Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian on the mourning of Margaret Thatcher Do world-historical figures like Margaret Thatcher, once they die, deserve the automatic respect we give the dead? "News of Margaret Thatcher's death this morning instantly and predictably gave rise to righteous sermons on the evils of speaking ill of her," Glenn Greenwald observes, joining a chorus of second guessers. "This demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure's death is not just misguided but dangerous. That one should not speak ill of the dead is arguably appropriate when a private person dies, but it is wildly inappropriate for the death of a controversial public figure, particularly one who wielded significant influence and political power." David Corn at Mother Jones agreed, taking the opportunity to survey Thatcher's controversial influence on the country she ruled. "Thatcher was a historic figure. But that does not mean she was a great leader," he wrote. Salon's Alex Pareene was less circumspect: "She intentionally immiserated millions of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people in order to carry out a liberalization of the British economy that benefited the wealthy at the expense of nearly everyone else." Andrew Sullivan, meanwhile, explored his devotion to Thatcher in a long essay on her influence on his career: "I was a teenage Thatcherite, an uber-politics nerd who loved her for her utter lack of apology for who she was. I sensed in her, as others did, a final rebuke to the collectivist, egalitarian oppression of the individual produced by socialism and the stultifying privileges and caste identities of the class system."
Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal on the other kind of marriage Banning gay marriage doesn't just prevent gay people from marrying each other, argues Bret Stephens; it forces those seeking respectability to deny who they are, and produces deeply unhappy marriages. Describing the well-known phenomenon of gay men marrying women in order to be accepted by society at large, Stephens makes what he calls a conservative case for gay marriage: "Gay people generally want to lead lives of conventional respectability. So much so, in fact, that many are prepared to suppress their sexual nature to lead such lives. The desire for respectability is commendable; the deception it involves is not. To avoid deception, you can try to change the person's nature. Good luck with that. Or you can modify a social institution so that gay people can have what the rest of us take for granted: The chance to find love and respectability in the same person." Commentary editor John Podhoretz called Stephens's column "dazzling" and "the most original conservative case for gay marriage yet written." Wired's Steve Silberman agreed, but reminded Podhoretz that Stephens's argument has been circulating for years. (See this video, entitled "Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends.")