Enough with the H. W. Already

Through 25 years in public life, George Bush was always just that: George Bush. Rep. George Bush, Amb. George Bush, CIA Director George Bush, President George Bush. His son has always been George W. Bush in public life. But now journalists and others think we’re so dumb that we can’t tell them apart unless they add previously unknown initials to George Bush’s name. Today the U.S. Navy launched the USS George H. W. Bush. What an unnecessarily complicated name.

Let’s put a moratorium on renaming presidents after they retire. We can tell the difference between George Bush and George W. Bush. (Boy, can we tell the difference.) And if “Bill Clinton” was good enough for campaigns and bill-signings and orders to bomb countries that hadn’t attacked us, it’s good enough for history. Enough with the attempt to give Clinton retrospective gravitas as William Jefferson Clinton.