Friday, December 23, 2011


Peggy Noonan gives a rave review to the Margaret Thatcher movie today, then asks this:

The left in America has largely thrown in the towel on Ronald Reagan, but in Britain Thatcher-hatred remains fresh. Why?

While you're debating the truth of that, I'll tell you that she ascribes it to sexism:

Because she was a woman. Because women in politics are always by definition seen as presumptuous: They presume to lead men. When they are as bright as the men they're disliked by the men, and when they're brighter and more serious they're hated. Mrs Thatcher's very presence was an insult to the left because it undermined the left's insistence that only leftism and its protection of the weak and disadvantaged would allow women to rise. She rose without them while opposing what they stood for. On the other hand, some of the Tory men around her had been smacked on the head by her purse often enough to wish for revenge. What better revenge than to fail to fully stand up for her to posterity?

The lefty part of that is conservatism's "liberals are the real sexists" boilerplate, the nonsense that was the right's excuse for pretending to warm to Hillary Clinton in early 2008. (We allegedly hated Hillary, but she got 18 million votes from all us sexists. Hey, how's that Michele Bachmann campaign working out for you righties?)

The implication here is that we on the left would be much angrier at Ronald Reagan if he'd been a woman.

Nahhh. If our anger has faded, it's for one simple reason: the bastards who've followed him have been so much worse. The Gingrich Congress? The teabag House? And, in between, Bush and Cheney? In retrospect, Reagan seems like a beta version of these lunatics. His presidency seems like an out-of-town tryout of the full-blown craziness to come.

Really, Peg, it's simple. Don't overthink it.

(By the way, here's Steve M.'s Rule: Who's the worst president in American history? Answer: the next Republican president.)

(X-posted at Booman Tribune.)


c u n d gulag said...

He can't possibly be worse than his idiot brother!
I will give you any of the current 'crap' of their candidates, though...

Ah, Nooners - writing about Thatcher while fondling her plaster-of-paris copy of Reagan's private parts.

She's got a grip on Reagan's dick because she can't lift Thatcher's.
In her mind, the balls accompanying it are too big.

And yeah, Nixon and Reagan were piker's compared to the 2 Bush's.

They were T-ballers compared to those two major league crypto-Fascists.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Noonan doesn't mention that Reagan was widely popular in his day, while Thatcher never was - Reagan got 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 1980 and 58.8 percent (!) in 1984, while Thatcher's Conservatives got 43.9 percent of the popular vote in 1979, 42.4 percent in 1983, and 42.4 percent in 1987 (Thatcher was PM because, thanks to winner-takes-all, the Conservatives nevertheless got majorities in the Commons in these elections), so support for her had always been basically a minority position.

Noonan also doesn't mention that Thatcher, unlike Reagan, never even tried to come across as folksy and jovial, and was always fairly open about being an upper class elitist. Neither does she mention that Thatcher was a lot more openly and directly involved in the decline of traditional industries than Reagan, with many closedowns happening directly because of her decisions.

No. It has to be because Thatcher is a woman.