Thatcher Mark II
How making Sarah Palin the new Iron Lady makes sense but defies centrism.
By Richard Whittaker,
11:59PM, Thu. Sep. 4, 2008
After it became patently clear that no Clinton supporter fell for the "Hey, if you kinda squint, Sarah Palin looks like Hillary" ruse, there's a new political comparison doing the rounds. The Alaskan governor is the new Margaret Thatcher. Yeah, that should get the base out. After all, everyone loves the former British prime minister, right?
Except those that know her best. Many British people (and let's be very, very, very clear on this) hate Thatcher, aka "Thatcher the Milk Snatcher" (so called because she ended free milk in schools. Apparently calcium deficiency is good for the free market.)
Of course American conservatives love her. On personal responsibility, it was Thatcher who claimed, "There is no such thing as society," then shoved through economic reforms that saw the greatest increase in the divide between rich and poor in a century (so what if she also oversaw two recessions, eh?) She shifted the emphasis in the tax base from a gradated income tax to value added tax, the UK's sales tax, which she shoved up from 8% to 17%. For the first time ever, people had to pay tax on their utilities. And that's just for starters.
She plunged the UK into the Falklands War (a fight which, as any military historian can tell you, the horrificly over-stretched and under-funded UK Armed Forces won in spite of the haphazard way they were thrown into combat) and converted the resultant jingoism into votes to shore up her unpopular administration. It was Thatcher that shoved through the now-notorious al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which has been the subject of repeated claims of massive kick-backs to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan (aka Bandar Bush.) She gutted the National Health Service, sold off every utility, expanded the prisons, and replaced much of elected local government with unelected quasi autonomous non-governmental organisations. Oh, and whenever there was any criticism whatsoever of the Iron Lady, she'd accuse the media of being a bunch of communists.
The biggest reason conservatives love Margaret Thatcher? They didn't have to share an island with her.