Margaret Thatcher, RIP

(This post was first published in 2004.)

Peggy Noonan on Margaret Thatcher

Peggy Noonan had a very nice column about the Reagan funeral. I especially like the passages about Margaret Thatcher.

Walking into a room in the Capitol Wednesday before dusk: A handful of people were standing together and gazing out a huge old white-silled window as the Reagan cortege approached down Pennsylvania Avenue. The sun was strong, like a presence. It bathed the women in glow. One was standing straight, with discipline. Her beige bouffant was brilliant in the sun. I approached, and she turned. It was Margaret Thatcher. It was like walking into a room at FDR’s funeral and seeing Churchill.
The cortege was coming toward the steps. We looked out the window: a perfect tableaux of ceremonial excellence from every branch of the armed forces. Mrs. Thatcher watched. She turned and said to me, “This is the thing, you see, you must stay militarily strong, with an undeniable strength. The importance of this cannot be exaggerated.”
To my son, whose 17th birthday was the next day, she said, “And what do you study?” He tells her he loves history and literature. “Mathematics,” she says. He nods, wondering, I think, if she had heard him correctly. She had. She was giving him advice. “In the world of the future it will be mathematics that we need–the hard, specific knowledge of mathematical formulae, you see.” My son nodded: “Yes, ma’am.” Later I squeezed his arm. “Take notes,” I said. This is history.

Ms. Noonan concluded on this note.

Many great things were said about Reagan, especially the words of Baroness Thatcher, the Iron Lady. What a gallant woman to come from England, frail after a series of strokes, to show her personal respect and love, and to go to California to show it again, standing there with her perfect bearing, in her high heels, for 20 hours straight. I wonder if the British know how we took it, we Americans, that she did that, and that Prince Charles came, and Tony Blair. One is tempted to fall back on cliche–“the special relationship.” But I think a lot of us were thinking: We are one people.

Margaret Thatcher is loved by American Conservatives more than anyone in Britain will ever understand. She is bigger than life, a warrior goddess from the olden times. She and Reagan slew the communist dragon. Sic semper tyrannis.

14 thoughts on “Margaret Thatcher, RIP”

  1. She, Reagan, and John Paul – the gallant troika

    I think she, like Reagan, rose above the term “polician” – they had their core beliefs and never veered from them.

    And yes, I remember at the time a frail Mrs Thatcher making the difficult journey to attend Reagan’s funeral

  2. I had always admired Ted Heath because of his sailing but he saved his grit and organization for an avocation not his governing. She was all business. I doubt she had a hobby except her children and Dennis. Obama seems to be made up of hobbies.

  3. Dan,

    If he goes – I’ll be shocked.

    Clinton will probably make. If Bush 41 could – he would. I would imagine 41’s condition will determine if 43 makes it.

    I just wonder/dread what the ratio of “Obama successes” to “Thatcher successes” will be in any statements released.

  4. My special memory of Margaret Thatcher from the Reagan services in DC was that she curtseyed before the coffin. A curtsey by a woman of the British nobility [Baroness Thatcher] is an honor reserved for royalty. I understand she caught some flak for that back home, but I noted and appreciated the gesture of honor and respect.

    Just as Lady Thatcher went out of her way to render especial honor to President Reagan, the very presence of Obama would be an insult to her memory. Let the Bushes go.

    Subotai Bahadur

  5. @Subotai – from what I understand the Queen gave Reagan the equivalent of a knighthood for those not in the British commonwealth – don’t know if that would have made a difference but I believe that Reagan and Thatcher were also friends on a personal level.

  6. “She and Reagan slew the communist dragon.” Aye, and some people will never forgive her for it.

  7. }}} But I think a lot of us were thinking: We are one people.

    Then Obama came on the stage and said, “Fuck you, limeys!”

    Sorry for the language, but that’s pretty much what he said, and more than once.

  8. It took quite a few centuries for Britain to become a kingdom, and quite a few more to become the United Kingdom. In that time, she had great Kings and failed kings, and one spectacularly successful Queen.
    In more recent times the UK has been blessed with Churchill and Thatcher to make up for the socialists and wobbly ‘wets’. As with Reagan, their spirit lives on in our common memories as we endure the current folly. They never gave in, and we won’t either.

  9. If Obama goes to that funeral, I will eat this keyboard.

    Obama despises Britain, he has not shown the slightest inclination to hide that fact, and has much more in common with those loathsome insectile creatures who crawled out of the London sewers to celebrate Thatcher’s death than he would have with anyone at that funeral.

    The single classiest thing he could do would be to send George W., but then again GWB would be “received” by many of those same creatures, so I am not certain how that would play out.

    Was there a certain moment in time when Western Civilization became a suicide cult?

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