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Margaret Thatcher, 1925-2013

April 8th, 2013 - 6:32 am

Even in the timing of her death, Margaret Thatcher had that quality which Bill Clinton unsuccessfully sought. Bill Steel, reviewing Clinton’s biography, examined the question of why Clinton missed “greatness” and concludes that he will find in posterity “the greatness that once seemed within his grasp”:

The current veneration of Reagan, which rests entirely on a sentimentalization of his carefully crafted persona, will seem incomprehensible a decade or two from now. To be sure, great leaders are judged not only by what they do, but also by what they might have done with the powers and abilities they had.

Which is to say that Bill Clinton would have been a much greater president than Reagan if only history had been fair. Some say that greatness is a chancy thing when the Hour asks the question and the Man must give the answer. But Bill Clinton was not a “war president.” He was ready with the punch line — too bad history forgot the script. Was it his fault if he stood over home plate yet the pitch never came?

Yet Margaret Thatcher will not be remembered for that minor conflict which we call the Falklands War. It will be for her role in the fall of the Soviet Union.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. To understand the challenge — to hear the question — is perhaps the greatest obstacle to greatness on history’s stage.

The great achievement of Reagan, Thatcher, and the Pope lay in remembering that Communism was an evil thing. By that time it was conventional wisdom that the Soviet Union was permanent. And therefore their revolutionary act consisted, in the first place, of understanding the question.  The reply they gave was not remarkable, just what most of us would say had we known the interrogative.

The three were poorly instructed in the by-then perfected art of moral relativism. The archived punditry is full of jibes attacking their failure to understand that their human imperfections disqualified them from exercising judgment, or that the defects of their societies necessarily compelled them into inaction.

To the chagrin of the intelligensia, the three still thought in the obsolete categories of “oughts” and “shoulds,” in the distinction between the normative and the normal. Fortunately for the world, they understood that the mud of creation was not a bar to the quest for paradise.

If there was greatness in Thatcher, it lay in the ability to hear the signal hidden from those too obsessed with their own greatness. It lay in being able to see the fastball over home plate that nobody else could see. Clinton, who lived in the aftermath of Reagan, John Paul II, and Thatcher, approached the problem as a question of how to spend the Peace Dividend; as a matter of how to remake the world now that his predecessors had cleared the way for him.

And he hit the ball he saw out of the park. Too bad if it was the wrong ball and the wrong park.

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The greatest tribute to Thatcher is the almost delirious rejoicing in the left over her death. She really hit the mark. There is those who believe history is crafted by the vanguard an unshakeable faith in the power of the narrative.

In that view history will judge events according to the prevailing narrative. If they tout Gordon Brown enough and denigrate Thatcher unceasingly the day will come when Brown will be adjudged great and that Thatcher the clown.

But reality has its own memory, a fact that we are discovering in the collapse of the EU itself. Reality, like a metal spring, has a memory. And no changing of the labels can erase it. The Left can think what it wants but they cannot alter the past. The Moving Finger writes and the minute passed is as inaccessible as the Andromeda Galaxy.

What they can do, however, is deceive themselves. They can say Gordon Brown is great to the point of self-hypnosis. And having achieved perfect delusion, declare themselves victorious. Still they are only lifting a rock to bash on their own heads.

Thatcher, whatever her defects, was great in a lasting sense because she was right. She saw the truth. Perhaps not all truth, but good chunk of it. And therein lay her glory. It's not in the snazzy suit, or the full head of hair, nor the golden voice or facile tongue, nor even in the great gifts of intelligence that greatness may lie. But in the truth. "Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels ... "

You know the words. Too bad that so many have forgotten them before the mirror of their anticipated greatness.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lech Walesa is just about the only historical giant left today. Others will claim that Mandela and Gorbachev fit that description too, but I don't include them.

RIP Lady Thatcher, and thank God for you!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Clinton didn't drive events. Thatcher and Reagan did.

Thatcher took on the union power and won, changing the political balance in the UK. She changed the assumptions of the economy.

Clinton was president during a boom time with the tech bubble. His fiscal policies were forced upon him by Congress.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (52)
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Totally off topic: Looks like BitCoin is doing a good imitation of a Tulip bubble and imploding, refer to:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-10/bitcrash-continues-down-40-and-dumping

What caused this is "someone" created a billion BitCoins out of thin air and started spreading them around the Internet like confetti. This "someone" had access to some sharp mathematicians, computer programmers, a big computer cluster and had a basic understanding of economics. This same "someone" probably wanted BitCoin to fail because it was an obvious threat to government printed fiat money. I wonder if this "someone" are the same folks who have been keeping the price of gold flat and inflating the stock markets through money printing?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“Was it his fault if he stood over home plate yet the pitch never came?”

As your article goes on to elucidate, this is simply not so. Clinton had numerous pitches right over the sweet spot and blew every one.

He could have earned a place among the truly great figures of our time and the blessing of generations to come if he had taken a muscular, unequivocal stand against Muslim terrorism, setting what likely would have become an irreversible course for American and probably the rest of the free world.

And given that the true nature of Islam has been hiding in plain sight since the seventh century, it doesn’t seem like a lot to expect from a reputedly brilliant, former Rhodes scholar.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
blert,
re: Your #comment-130876:
In "Solyant Green" the women were referred to as "furniture."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Which comment makes one remember the opening pull-back shot from "A Clockwork Orange."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066921/

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"There are no great men; there are only great challenges that ordinary men are forced to meet."

ADM William F. Halsey

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I heard on the radio an interview with our former Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, where he reminisced and paid tribute to Mrs. Thatcher. He said that at any conference, she was always the best prepared, and she always had the smallest entourage. Just one or two aides, and Margaret. I immediately thought of how Obama travels the world, with several jets, his own cars, and hundreds of lackies who buy up entire hotels for the week when he descends upon a destination.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"hundreds of lackies"...

The correct term is "human furniture"

This expression has been passed on from Richard Burton to describe those with non-speaking, non-thinking, parts in stage dramas.

It's a good living -- if you've got the looks.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I MUST share this, and you MUST download it:

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/547878_433136790106180_578140120_n.jpg

HT: Vanderleun :-)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's really moving the goal posts -- inwards.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To get more of an idea of what shaped the great lady's thoughts and actions, see the following interesting article on her Christian faith. Thatcher articulated Christianity much better than many of today's supposed clergy....

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/04/09/margaret-thatcher-the-methodis
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When one reads through British newspapers, one gets the feeling that Margaret Thatcher was – and is – England's favorite dominatrix. Despite attempts to claim her for the opposite gender, she was very much a woman and her pull on the British electorate – both pro and con – is based upon an undercurrent of cold femininity that runs throughout English culture.

Although Marget Thatcher was highly popular among many Tories, she was never popular within the Conservative Party. She hated, detested, and reviled by much of her own cabinet. Leftists hated her in the open; Tories gossiped about her behind her back. She was highly aware of this; she knew how riven the Conservative Party was (and is) with back stabbers. She was also feared. Out of that fear came awe, admiration, and reverence. It was the Soviets who gave her the epithet “Iron Lady”.

Like Angela Merkel, she was a chemist who went into politics. What is it about the physical sciences more than other branches of knowledge that leads one to oppose Communism? Here's someone who goes from studying emulsion and crystallography to winning a seemingly unwinnable war against Argentina, cracking down on British labor, helping close the book on the Cold War, and putting backbone into Bush 41 to oppose Saddam Hussein during the First Iraq War.

Margaret Thatcher transformed politics throughout the world. She will be remembered the Falklands War in 1982, but she will be remembered even more for the “Khaki Election” one year later. The British Left still can't get over her. They will vilify her for centuries to come. And that is why they fail. The Left always loves to claim it is the ideology of the future, but the Left will never be an ideology of the future so long as its head is buried in the past – a past when they got spanked.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Who could forget the SNL skit with 'Reagan' (Phil Hartman) channeling Thatcher?

It featured a polyglot 'Reagan' who worked the international phones in various tongues very, very, late, even into the next day -- while his staff staggered to exhaustion as he corrected all of their mistakes -- all the while looking as crisp and cool as James Bond.

Then, finally:" LIve... from New York... It's Saturday Night!"



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I thought I'd not stop crying upon hearing about Thatchers passing away.She was a real giant among people.Liz
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"It's not finding the right answers that's hard, Sara; it's asking the right questions." --Doctor Who
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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