Most people would probably agree that the name of a warship should be bold and brash and, at a minimum, be used to strike fear in the hearts of enemies.
So when the U.S. Navy announced this week that it was planning on naming a new vessel the USS Ruth Bader Ginsberg in honor of the late, diminutive Supreme Court associate justice, “continuing a recent tradition of christening vessels after famous liberal icons,” the Washington Examiner reported, citing a Navy press release.
No doubt many Americans were less than impressed.
“As we close out women’s history month, it is my absolute honor to name the next T-AO after the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women’s rights and gender equality,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.
“As Secretary of the Navy, it is my aim to ensure equality and eliminate gender discrimination across the Department of the Navy. She is instrumental to why we now have women of all backgrounds, experiences and talents serving within our ranks, side by side with their male Sailor and Marine counterparts,” Del Toro bizarrely said, without listing any direct contributions “RBG” made to opening up naval roles to women.
But she did, however, contribute something to the Army. Sort of:
The name selection for the John Lewis-class replenishment oiler follows the naming convention of honoring people who have fought for civil and human rights. Born in 1933, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a pioneering advocate for women’s rights turned Supreme Court Justice. Ginsburg made history as the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed in 1993. Of her 27-year tenure on the Supreme Court, she is most noted for her work toward issuing the majority opinion for United States v. Virginia, a landmark 1996 case that struck down Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admissions policy.
“Most-noted?” We’d bet most Americans knew little to nothing of this ruling.
The Examiner continues:
The class and lead ship, T-AO 205, is named in honor of Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who died in 2020. Ships in this class are named after deceased liberal icons, including openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, Robert F. Kennedy, and two of Ginsburg’s fellow former Supreme Court justices, Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall. Two other ships in the class are named for abolitionists Lucy Stone and Sojourner Truth.
During her latter years, Ginsburg battled multiple forms of cancer and eventually succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. Then-President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late justice; Barrett was confirmed in late 2020 without any support from Democrats.
“Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Supreme Court, following Sandra Day O’Connor, who was nominated by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Long considered a champion of women’s rights, Ginsburg was beloved by liberals, who popularized her white lace “dissent collar” and saw her as a fitness guru for elderly people,” the Examiner continued.
So — no doubt that Ginsburg was accomplished in her life. And of course, being a liberal darling does not make her a bad person or a bad American.
But a warship named after her? Come on.
The U.S. Navy has a long tradition of naming its ships after historical American figures, but maybe it’s time to end it.