Barack Obama, Grave Robber

Who’s Crying Now?  Reagan-Obama.jpg (500×375)

From his controversial campaign embrace of Reagan nostalgia onward, Barack Obama has set Fantasy Reagan as the standard to be measured against.  But he’s lacked the twinkling whimsy to pull off the big whoppers Reagan could do with half a brain, and the shamelessness of his handlers in putting them across.

But now, light from the East.

Obama was already three up on the Gipper in the coveted killing Qaddafi relatives category, hitting a son and three grandchildren. Reagan had to make to do with his sole Qaddafi hit, the adopted daughter killed when the US bombed Libya in 1986.

Now the rebel conquest of Tripoli threatens even that Reagan accomplishment.  The Irish Times reports from the wreckage that Hana Qaddafi may have never died, and had gone on to a career as a doctor.

The Reagan bomb run was storied in legend and song, featuring daring-do, plucky Maggie Thatcher as Churchill in drag, and the perfidious French.

But now all we may have gotten out of it was the Lockerbie bombing.

Tim Pawlenty, Buried In Grant’s Tomb

Grant Me This 

It was a gathering of the conservative faithful at CPAC this past weekend, and the search for novel political analogies reached strange new heights.

Among the oddities was Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, whose doomed Presidential campaign took its first tentative steps off the cliff by reminding the assembled Neo-Confederates  IMG_4498  of a past glorius Republican office holder,  U.S. Grant.

Somehow today’s conservative struggle resembles Grant’s grinding Civil War victories over the South, his scandel infested administration, or his occasional lunges towards protecting blacks and Republicans from the Klan in the South. Which is unclear, but Pawlenty has his own upbeat, crackpot version:

We’re on the side of limited government. And, like Grant, we fight.

But perhaps not win.  Pawlenty came in fourth in CPAC’s presidential straw poll.

Also up for CPAC recycling,  Margeret Thatcher, AKA The Iron Lady.  Indiana Representative Mike Pence, straw poll fifth place holder, put America’s striking coal miners and Trotskyist local office holders on notice by evoking everyone’s favorite Churchill in drag. Just wait till that North Sea oil saves our ass!

A Romantic View Of History

Pence also entertained the crowd with a musty Ronald Reagan yarn, one where Reagan encountered a magic pipe-fitter.  This proto Joe The Plumber begged Reagan to save tax cuts for the rich, so guys like him could be hired by them.  Pence has trotted out the tale of this wondrous encounter at least twice going back to 2005.

CPAC turned to Glen Beck for insane historical tales with a grain of truth.

Peeing all over John McCain’s myth of a muscular progressive Republican past, Beck rightly called Teddy Roosevelt an interventionist.

But calling Roosevelt a socialist is as insane as labeling Obama one.


Reagan To Stand Tall

For Now                 Ronald Reagan & Margaret Thatcher (10147) by Thomas Becker

London Conservative activists have received local government planning permission to erect sixteen feet of Ronald Reagan statue outside America’s Grosvenor Square embassy, but the statue may become an orphan when a new embassy is built in South London.

Westminster Council overrode its own rule that monument subjects must be dead ten years, and the ten foot statue [with a Berlin Wall chunk placed demurely at its feet] is to be mounted on a six foot high plinth.

It might be considered a companion piece to the Eisenhower statue which already dresses up the Embassy’s impressive   barricade collection.

The Obama administration has yet to name an Ambassador to Britain, and in the meanwhile we are free to draw humorous inferences from anonymous embassy utterances, which make clear this is not their deal:

“This is not something that we have requested or actively tried to get brought about,” an embassy spokesman said yesterday. “We’re happy to have our presidents honoured but this statue was not a US Government initiative.”

Asked whether the mission would take the statue with it when it leaves Grosvenor Square for its new head-quarters in Nine Elms, south of the Thames, he replied: “It’s not our statue.”

If  Reagan is left behind he may soon be engulfed in a construction site: Westminster wants the sixties classic building gone.

















“If we succeed in creating one here we would be the first outside the US”

Not usually seen as a naif havel-smoking.jpg

Whatever is Vaclav Havel thinking?

havel-is-our-leader.jpg The fair haired boy of the Velvet Revolution is launching the Havel Library, and talking about it as though no one east of Little Rock had thought of the idea before. havel-graphic.gif

A by no means exhaustive list of Presidential Libraries built in imitation of the US would include Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, The Philippines’ Joseph Estrada, Mexico’s Vicente Fox, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, and Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Dae-jung in Korea. We haven’t heard much on it lately, but Saddam’s relatives said they’ll build a presidential library around his grave.

Havel plans the now standard lists of his papers elsewhere, archives of what documents he still controls, and “Multimedia,” what many call photographs. The web site already contains a classic Havel channeling Nixon moment, jacket and shoes in the surf. havel-surf-nixon.jpg

Mrs. Thatcher, Document Snatcher

Backwards in Britain

churchill-grandson.jpg I got mine!

The Churchill family cashing in threatens to set the United Kingdom on the path to more presidentialism: cults of personality, motorcades, and our gift to the world, the presidential library.

History News Network reports they aren’t there yet, but are plugging away.

Britain has a functioning National Archives, but that can’t stop the empire builders. The Churchill papers were bought back from the family with public money, and rest at the Cambridge college named for him. Margaret Thatcher is tagging along there, but appears to be thin on actual material.

thatcher-milk-snatcher.jpgHer archive head says “What we have here …are the private letters to Baroness Thatcher from members of Parliament, copies of official letters that she was allowed to take with her and much more.”

The Thatcher web site illustrates the redundant nature of the enterprise:

“MT’s own collection includes copies of most of the White House material relating to her meetings with successive Presidents. Gaps in her collection have been filled, in some cases, from the Carter and Reagan Library photographic collections. Bush material will be placed on line with documentary material in early 2006.”

A search in multimedia for “Reagan” gets you nothing but White House photos. There are some bugs to work out on the site itself. Even the link to the Churchill archives is a bust.

The Churchill site is more fun, including Churchill’s memorandum calling for poison gassing Bolshevik troops during the British intervention in Russia’s Civil War.churchill-poisen-gas-russia.jpg