Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Molly Ivins: RIP

Read this and tell me that we won't miss this sort of writing. From January 2006:
The corruption of Congress has reached such a noxious level, the country is simply falling down a hole. Tax cuts for the rich! Reckless spending on everyone but those who need it most! Not a grown-up in sight. There is no sense of responsibility. The Republicans' response is to elevate Mr. Blunt, a man who represents zero improvement. Talk about not getting it: Tom DeLay is losing in his own district, 36 percent to 49 percent for "any Democrat." Wouldn't you think Texas congressmen would sit up and take notice of something like that?

I think we can rely upon the Democrats to seize the moment and punt. Their best play, of course, is to take the reform issue and own it, to go long, for the whole reform package every goo-goo group in America has been agitating for years -- starting with public campaign financing for Congress. The package should include changes in House rules, lobby rules -- and even though it is done at the state level, proposals for nonpartisan redistricting.

I can almost hear the condescending cynics: "You don't really think you can get the money out of politics, do you?" I guarantee you can do it for several cycles -- and do you know what happens when it starts to creep back in again? You reform again! Perpetual reform, a truly great concept. No human institution is ever going to remain perfect; they have to be watched and adjusted like any other mechanism. Why use that as a defeatist excuse for doing nothing at all?

What matters here is not what the Republicans or the Democrats do -- it's what you do before November. Sit up, join up, stir it up, get online, get in touch, find out who's raising hell and join them. No use waiting on a bunch of wussy politicians.

Here's her obit in the Star-Telegram.

Here's something that resonated with me enough to make me link to it a year ago:
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.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people think the war in Iraq is a mistake and we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) favor raising the minimum wage. The majority (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) want to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) think we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) think big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools.

Whom are you afraid of?

[...]

You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to own the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.
More nice Ivins quotes on FDL.

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