Margaret Thatcher, R.I.P.

She was Britain’s first and only female prime minister and served longer in that capacity than anyone in the twentieth century. If that weren’t remarkable enough, the iconic Meryl Streep portrayed her in a major movie.

On Monday morning, as the news of her death broke, on MSNBC—what some, somewhat overstating the case, call the broadcast home of American liberalism—the Iron Lady’s death brought forth mostly effusive praise of her and her accomplishments. On Morning Joe again this morning, more praise.

I confess: when I was a conservative, she was one of my heroes. Okay, my heroine.

Thus, it is only fitting that the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, as historically important as it is, deserves more than hagiographic commentary, and Chris Hayes, new to MSNBC’s evening programming, did Thatcher’s legacy justice, at least from the point of view of a thoughtful liberal, in two segments:

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Finally, as only he can do, Lawrence O’Donnell put in perspective the important relative differences between British conservatism and American conservatism, differences overlooked by those who essentially put Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the same ideological boat:

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8 Comments

  1. kevin b

     /  April 9, 2013

    I thought I would honor her by doing something she would have- so I went to an elementary school, took the milk away from the poor children, then proceeded to tell them what a horrible terrorist that Nelson Mandela fellow was.

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  2. Reblogged this on Still Skeptical After All These Years and commented:
    The Erstwhile Conservative has posted here on something that every serious American voter needs to know about the iconic British conservative Margaret Thatcher. It’s about healthcare and taxes. The startling truth is in the last of three video clips in the post.

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  April 9, 2013

    Well let’s see……..

    According to the video above by Lawrence, Thatcher brought the highest tax bracket down frin 83% to 40%. BUT, and this is a big one, she put in place the LOWEST bracket at 25%. So the range of brackets went from 25% to 40%, or thereabouts during Thatcher’s watch, according to MSNBC. Hmmm, sure looks like an “everyone” pays a lot to support the British government.

    What did she do with the VAT, a sales tax. She doubled it. Why? Well EVERYONE thus had to pay more to support the “liberal” programs espoused by Thatcher and the British people. She did NOT try to just soak the rich and expect that all would be well.

    Can anyone imagine today a range of federal income tax brackets in America from, God Almight, a LOW of 25% up to ONLY 40%. ( and of course none of us know what loopholes were in the British Tax codes.) Add to that a national sales tax and then double it, to pay for SS, Medicare, etc., etc. today in America. Heard any Democrats proposing such schemes today?

    Not at all. They just want to tax the rich a “little bit more” and simply borrow the rest to keep on keeping on with bankrupting-like entitilement (and defense) programs. Thatcher was conservative, far more than most, simply by demanding that the British people PAY FOR that which they demanded!!!!!

    Not one single American politician today demands that we the people actually pay for that which is demanded. Liberals only demand that the rich pay more and conservatives say let’s only implement programs that we can ALL pay for in terms of federal spending and taxation. Thatcher on the other hand said “this is what you obviously demand” so “here is the tax bill to pay for it”. If Obama tried that one out on America, well……….????

    Anson

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  4. Jane Reaction

     /  April 9, 2013

    Thatcher was a divisive, free-market fanatic who raised taxes on the poor and supported human rights violators. She won’t be missed.

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  April 9, 2013

    Well said, Jane, speaking like a liberal……..!!

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  6. I place Thatcher with Reagan–evil conservatives who embraced supply-side economics at the expense of their middle-class citizens so that their wealthy contributors and buddies could get more and more.

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  7. Duane, I had thought your obit on the Iron lady might be more critical, mostly because she was a first order antagonist of labor in Britain. The way she faced off successfully against the coal miners union being the price example. I’ve always thought that robust support for unions is litmus test for you and no one who fails it with be spared your hottest rage. Have I misread you?

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    • Bruce,

      You have not misread me. I still have a robust support of unions and the union movement. There was a bit of criticism of Thatcher in the video segments I posted.

      The issue in 1970s Great Britain, regarding labor unions, is one I am only superficially acquainted with and didn’t feel qualified, without further study, to render a direct opinion.

      I do want to mention, though, that unions, like any human organization, can be guilty of excess. Was that the case in Great Britain before Thatcher? Might have been, I don’t know. But was all of her responses to that alleged excess justified? Hardly.

      For some criticism, I will include this from HuffPo:

      Union leader Bob Crow has said Margaret Thatcher can “rot in hell” for what she did to the country during her time as prime minister.

      Crow, the general secretary of the RMT union, told BBC Radio London on Wednesday evening that Thatcher 
      “created an ideological argument to attack working people” during her time in office and that there were “loads of loads of people who lost their houses, jobs and committed suicide because of what she did”.

      “She has got nothing in common at all with working people,” he said. She didn’t die in a hospice, she died in the Ritz, somewhere no working people could stay for one night.”

      “I wont shed one single tear over her death,” he added. “She destroyed the NHS and destroyed industry in this country and as far as I’m concerned she can rot in hell.”

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