(NY Daily News) Construction of the Navy warship named in honor of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords began Wednesday in Mobile, Ala., with the shooting survivor and activist on hand for the ceremonial laying of its keel.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced in 2012 that one of the branch’s futuristic, triple-hulled littoral combat ships would be named for Giffords.
The decision – which drew some flak for honoring a civilian politician — would make her the only living female namesake of a U.S. Navy ship.
During the ceremony Ms. Giffords welded her initials into the keep, with a little help.
Look, I respect the hell out of Ms. Giffords for how far she’s come, how hard she’s fought, in recovery. That said, this is absurd that a combat ship, even one considered small, should be named after a politician who has effectively done nothing get shot. Yes, yes, that sounds nasty. Imagine if a they were attempting to name a ship after Ted Cruz, liberals would be going nuts. She served just 3 terms in Congress. Naming a $460+ million dollar for a living civilian politician when there are lots and lots living and dead military heroes is Bad Idea.
As Politico noted, Naval vessels traditionally bear the names of states or cities or noted Americans, such as former presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt. Others have been named for notable leaders like former senator and astronaut John Glenn or naval titans like former Adm. Hyman Rickover. Yet we’re naming a combat ship after a politician. Bad precedent.
When even ultra-squishy Doug Mataconis, a “conservative” who seems to spend lots of time bashing Conservatives, isn’t sure naming the ship after Giffords is appropriate, it probably isn’t.