Friday, September 05, 2008

Maggie Maggie Maggie

Barbara Amiel (Lady Black of Crossharbour) writes at length in the Wall Street Journal about the similarities between Sarah Palin and Margaret Thatcher. Several times Amiel makes a claim that Maggie was eventually deposed because she never had the faith of the Tory old guard --

Mrs. Thatcher would have recognized the guns aimed at Sarah Palin as the weapons of the left with feminist trigger-pullers. She also would have known that Mrs. Palin has less to fear from East-Coast intellectual snobs in egalitarian America than she had to fear from her own Tory base in class-prejudiced Britain. She would have told her to stand her ground and do her homework. Read your briefs, choose advisers with care, and, as she once said to me, my arm in her grip and her eyes fixed firmly on mine, "Just be yourself, don't ever give in and they can't harm you."

No doubt that there was a faction in the Tories with a class bias against Maggie. But were they decisive in her ouster? You'd read Amiel's entire piece and never know the role that the poll tax and European Union played in splitting her party over her leadership -- the latter split being one that David Cameron still has trouble keeping a lid on today, nearly 20 years later.

Thatcher-Palin is a very strained analogy, not least given the very different routes to power in parliamentary and presidential politics. But if Palin is brought down at some point, it won't because of her policies. At the moment, she doesn't have any.

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