There goes Barack Obama again, changing all that is sacred and holy about America. At least that’s what the folks who spend their time commenting on right-wing sites are saying. What is it this time, you ask? It’s Denali, aka Mount McKinley.

A little history is in order.

The Alaskan mountain, which is the highest peak in North America, was named Denali by native Alaskans. It was given the name “Mount McKinley” in 1896 by a gold prospector who wanted to celebrate McKinley winning the Republican presidential nomination, and the name was made official in 1917. President McKinley never visited Alaska before he was assassinated, which makes it seem very strange that he would have a mountain there named after him.

The move to restore the original name of the mountain actually began in 1975, but attempts to change it have always been met with opposition from the Ohio congressional delegation. President McKinley was from Ohio. The national park surrounding the mountain was officially renamed “Denali National Park” in 1980, but as part of the compromise surrounding the name change, the peak itself retained the name “Mount McKinley.”

Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, supports the change. In a video released on August 31, she says:

“For generations, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as ‘the great one.’ I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.”

Of course, all of that history means nothing to the Obama-hating rabid right. Fox News put the story at the top of their home page for a time, and the Foxbots went to work in the comments section.

“Ohio lawmakers slam Obama plans to rename Mt. McKinley ‘Denali’ during Alaska trip,” says the headline. The accompanying story gets the facts pretty much correct, but, once again proving that many right-wingers never read past the headline, the comments are largely a fact-free zone. Here’s a sample.


She (he?) apparently stopped reading the headline after the word “McKinley.” Or maybe she just thought that “Denali” sounded “black,” so it must be associated with the president.

This guy apparently got the same memo.


Like so many Americans, Howard123 seems to suffer from “if it was that way when I was born, then it should stay that way forever” syndrome.


And that legacy would be one of a president who was from Ohio, had no connections to Alaska, and had never set foot in what was then a U.S. territory?

The Blaze also covered the story, and the comments there are just as precious. In response to one comment that Alaskans should be able do decide what to call the mountain (it’s not clear whether that person is aware that the renaming movement started in Alaska), “usfreeman” had this to say:


Lest you think that the knuckle draggers actually left race out of this one:


This guy thinks that the President of the United States can, or should, only focus on one thing at a time.


And this one seems oblivious to the fact that the mountain has been known as “Denali” for far longer than it has been called “Mount McKinley.”


The name change would have been done years ago, were it not for Ohio politicians. In announcing the change, which actually came not from President Obama, but from Interior Secretary Sally Jewel, the Interior Department noted that they were exercising their authority over place names. The Blaze notes that the Interior Department has deferred to congress on name changes since 1977. This “end run” around the Ohio congressional delegation was done as part of the president’s promise to address native American issues.

Here’s Senator Murkowski’s comment about the change, via YouTube:

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons