Molly Ivins Can't Be Dead, Can She?
It is now three o'clock in the morning which means that I have had about seven hours to adjust to a world without Molly Ivins. I woke up after only a few hours of troubled sleep, thinking that it was all just a bad dream - and then reality set in. She's gone and she's not coming back. Who among us would have dreamed that our luck would ever get this bad?
There can be no debate. She was the most articulate progressive voice of the last one-hundred years. The rarest of all creatures (a goddamned liberal from Texas, Bubba!) She was a flower among the weeds. She spoke truth to power "with the bark off" as John Nance Garner, a Texan from another era, would have said. She was a national treasure. She was our Molly.
She was to our generation what Will Rogers was to his - and so much more. Rogers, for all of his fun-poking at the powers-that-be, was, in his time, a much beloved and admired figure. Before the plane crash which ended his life in August 1935, he had been lauded by all ends of the political spectrum. Not Molly Ivins! She was hated - deeply and passionately hated - by the forces of darkness. Trust me on this one, boys and girls: the only tears that will be shed tonight at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, will be tears of joy. No one - and I mean, no one - has been more on-target in exposing the lies, corruption, and utter stupidity of Washington politicians in general and this hideous administration in particular than Miss Molly. It has been said that Will Rogers never offended a soul. Molly Ivins, in contrast, offended just about everyone in power - Democratic or Republican.
When George W. Bush first announced his candidacy in 1999, it made me a tad uneasy. It was only after reading, "Shrub: The Short, Happy Political life of George W. Bush" which she co-authored with fellow Texas journalist, Lou Dubose - published over one year before the stolen election of 2000 - that I became seriously alarmed. Molly Ivins was the person who woke me up. This very blog you are reading is really her legacy. In 2003, when they wrote a follow-up called, "Bushwhacked: Life In George W. Bush's America", she said in the book's introduction, "If y'all had read the first book, we wouldn't have had to write this one!"
Oh, Lord, was she funny! As much as I loved to read her work, listening to the audio book versions was even more fun! She would read each of them with the timing and skill of a professional comedian. She once said of a corrupt and incompetent Texas politician, "If his IQ slips any lower, we'll have to water him twice a day." On one occasion she "defended" a former First Lady by saying, "It's unfair to pick on Nancy Reagan - it's irresistible but unfair." In 1980, she was fired from the New York Times for referring to an annual chicken slaughter in New Mexico as "a gang pluck." Now admit it: wouldn't you just love to have that on your resume'? Damn! The old gal was a scream!
She was the first journalist to stand up and expose to the world the unvarnished truth about this incompetent and disgusting president. From her second to last column, published on January 7th:
"What happened to the nation that never tortured? The nation that wasn't supposed to start wars of choice? The nation that respected human rights and life? A nation that from the beginning was against tyranny? Where have we gone? How did we let these people take us there? How did we let them fool us?"
And now, like Will Rogers, she's left us at the far too young age of sixty-two. The late, great newspaper, the Dallas Times Herald, once ran an advertising campaign which proclaimed, "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" She could and she did - loudly and with great courage. The only way to close this piece would be to paraphrase the writer, John O'Hara, on learning of the death of George Gershwin seventy years ago:
Molly Ivins died on January 31, 2007. But I don't have to believe it if I don't want to.Pray for peace.
This is from Molly's last column, 14 January 2007:
"We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to stop this war. Raise hell! Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know that we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to oppose Bush's proposed surge...We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'STOP IT NOW!'"
For more recent postings on this site, please go to the link below:
"The Rant" by Tom Degan
Molly Ivins would have approved I think.