Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Still Miss Molly Ivins

I wanted to post something tonight because the itch to write has returned a bit recently and needs to be scratched. But, being (putting it mildly) disheartened by our continuing string of snow and ice storms, I wasn't coming up with much.

Happily, as I was re-organizing my bookmarks tonight (almost as chaotic as the house in general!), I ran across a link to a 'posthumous' column by probably my all time favorite political commentator, Molly Ivins (who alas, died in January, 2007). For those of you who might not be familiar with her writing, she was the longtime editor of Texas Observer, many books, perhaps most notably Shrub (wherein she tried to warn the nation) ... widely syndicated in various publications around the country, and she also had a considerable presence online. If you have the slightest populist or progressive political leanings, it's likely you've read Molly. So, if you have read her, you know already what a brilliant brew she could concoct, full of acerbic humour, incisive political analysis, yet tempered with an unending well of warmth and pure humanity. If I could ever write as concisely and powerfully as Molly, I'd let myself believe I had truly accomplished something remarkable.

So, back to that 'posthumous column.' A few weeks ago while chatting with NDD, he passed this link along (yay!), which I now want to share with you, in case you're interested ... Here are the first three paragraphs:

I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It's about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

Link to the full column here.

In what I envision as an ideal, politically aware world, I'd like for any undecided Democratic (or leaning) voters in states yet to vote (Wisconsin I'm thinking of you, for obvious nostalgic reasons! Go Madison! I know you can!) to read her last missive, which (apparently was written before the 2006 elections) presents her cogent, clearly delineated argument about who you should not cast your vote. And with our present choices narrowed down to two choices (FSM bless you, John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich!), time is running short to make the right decision this year.

As I size it up (in my humble, political junkie way) now, the only chance we still have for the potential of a truly transformational shift in our political landscape is to cast the die with Barack Obama. And he does appear to be on a winning streak lately, and I've been cheering him on, now that I no longer have the Edwards choice .... I knew that this year would be tumultuous and most likely nasty.

It's not over yet, and in fact it's relatively early in the 'game.' We have a lot of ugliness yet to face before the big day in November. But I do hope that by putting Obama out front as the nominee, we might still have some reason for cautious optimism.

As I've said frequently to Fernymoss since the Caucus in January, if you imagine Obama next to McCain --even knowing nothing about them-- who would you tend to want to vote for? As Jon Stewart might opine ... between bat-shit crazy old warmonger guy and energetic younger black dude? To me, the choice is a no-brainer.

I bet if Molly were still around she'd take Obama to task, but still give him a big benefit of the doubt. Hope I got that right, Molly. If not, bitch slap me from the beyond!

No comments: