Molly Ivins: 2 Years After Her Death, People Who Knew Her Are Putting Words into Her Mouth (Are They Holding Seances?)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins

(Courtesy Wikipedia)

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:

Molly Ivins: Not. backing. Hillary.

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.

What Would Molly Think?

Betsy Moon

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?

11 Responses

  1. The high-handedness of Moon and Bunting leaves me whomper-jawed with disbelief as Molly might have said.

    Since when does an assistant presume to speak for her boss? I suspect Molly might have been a tad pissed and would find her former assistant a tad arrogant. Ditto Mr. Bunting.

    Just when you think that the driveling dribblers in the media can get no worse, they prove you wrong and do so. Now they give their opinion as something a dead celebrity like Molly Ivins would have said or thought. A new low even for our pathetic excuse for a media.

    As Molly herself really did say:

    I still believe in Hope – mostly because there’s no such place as Fingers Crossed, Arkansas.

    I guess that’s supposed to be a rousing endorsement of Obama. Cause they both used the word HOPE.

  2. GRL,

    If Obama can see dead soldiers in an audience, why can’t a former “Chief of Stuff” see a dead journalist?

    Seriously, it surprises me that no one has come out and said Edgar Cayce predicted Obama’s win or there was a Nostrodamus quatrain dedicated to teh won. These sycophants are so determined that Obama is the messiah that nothing will change their warped minds – even the continual screw ups and back flips that Obama has done for the past 6 months. As I’ve said before, Obama could kill puppies on live TV and they’d find a way to idolize it as saving the puppies from being tortured by elderly white women that dislike him.

    I didn’t know Molly Ivans, of course, but I feel pretty confident in saying she would not approve of anyone using her name or memory to further their delusion. Just a guess on my part, though…

  3. Unless Molly’s up there with grandma and has gotten brainwashed….LOL!

  4. Above all, Molly was sane and clear-eyed and always recognized hypocrisy when she saw it.

    I hardly think she would applaud the appointment of Geither or his chief of staff, Mark Patterson, especially after Obama made such a point of saying that lobbyists would have no place in his administration. Now he has hired at least a dozen. From that same January 20, 2006 column from which Moon quotes, there is this wish:

    “Full public financing of campaigns so as to drive the moneylenders from the halls of Washington”

    Fat chance of that after Obama raised $600+ million, a good deal of which came from Wall Street. So, no, I don’t think that there is any way that Ivins would be happy right now. I can only guess that Moon is responding to those same tingles that Matthews had going up his leg, those same ones that apparently made Naomi Wolf practically scream out, “Hellooo!”. Over at Commondreams, they’ve posted the column by Moon and most of the comments are about how thrilled Molly would be. One even claimed that she would just love Rachel Maddow. Yeah, right.

  5. What would Molly think?

    She would think Betsy Moon should not speak for her. I would like to think Ivins was savvy enough to have seen through obama…

  6. Molly Ivins was an intelligent, clear-thinking woman. But even intelligent, clear-thinking women can be wrong.
    That “pandering on the flag” spiked the Republicans’ guns in pushing for a constitutional amendment. And though I, too, wish Clinton had spoken forcefully against the Iraq war, there are a hell of a lot of Democrats who also didn’t whom she didn’t condemn from the gate.

    I read Ivins’ book Shrub before the 2000 election and it detailed a lot of Dubya’s shady dealings. But those cautions were in a for-profit book only political junkies would likely read. I don’t recall her leading the charge to see that they were thoroughly aired in the mainstream media. Ivins even stated near the end of the book that she personally liked Dubya, that he was a charming and swell guy.

    A community organizer who as state senator happily looked the other way as one of the cronies he funneled money to let his tenants freeze, then let that same crook help him buy a mansion. Versus a woman whom the punditry refused to see any good in, who took heat not only for her own stands, but her husband’s, and kept fighting quietly for the less fortunate, especially women.

    Sometimes even the best-intentioned people can be blinded by the cocktail circuit.

  7. Priceless eviseration of pulchritudinous platitudinous drivel. I suspect that Molly would be embarrassed by her former assistant.

  8. PS, please forgive the pedantic alliteration – it seemed appropriate after reading that drivel from the aide.
    Your take down was spot on.

  9. Two Quotations from Molly Ivins –

    “Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun.First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. i have been on blind dates better than that.” – Time magazine Feb 18, 2002. Retrieved Feb 1, 2007.

    “So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who came after how much fun it was” – Molly Ivins – “The Fun’s in the Fight column for Mother Jones – May/June 1993

    Amen, Molly. You will long be remembered.

  10. Molly would never give any politician her unqualified approval, nor would she have remained silent about all the things that went on last year.

    But whatever she would have said, she would have made us laugh.

  11. Betsy Moon stated that “We the People” decided the election. Obviously a typo. The statistical fact is “We the People from big cities” and “we the People displaying the lack of wisdom that only first time voters possess” elected this next American disaster. We’ve gone from incompetent (W) to dangerous.

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