Today’s Obligatory Nutpicking Post About Someone Who Recently Died


Over at The Corner, Andrew Johnson writes what’s become an almost obligatory nutpicking post whenever someone famous dies:

While many mourn the loss of the Iron Lady, liberals have been quick to celebrate her passing….

This is followed by a grand total of six tweets, one of which refers to a piece written a year ago and another of which isn’t even nasty. Frankly, I think Thatcher would be pretty disappointed if this is all the venom she inspires these days.

Anyway, two thoughts. First, I’m sure the outraged right will show all the proper decorum when Jimmy Carter dies. Certainly none of them will so much as tweet a suggestion that the world is well rid of this meddlesome, Israel-hating diplomatic rogue, will they?

Second, what’s the problem here? When a polarizing figure dies, why shouldn’t the reaction be polarized too? The British, bless their hearts, have a tradition of being a bit more bluntly truthful in their obituaries than us Americans, and I’m all for it. Margaret Thatcher led a very public, very contentious life, and was never one to clutch her pearls when she was attacked—and if she could take the abuse while she lived, I think her supporters can take it after she’s died. This doesn’t mean that literally anything goes—George Galloway’s “Tramp the dirt down” is typically over the top—but it does mean that if yesterday you thought her legacy was a terrible one, there’s no good reason not to say so today. And no reason to be too scrupulously polite about it, either.

Thatcher loved a good fight, and she always, always, always gave as good as she got. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.