Alex Massie

Sarah Palin’s Hubris: Thatcher Edition

Text settings

Good grief, Sarah Palin is a piece of work:

A very happy birthday to Baroness Thatcher! There are so many lessons we can learn from her excellent example. She once said, “If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.” She sure did. Like her friend Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher had a steel spine. Her excellent defense of the free market is as relevant and true today as it was two decades ago. I encourage people to visit her foundation’s website and listen or read her speeches. There is a wealth of inspiration in the timeless truths she lived and led by.

Heiress to Thatcher

Nevermind that the Iron Lady was content to compromise when she needed to and never mind that she was defenstrated when her party decided her obdurancy and style and tone were going to doom them. For Palin all that matters is that Thatcher is a useful source of strong sounding quotations. And, you see, projecting some kind of Amazonian ideal of strength matters more than ideas or intellect or anything else.

Even Maggie's greatest or most misguided (the categories are distinct) enemies would not have considered her a shill for sweet-sounding but simplistic soundbites. She was formidable and formidable because she had grip and experience and intellect and all the rest of it. She was not a siren. Nor, for that matter, was she ever any kind of "Mama Grizzly."

I hand you over to Claire Berlinski, author of There Is No Alternative to elaborate upon Palin's presumptiousness. Palin, she correctly says:

[H]as to be looked at as sort of a fluke, because she was elevated by the McCain campaign into a position of prominence that I don't think ordinarily she would ever have been in. [She is]  obviously a talented politician ... [but] there's something so ridiculous, however, about Sarah Palin as a serious candidate for the presidency. It's really a case, almost, of mass psychosis -- that anyone could ever have been seriously considering this."


UPDATE: See this for more. Much more than you need.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSocietymargaret thatcher