When Maggie Thatcher dies

There was a lot of coverage last week for the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Glowing tributes. Memories of the Iron Lady allied with Ronald Reagan and standing up to the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

It was a great day for global conservatives.

But the surprising thing is the overwhelming venom she inspired throughout the British empire. This song hit the top of the charts on the BBC after her death was announced:

YIKES! OK, maybe there was a coincidental rush of interest in “The Wizard of Oz” the week the baroness died. After all, the Brits don’t treat their royalty with such contempt…

What the hell is going on?

A pensioner called Phil Williams was holding a banner saying “Rest in Shame”.

“Sorry, but it needs saying, they’re burying an old woman,” said the 58-year-old former power station worker from Shotton in Flintshire.

“No one’s ever heard of Shotton apart from the fact that they lost 8,000 jobs when the steelworks closed in the early 80s”, he added.

“Look at what she did to the North, steel works, mining, the poll tax. She trialled all these things in the North and made criminals out of a million people. I have no regard for the woman.”

Protester Charmain Kenner, 58, had her back turned as Lady Thatcher’s coffin went past Trafalgar Square in the hearse.

“Thatcher’s policies were all about individualistic materialism. She created a much greater divide between rich and poor, she ruined many communities and many industries”, she said.

“Basically, she ruined this country and, to add insult to injury, we’re expected to pay for her funeral.”

Surely, there were politicians in America who were hated as much as Margaret Thatcher was in Britain (George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Strom Thurmond immediately come to mind), but I don’t remember anyone singing about having a party or celebrating their deaths like the Brits did this past week.

Palling around with terrorists: the Bachmann edition

Always good to know who the presidential candidates have working on their campaigns:

The evangelical organizer who helped Michele Bachmann win the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa Saturday was previously charged with terrorism in Uganda after being arrested for possession of assault rifles and ammunition in February 2006, just days before Uganda’s first multi-party elections in 20 years.

Peter E. Waldron spent 37 days in the Luriza Prison outside Kampala, where he says he was tortured, after being arrested along with six Congolese and Ugandan nationals for the weapons, which were described variously in news reports as having been found in his bedroom or a closet in his home. The charges, which could have led to life in prison, were dropped in March 2006 after a pressure campaign by Waldron’s friends and colleagues and what Waldron says was the intervention of the Bush administration. He was released and deported from the east African nation, along with the Congolese. On Saturday, Waldron told The Atlantic in Ames that he was a staffer for Bachmann and responsible for her faith-based organizing both in Iowa and South Carolina. But he also declined repeatedly to give his name. …

Waldron has been described at times as a leader of a wide variety of organizations, including Advancing American Freedom (co-founder); Christians Restoring America’s Greatness (founder and president); Cities of Faith Ministries (founder); the Contact America Group, Inc. (president); and The Save The Family Foundation (president).

Just another Christian soldier in the Bachmann Tea Party crusade. Which I guess is now needed more than ever, what with the decline of the U.S. and the rise of the Soviet Union. Just quoting the congresswoman here:

But what people recognize is that there’s a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward.

Should someone tell her the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore?

Tea Party history 101: the final frontier

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I don’t know what to say anymore. The Republican Party has declared war on history.

This from Talking Points Memo:

Sarah Palin thinks President Barack Obama needs a history lesson on the space race between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.

“He needs to remember that, uh, what happened back then with the communist U.S.S.R. and their victory in that race to space,” the Fox News contributor said Wednesday night, reacting to Obama’s reference to Sputnik in his State of the Union speech. Palin called the Sputnik name drop one of the “W.T.F.” moments in the speech, a play of the President’s call for “winning the future.”

“Yeah, they won but they also incurred so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union,” Palin said.

Where do I begin?

The Soviet Union sent the first metal ball into space, and the first animal, and the first man and the first woman. But when you’re running a race … in this case a space race … sprinting out to an early lead isn’t the smartest thing you can do. Yes, the Soviets had early success (let’s not even bother with the “Lost Cosmonauts” conspiracy theories), but everyone knew what the real goal was:

This wasn’t a 100-yard dash. This was a marathon. So despite our early setbacks, we were inspired. And we took each step methodically. And by the mid to late ’60s, we’d already won the race, but we still were headed to the finish line … like Secretariat at the Belmont Stakes. And in July 1969, this happened:

And when we got there, we didn’t find an already planted red flag with a hammer and sickle. Or any plaque claiming the territory for Mother Russia.

So the Soviets didn’t win the space race. And the space race wasn’t the reason the Soviet Union collapsed. It couldn’t deal with the arms race. Or collapsing oil prices. Or a stagnant central economy. Or setbacks in agriculture. Or official corruption. If you do a Google search on “Why did the Soviet Union collapse,” you’ll find a ton of entries. None of them, pre-Palin insanity, are going to say it collapsed because the country spent too much money on the space race.

WTF is she thinking?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?