Along with Winston Churchill, one of America's most beloved British prime ministers is Margaret Thatcher.
That's why it seemed almost impossible to believe that on Thursday, MSNBC's Martin Bashir concluded his program by bashing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with an inexplicably derogatory comparison to the famed Iron Lady (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MARTIN BASHIR: It’s time now to clear the air. And it’s not very often that my own experience of British political history comes in handy when we’re analyzing the activities of American politicians, but today is one of those rare moments. Take a look at Mitt Romney’s attack on the President in the form of this letterhead. Now, as usual, Romney fails to acknowledge that the private sector has created more than four million jobs in the last 27 months. But this is consistent with Mitt the Mendacious. If you don’t like the facts, simply go ahead and tell some lies.
But, as soon as I saw that letterhead, I was immediately taken back to 1979 when Margaret Thatcher was fighting her first general election in the U.K. Mrs. Thatcher employed one of London’s most famous advertising agencies, Saatchi and Saatchi, to run the attacks on her Labour opponents. And here’s the ad that was produced.
Surprising similarities there. Hang on. If you look closely, it’s actually the very same image. Look at the magnificent polka dots in that young lady’s summer skirt. That image became the iconic theme of Mrs. Thatcher’s reign as prime minister.
There's a lot that's fascinating about this observation by Bashir, mostly that this is an old ad by Romney, and that his campaign divulged almost exactly one year ago that it had intentionally used the Saatchi and Saatchi picture as a tribute:
In 1978, Saatchi and Saatchi, then an up-and-coming advertising agency hired by the British Conservative Party and their campaign for Margaret Thatcher, created a historic political poster depicting the negative economic conditions and the government's failed attempts to correct that path. Labeled the poster of the century by the magazine Campaign, the image pointed to Britain's economic climate of rising unemployment, rising inflation, and a large and growing national debt. Those conditions and the public discontent throughout the country during that election and the parallels that Americans face today cannot be ignored. With unemployment rising from 3.6% in 1974 to 5.3% in 1979, the British knew there was a problem. Now, America faces 9.1% unemployment, record deficits, a soaring national debt, and millions of struggling families. One thing is clear – Obama isn't working, either.
Yet one year later, Bashir was just getting around to informing his viewers about it as if he brilliantly discovered this similarity on his own quite recently.
He's one heck of a journalist, isn't he?
But I digress:
BASHIR: This was a prime minister who was described by Vanity Fair magazine as ushering in a period of utter greed and selfishness. A political leader who once said, “There’s no such thing as society,” and set about emphasizing individualism above everything else.
Which I guess explains why Mitt Romney has stolen Margaret Thatcher’s clothes, because that’s precisely what you’ll get if Romney wins in November.
Actually, if Americans thought they were getting Margaret Thatcher as a president with a vote for Mitt Romney, he'd win in a landslide.
That Bashir thinks this would be a bad thing tells you all you need to know about the political views of this shameless Obama shill.
— Noel Sheppard (@NoelSheppard) June 9, 2012