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John M. Becker’s Hate vs. Margaret Thatcher’s Death

with 6 comments

Margaret Thatcher: Good Riddance” – John M. Becker

Today Margaret Thatcher died. It inspired various memories of her political career and life, including blogger John M. Betcher who laid on the hate. He then went on to write:

I’m sorry, but I can’t join in the gushing praise being heaped upon Margaret Thatcher today. While I feel sympathy for her grieving family and I don’t rejoice in anyone’s death, I’m rather sickened by all the revisionist history I’m seeing.” – John M. Becker

Becker’s shouting out “Good Riddance” and then writing “I don’t rejoice in anyone’s death” is the epitome of disingenuous. And there’s more.

I agree she did more damage to the peoples (sic) community spirit than Hitler,” dee “ignorant cow” sweetland (first comment posted on Becker’s site)

No matter how horrid a person you may think Thatcher, attacks by John and “dee” reveal the class of the writer/attacker. As a reflexively critical left-leaning independent, I question verbal stones thrown at the right. Such pabulum convinces no one and damages the image of the left. To hold negative opinions about Thatcher is one thing, to rejoice and remind the world what a scumwhore she was on the day she dies is another. What Becker and “dee” did make the left look as sick, twisted, and belligerent as the right.

Why not convince and engage the opposition instead of belittling them? As to the Hitler analogy, the author caters to his crowd. Rush Limbaugh’s loyal  followers reflect his ideas. Intellectual demagoguery reflects the demagogue.

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Written by Caleb Powell

April 9, 2013 at 6:33 am

6 Responses

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  1. Sorry, but resisting the Orwellian postmortem revisionism and calling attention to Ms. Thatcher’s *actual* record isn’t hateful, nor is it a specious rant (both words you used in your comment on my site). It’s not “sick, twisted, and belligerent” either. I’m curious as to which of the points I made in the piece you’ve decided are specious; your use of that word leads me to think you may not have met many people from the UK who starved, lost their jobs, were stigmatized/demonized, or even died because of Thatcher’s heartless policies. Death doesn’t magically place a person above criticism.

    Here’s some remarks from veteran UK gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell: ‘Margaret Thatcher was an extraordinary woman but she was extraordinary for mostly the wrong reasons. I commiserate, as I do with the death of any person. In contrast, she showed no empathy for the victims of her harsh, ruthless policy decisions.’

    Minus the “good riddance” that you’re so upset about, that’s essentially the same thing I said. By your hypersensitive definition, Tatchell’s remarks are also hateful. Give me a break. (And incidentally, after having read your blog’s profanity policy, I’m surprised that the phrase “good riddance” gets you so worked up! 🙂 I never called Thatcher a “scumwhore” — your words, not mine.

    Regarding Dee’s comment, you’re trying to smear me by attaching my name to something written by a reader? That’s absurd and you know it. Of *course* I do not support unwarranted Hitler analogies, and I never once compared Thatcher with Hitler either implicitly or explicitly. So no, Dee’s comment is not a “fitting exclamation point,” as it isn’t congruent with anything I actually wrote.

    Finally, you’re wrong about my readers/fans. While again, I do not agree with unwarranted Hitler analogies, lashing out in anger and smearing all my amazing readers on the basis of one single comment from one person is so ridiculous that it doesn’t even merit a response. If you think this one post and this one reader comment provides you with sufficient information to slander them and me, then that doesn’t reflect poorly on me, it reveals the hollowness of your own argument.

    If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s misplaced false equivalencies. And you’ve made a couple of really jaw-dropping ones here. (Comparing factually accurate critiques of Margaret Thatcher’s policies and their consequences with right-wing bile, or equating me with Rush Limbaugh — had a hearty guffaw at that one!) False equivalencies are the ultimate masturbatory exercise: they make the user feel great for a moment but ultimately accomplish nothing.

    John Becker

    April 9, 2013 at 8:03 am

  2. Forgive the hyperbolic rhetoric, but my main point was that “Good riddance” (equivalent to “Glad you’re dead” and as counterproductive as “scumwhore”) clashed with “I don’t rejoice…”

    Your more cogent arguments, therefore, are diminished or overlooked.

    The Hilter analogy is not yours, however, if you remain silent on your own blog then you are complicit. If someone posted a Hitler analogy on my blog I’d excoriate them without mercy.

    Caleb Powell

    April 9, 2013 at 8:38 am

    • So we’re supposed to forgive your hyperbolic rhetoric, but other people’s hyperbolic rhetoric (“Good riddance,” for example) deserves excoriation and condemnation? I smell a double standard!

      John Becker

      April 9, 2013 at 10:16 am

      • Dude, hyperbolic rhetoric can be fun and dangerous, depending. Hitler analogies deserve excoriation, unless they involve, say, Pol Pot.

        Arbeit macht frei!

        Caleb Powell

        April 9, 2013 at 11:46 am

  3. […] in particular — excoriated me for it in the comments, on my public Facebook page, and in a blog post, especially for the whole “good riddance” bit. I was accused of being hateful, […]

  4. Oh please. I slammed Jerry Falwell TWICE after he died. Once on his death and the other a day after.

    a.mcewen

    April 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm


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