Margaret Thatcher Will Not Be 'Airbrushed', Says Republican Senator

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MITCH MCCONNELL
Republican senator Mitch McConnell likes Margaret Thatcher a lot. Hates socialism. | AP

Attacking socialist "drones", Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in the US Senate, has accused Democrats of trying to "airbrush" Margaret Thatcher's legacy by blocking the passage of a resolution that praised her.

In April the US Senate passed a resolution honouring the former Tory prime minister. However it was not agreed as easily as had been expected, following a fight between McConnell and Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the foreign relations committee, over its wording.

It had been reported that Menendez had initially blocked the resolution, as he wanted to see changes the sections dealing with the Falkland Islands and IRA terrorism. A Democratic aide told The Hill at the time that Menendez had wanted to avoid anything that looked like "swipes" at other countries.

In a speech at the Heritage Foundation think-tank today, McConnell accused Menendez - if not by name - of trying to "water down" the resolution and take out all the parts of Thatcher's time in office which were the "most significant".

"People on the left in the senate were trying to water it down and leave out the things that made her unique, as if she was just some other person who was prime minister of Britain," he said.

"It was a small fight in terms of the fights we have in the senate but it really was fascinating. To even try and mess up her legacy by taking all of the significant accomplishments out of this resolution."

The Kentucky Republican who is the senate minority leader added: "That underscores how consequential she was. An airbrushing of the story, removing the part that make folks uncomfortable, would have been a great injustice."

"Imagine commemorating Churchill but ignoring the Battle of Britain, or honouring Lincoln and leaving out any reference to the Civil War."

He added: "Not having forgotten her, we are certainly not going to whitewash her achievements. At its core, Thatcherism is a recognition of the cold hearted cruelty of the idea that lies at the heart of socialism; that human beings ultimately amount to little more than economic output, mechanised drones to be managed by a far off elite."

Following Thatcher's death at the age of 87 last month, president Obama said America had lost "a true friend".

"As a grocer's daughter who rose to become Britain's first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered," he said.

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