Why Cliff May is an idiot
If you don't know who this is, go read
some history. Please
Cliff May, in a recent post, tried to equate blogging with walking point in Iraq.
Which is why I laugh when people worry about the right taking to the streets. People like May are heroes with words, not deeds.
But he said something which annoyed me to no end, which was the comparison of the American right to Churchill and that was insane.
It is the total rewriting of history.
So let's make some corrections.
Churchill was widely mistrusted by both right and left in the mid-1930's. He had switched parties too often for the right and his breaking of the 1926 General Strike made him an enemy of Labour.
So the idea that Churchill was widely heeded in the 30's is wrong. He had a string of failures behind him, from Gallipoli to the general strike. In 1940, he was appointed First Lord of the Admirality, the job he had held for the early part of the First World War. He had also, to the utter irritation of the King, supported, Edward
VII VIII in his abdication struggle.
So when he came to government in 1940, it was unclear who would be the next Prime Minister, the appeaser Lord Halifax or Churchill. It was Labour who made it clear that they wouldn't serve in a Halifax government.
What May so convienently forgets is that the opposition to Churchil came from the right. The Labour left had learned from Spain that Hitler was not going to be stopped. It wasn't the loony right, like Mosley, who was cooling his heels in jail, but the respectable right like Lloyd George and Halifax, who were willing to deal with Hitler. People like Lindburgh and Nye in the US, the right, some of who admired Hitler, some of whom, like Joe Kennedy, thought it was the way of the future and far better than communism.
If anyone deserves credit for getting Churchill into the war cabinet and to PM, it is Bevan and Attlee, the Labour leaders. They were the ones who made it clear Halifax was unacceptable They knew Churchill wasn't going to make a deal with Hitler, who he openly despised.
For May and people on the American right , they need to deify Churchill to cover up their own sins. People on the right opposed Churchill and sought peace with Hitler. Joe Kennedy's cowardice and Charles Lindburgh's anti-semitism was only the tip of the iceberg. The American right's love affair with Nazism lasted past WWII and into slandering the soldiers who survived Malmedy and the Army prosecutors of the killers.
So of course they embrace Churchill, who fought the appeasement right even at the cost of being exiled from government.
Churchill was unpopular because he didn't accept appeasement as a strategy as the right did. It was Labour and Churchill who stood against the real threat to the west, not finding a way to accomodate it.
Now, I know May and the rest of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders want to think of themselves as mini-Churchills, fighting the good fight. Instead, they're more like mini-Joe Kennedys, personal cowards, embracing failure and defeat of American values.
posted by Steve @ 12:27:00 AM