The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

'Raise more hell'

Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins has left us.

Both richer, for all that she wrote about and fought for, and poorer, because her pen will write no more.

Molly Ivins, the razor-witted, language-bending political columnist from Texas who lampooned pols and their antics from her perch in Austin, lost her last bout with breast cancer yesterday.

PT has mentioned her from time to time and pointed readers toward some of her columns. She has been an inspiration to me for years.

Houston-born, from a rock-ribbed Republican family, like her mother and grandmother she became
Smith-educated. Molly got her journalism degree at Columbia. Her first gig was in Minneapolis, and then the Texas Observer. When she made her way to the NY Times, everyone knew their heavy editing would mean she would eventually move on.

And she did. She found her voice wisecracking the powerful to account and standing up for the common folk of Texas and the whole country, and back to Texas she went.

She was generous to a fault, donating her book royalties and shamelessly using her fame and connections to raise money for the Texas Observer, the muckraking journal that keeps a lamp of LBJ-style populism flickering in the land of DeLay.

Her style carried over into her fight against breast cancer, and can be seen in the piece she wrote for the website of Inflammatory Breast Cancer Survivors --
"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."
Here are a couple more quotes that give the flavor of her point of view --
"I don’t care who anyone in politics is screwing in private, as long as they’re not screwing the public."

"The first rule of holes: When you're in one, stop digging."

"Good thing we’ve still got politics—the finest form of free entertainment ever invented."
We will miss you, Molly I., and we will remember you by doing what you thought was best -- raising more hell.

Her last two columns --
"Iraq Exit is Up to Us" (January 8, 2007)
"The president of the United States does not have the sense God gave a duck -- so it's up to us. You and me, Bubba."
"Stand up against the Surge" (January 11, 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 help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'"
Obituaries --
The Texas Observer -- or go here if their server is too slow

Creators Syndicate Tribute -- Molly's column was syndicated in more than 400 papers

Houston Chronicle, New York Times and Washington Post

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.