my thanks to my friend KC in reno, for turning me on to the humor, intellect and gleeful combativeness in the writings of molly ivins. the texas columnist, unabashed liberal, and political commentor (i REFUSE to use the word "commentator", which denotes an ordinary spud) whose keen wit and people-savvy made many an elected official cringe. a few random examples from her first book:
~as for george bush of kennebunkport, maine -- personally i think he's further evidence that the great scriptwriter in the sky has an overdeveloped sense of irony.
~ one of my heroes is william brann, the great populist, who edited a paper called "the iconoclast" in waco before the turn of the century. brann, a fearless man, loathed three things above all others: cant, hypocrisy, and the baptists. "the trouble with our texas baptists," he once observed, "is that we do not hold them under water long enough."
~ normally texas political debate is conducted in highly flavored language, both on and off the chamber floors. of a loony person: "crazy as a peach-orchard boar." of a normally indolent colleague, suddenly invigorated: "who put tabasco sauce in his grits?" of a cautious man: "he wears a two-inch belt and big jim suspenders." of a homely man: "he's so ugly that when he was a little boy his mama had to tie a pork chop around his neck before the dog would play with him."
~ h. ross perot: seven bubbles off plumb.
~ an honest man in the texas legislature is one who stays bought ..... actually, the criterion for being considered an honest politician in texas is as follows: if you can't take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in texas politics.
~ bill clements' sayings generally combine ignorance with arrogance, two of his most salient traits, but the man's bluntness can be endearing. you will notice this in the unlikely event you should ever agree with him. he was once confronted by a fundamentalist at a republican convention, who demanded to know if clements had been born again. "no thanks," said clements, "once was enough." ..... but clements, although a miserable governor, makes a wonderful target. when told clements had been studying spanish, agriculture commissioner john hightower was moved to comment, "oh good. now he'll be bi-ignorant."
~ (borrowed from Savvy): the charm of ronald reagan is not just that he kept telling us screwy things -- it was that he believed them all. no wonder we trusted him -- he never lied to us.
~ i have been collecting euphemisms used on television to suggest that our only president (reagan) is so dumb that if you put his brains in a bee, it would fly backwards.
~ there's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.
~ one of my favorite moments was when the president (reagan) told us his purpose in all this was to bring an end to the terrible war between iraq and iran. he sent arms to bring peace. this is the famous putting-out-the-fire-with-kerosene ploy. remember the graffito from vietnam -- fighting for peace is like f---ing for chastity? ah, said the president with great lucidity, it's true we shipped weapons to iran, but they were defensive weapons. if the man had a brain, he'd play with it.
ah molly, you've left us, and who will take up your pen?