Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly Ivins - R.I.P.

Mary Tyler (Molly) Ivins was my favorite political columnist. She had a knack for analyzing what was going on in Washington and in the Texas legislature that was unsurpassed by any other Op Ed writer, in my opinion.

She was born in Monterey, California, and raised in Houston, Texas. She graduated from Smith College, got her masters degree at Columbia University's School of Journalism and studied for a year at the Institute of Political Science in Paris.

She was 6' tall, and had a mane of red hair, in her younger days. She had an earthy laugh and a husky Texas drawl, and like her buddy, Ann Richards, loved nothing better than to be in the company of a bunch of politicians, trading stories and political gossip.

Molly told it as she saw it. She never let up on the "Lege", as she called the Texas Legislature, and she saw George W. Bush as a disaster. She had years to study him, while he was the Governor of Texas, and when he ran for President, she was heard to say that he was going to "Texanize" America. She was the first to call him "Shrub".

Her criticism was couched in humor and she said, "I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel, it is vulgar."

She was a true Democrat. A populist who never hesitated to call for politicians in both parties to step up and be accountable. Her first book was "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" She won many honors in her lifetime, but the ones she was proudest of were when the Minneapolis Police Force named its mascot pig after her and when she was once banned from the campus of Texas A&M. It is said that she never knew what to do with the many plaques she received, so she used them as trivets.

The lady never gave up. Her final column was published on January 11, 2007, in which she called for "an old fashioned newspaper crusade" against President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq. There was none of her trademark humor in this column.

She wrote: "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 help stop this war. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it now!'"

Good-bye, Molly. We have lost a true champion of the "little guy". Now, what are we going to do?


Annie said...

How wonderful that you memorialized her here. I have been thinking of her for the past two days, ever since I heard the news. She's one of those voices we really need to continue to hear; this is a really horrible loss.

Kell said...

That was a wonderful memorial for a wonderful lady. I almost put that last quote in my short post, too, because I like it so much. We'll really miss her.

Jay said...

She was great. I bet she's up in heaven giving somebody the red-ass right now for something they did. haha

Chancy said...

I appreciate your memorial post about Molly Irvins. She was one of a kind and we will miss her.

Sister--Three said...

We will miss Molly.

Joy Des Jardins said...

What a great tribute to Molly...thanks for the wonderful post Betty.

SongBird said...

Great tribute and to answer your question...we need to take over where Molly left off, don't we? I'm definitely ready to get out in the streets banging pots and pans and shouting, "Stop it now!"

Mortart said...

I share your sadness at the loss of Mollie Ivins. People like her don't come around very often.

gawilli said...

Well said, Betty. Thanks.