What are we to make of the likes of a Ronald Reagan or a Margaret Thatcher? We have trouble understanding what happened in yesterday’s news cycle, let alone decades ago. For instance Thatcher headed the Inquisition and started the Black Plague, while Reagan was most known for implementing alternate-street-parking here in the states, right?
There’s a good reason the Left is not blindly rubberstamping the Thatcher legacy. There’s a point behind their recent Senate shenanigans. Do I agree we should block a resolution honoring a former prime minister of England? No. But, on the flipside, should we unconditionally praise a divisive figure? Post Reagan, we should never sugarcoat that shit again…EVER!
First, I need to get this off my chest. On a recent Real Time episode, Bill Maher officially reached Zano-disgust-levels (ZDLs). In the middle of a debate, Maher smacked down Republican Stephen Moore’s circular argument on Climate Change.
(The end of this Real Time dialogue is paraphrased due to a rampant laziness our readers have come to expect.)
Moore: I’m the one who wants to debate this; you’re the one who doesn’t.
Maher: No, at some point science reaches a consensus and then shifts the focus to what are we going to do about it? Do you still want to argue whether or not the world is flat?
That’s what the GOP wants. They want the conversation to continue, until it’s too late. Yeah, only 95% of climatologists worldwide agree the planet is warming, not 100%, so let the debate continue! Never mind the fact we know who funds those few remaining naysayers. Hey, let’s take a Fox News poll on our planet’s future, because those folks have shown so much insight in the past.
Do you think the U.S. will lose its competitive edge with China if we address Al Gore’s climate rants?
o Fuck Science
|Fox News: Fair, Balanced, and I’m Afraid!
There’s zero understanding of how science actually works on the Right. I predicted The GOP’s Climate Change “strategy” long ago:
1. Deny reality as long as possible to keep raking in the cash (Koch and a smile?).
2. When Climate Change becomes undeniable, blame natural Earth cycles (Operation Shit Happens).
3. Keep pointing out that even if we change emission standards in the U.S. other key countries won’t, so why bother (Rapture for Dummies).
Great plan. The children of the world thank you for your courage and insight (aka, greed and ignorance, or the Full Thatcher as they call it in the UK). This view is stunning when you place this into the context of our pending extinction. I could not agree Moore with Maher (sorry). The debate is over.
Similarly, when addressing other topics, I only read those few Conservatives left with a clue, which I can now accomplish during my coffee break—okay, half of my coffee break. And sorry Matt Drudge, adding endless bullshit examples to your sick worldview doesn’t make it any less false. But, on the bright side, more and more GOPers are identifying their own party’s need for reform. Here’s someone channeling yours truly:
“It’s not just the comforting delusion that he’s a golf-mad dilettante, but also the reverse-negative image of that delusion—that Obama is a not-so-secret Marxist Kenyan with dictatorial ambitions and a nearly limitless appetite for power. That caricature makes it far too easy for Obama to laugh off the legitimate criticisms of the kind of political leader he really is.”
—John Podhoretz, Commentary
This is another of my key points finally echoed by, of all people, a neo-conservative. At least a few voices of reason are emerging from the cesspool (CHUDs: Cannibalistic Humanitarian Underground Democrats?).
History already supports 90% of George W. Bush’s mistakes but a similar percentage of Obama’s criticism is proving false. This is muddying the waters of political discourse. The latest outrage on the Right is Thatcher-gate. Last week the Senate allegedly blocked a Resolution honoring Margret Thatcher. Well, in the Dems defense it was Honey Boo Boo night.
I don’t really know what’s going on with the Senate blocking resolution thingie (SBRT); the only source is the Heritage Group, aka, there is no source. Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan is showing his conservative English roots and singing Thatcher’s praise over at The Dish. And, in Thatcher’s defense, it seems with the situation in England at that time—which was almost a complete merger of government and business—her shot of Ayn Rand had some positive effects. Of course, it came at a heavy price.
Look, I used to be all for the whole don’t-speak-ill-of-the-dead-shit premise (DSIOTDS), but there’s consequences for getting things wrong, as we have seen over the years in news cycle after Fox News cycle. Face it, the Iron Lady has a mixed legacy, much like Reagan’s or Obama’s. Here’s Juan Cole’s take:
“The hatred for the late Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, among a broad segment of the British public has manifested itself in visible and undeniable ways in the week after her death, but these are not highlighted on American television. The status quo corporate media are afraid of admitting that policy-makers who favor the rich and punish the middle and working classes are deeply hated by the latter.”
Glenn Greenwald discussed the danger of simply singing Kumbaya when a controversial figure passes. Namely, a long time ago a similar event birthed a bouncing baby delusional ideology known as modern conservatism.
“—the week-long tidal wave of unbroken reverence that was heaped on Ronald Reagan upon his death, an episode that to this day shapes how Americans view him and the political ideas he symbolized. Demanding that no criticisms be voiced to counter that hagiography is to enable false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts, distortions that become quickly ossified and then endure by virtue of no opposition and the powerful emotions created by death. When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms.”
—Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian
If only more Democrats had spoken out and denied such a false and damaging narrative (Reaganetics?). The GOP still believes a lot of the shit they concocted during Reagan’s funeral—shit created from their own tears, prejudices, and cognitive deficiencies. Here’s what another Guardian type said last year about Thatcher.
“Across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatization and social breakdown.”
— Seumas Milne
Or as the GOP calls it, “The free market works!”
In other words, “Ding Dong the witch is dead!” Kidding. But let’s face it, the Foxeteers wouldn’t even know who Thatcher was if she hadn’t once made a famous slam on socialism.
We need to honor an old lady’s passing with dignity, but we also have an obligation to tell it like it is. So let’s talk realistically about what happened, while avoiding any ding-dong disrespect. You know, like how the GOP will handle Obama’s funeral. HAH! This will be Obama’s legacy:
The GOP believed something which turned out to be bullshit. Then the GOP believed something else which turned out to be bullshit, and while everyone was fixated on this aforementioned bullshit, we completely missed ___________ which, as it turned out, had profound implications for our liberties and our future.
Here’s another Greenwald slam on Hannitizing history:
“If anything, it becomes more compelling to commemorate those bad acts upon death as the only antidote against a society erecting a false and jingoistically self-serving history.”
I remember watching some of the endless footage of Reagan’s funeral and thinking, “WTF?!” This was before WTF existed, but I thought something similar, perhaps BWTF. I said at the time, wow, they’re really creating something out of nothing with this one. Hell, the Iran Contra scandal was still fresh on everyone’s mind, which was a much, much more significant than Benghazi and the Fast & Spurious combined. Reagan also helped create a group known as Al-Qaeda to fight the Soviets. That worked out well. But I’m sure if Obama did the same thing, the GOP would have let that slide. I also knew, even then, that unless you’re a fan of high deficits Reaganomics sucked.
Reality Alert: Obama may yet pass Reagan’s presidential ranking. And make no mistake, Reagan’s legacy was pumped up during that week of endless processional blathering. Dems have remained silent in the past during such passings, which in retrospect was a huge mistake. Never give them an inch, because the GOP will take an ideological mile. We will fight them in the hills and the beaches and the landing grounds. That was Thatcher, right?
At the time, I thought Reagan’s trumped up funeral was harmless enough, after all, we were honoring a great actor. But the bubble of non-reality on the Right has a direct link to that month long ceremony. Conservatism had nothing to brag about before Reagan and they still don’t, so they created a false legacy. You have to have something to cheer about and it’s much easier to just make shit up than deal with the fact that we suck and our ideas don’t really work on this planet (win one for the Fibber?). Reagan’s funeral helped to create a collective delusion, which, among other things, may yet destroy us.
I missed the significance at the time, but in my defense, I wasn’t a blogger then or even particularly interested in politics—but nevertheless I blew it. I’m not willing to make that mistake again.
On that note:
“Bedtime for Bonzo was not Reagan’s best work.”
There, I said it.
What? Too soon?
We should no longer allow anyone, anyone to run rampant with revisionist history. We’ve seen the effects first Hannity, or…
If over the last half a century Reagan is your only high point, you suck.
The age of making nice-nice when a controversial figure kicks the bucket is over. Long live the age of truth. Kidding! We are still amidst the Age of Bullshit, but at least some of us are taking notice and, more importantly, taking notes.
Oh, and Mr. Winslow reminded me that when Reagan died (circa June 2004) we were together in Harrisburg, PA at a Kentucky Derby party, after which the Triple Crown was awarded to a horse named Smarty. So, of course, I came up with the headline, “Dying Dummy Ruins Big Day for Smarty.”
Hmm, maybe I did get it back then. In fact, that might have been the very kernel that started The Daily Discord? So something good did come from Reagan’s legacy after all.