Tomorrow, January 31, will mark the second anniversary of Molly Ivins’ death from breast cancer.
At the time of her death, a lovely tribute was composed by her editor and friend of many years, Anthony Zurcher. In his moving tribute, he wrote:
Goodbye, Molly I.
Molly Ivins is gone, and her words will never grace these pages again — for this, we will mourn. But Molly wasn’t the type of woman who would want us to grieve. More likely, she’d say something like, “Hang in there, keep fightin’ for freedom, raise more hell, and don’t forget to laugh, too.”
But while she was here, her heart never failed to see clear and true — and for that, we can all be grateful.
Almost exactly one year before she passed away, Molly Ivins announced:
Friday, January 20, 2006; Posted: 9:18 a.m. EST (14:18 GMT)
AUSTIN, Texas (Creators Syndicate) — 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.
I listen to people like Rahm Emanuel superciliously explaining elementary politics to us clueless naifs outside the Beltway (“First, you have to win elections”). Can’t you even read the damn polls?
Here’s a prize example by someone named Barry Casselman, who writes, “There is an invisible civil war in the Democratic Party, and it is between those who are attempting to satisfy the defeatist and pacifist left base of the party and those who are attempting to prepare the party for successful elections in 2006 and 2008.”
This supposedly pits Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, emboldened by “a string of bad new from the Middle East … into calling for premature retreat from Iraq,” versus those pragmatic folk like Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman.
Oh come on, people — get a grip on the concept of leadership. Look at this war — from the lies that led us into it, to the lies they continue to dump on us daily.
I can understand what Molly wrote back in 2006 because, to be honest, I was thinking much the same thing.
Well, now we fast forward to 2009 and Molly’s former assistant, Betsy Moon, described as “FORMER ASSISTANT AND “CHIEF OF STUFF” FROM 2001 to 2007,” has decided to commemorate Molly’s death by being a mind reader.
AUSTIN, Texas — The question I have been asked most often during the last two years is, “What would Molly think about this?” Molly Ivins would have loved this election. She would have loved the beautiful sight of “We the People” finally stepping up to become the real deciders. She would have loved the drama, the comedy and the characters.
In fact, we know how she would have felt, because she was as prescient about this election before her death two years ago as she was about all the other tragedies of the Bush years. Carlton Carl, CEO/publisher at Molly’s beloved Texas Observer, recalls her saying after Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic convention, “You know … that young man could be president someday.”
Before Barack Obama announced his candidacy, Chicago Magazine asked a number of luminaries if they thought he should run. Opinions varied. Molly was succinct and direct, and with her usual wit and certainty said: “Yes, he should run. He’s the only Democrat with any Elvis to him.”
And, in her column on Jan. 20, 2006, she said: “It’s about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership.
If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator … with the guts to do it.” She was speaking about Gene McCarthy then, but it might as well have been Barack Obama.
She’d love that Barack Obama began his community organizing knowing that power lies in all of us united and that he continues to remind us that we are the deciders.
Ken Bunting, an old friend of Molly’s who’s now associate publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, said of Molly on Election Day, “I’m not much of a believer, but I think our friend is looking down and smiling right along with Barack’s grandma.” You know, I think he is right.
Where do I begin? First of all, I think it’s a bit presumptuous for anyone to speak for a person who can’t speak for themselves. What, did Moon and Bunting conduct a seance?
Secondly, just because Molly didn’t like Hillary Clinton and had some good words for Obama’s “Elvis factor” back in 2006, doesn’t mean she would feel the same way today. Furthermore, for Moon to state that Obama shares the same qualities of “guts” with Eugene McCarthy is a reach, isn’t it? I still have my McCarthy bumper sticker from back then…somehow, I don’t see Obama as having the same courage of Eugene McCarthy!!
Then there’s the matter of what Molly thought, not only of Clinton, but also about Rahm Emanuel and Joe Biden, both now hanging around the Obama Administration. Emanuel, of course, is in a very powerful position as Chief of Staff, while Biden is posing as VP. And Clinton is rattling around at the State Department.
So, what would Molly Ivins be thinking now? I DON’T KNOW, but if she were staying “clear and true” I think she MIGHT be throwing some caustic comments out there into the ether, particularly with regard to the “stimulus package” and some of the little games played by Obama over the last couple of days aimed at attracting GOP support (and winning ZIP with the House vote). And would she really think that we were “the deciders”??
As for Moon and Bunting–is seems that they are transferring their OWN fascination with Obama into a dream of what they would WANT Molly Ivins to think.
OK, Molly, give us a sign. I sure would like to know what you’ve been REALLY thinking about all that’s happened over the last year…
But I sure have MY opinion…Molly, have you been listening?
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: "stimulus package", Anthony Zurcher, Barack Obama, Barry Casselman, Betsy Moon, breast cancer, Carlton Carl, Chicago Magazine, community organizing, concept of leadership, deciders, Democratic Party, Dick Morris, Elvis, Eugene McCarthy, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, inflammatory breast cancer, Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, Ken Bunting, Molly Ivins, Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, seance, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Steny Hoyer, Terri Schiavo, Texas Observer, the Beltway | 11 Comments »