Monday, July 11, 2011

Ohhhh, how I miss Molly Ivins!!!!!

As I was reading the poutragers obsess over whether or not they're going to vote for President Obama in 2012, I remembered something Molly Ivins said when I went to see her in person back in 2003. Her words had a HUGE impact on me then and have stuck with me ever since.

During the primaries, vote with your heart. In the general election, go with your head.

Now that sounds like a damned pragmatist, doesn't it?

When there is a serious primary on the Democratic side - like the one we had in the 2008 presidential election - that's when its great to fight it out amongst ourselves as Democrats. Many times, that's our one opportunity to vote outside the confines of "the lesser of two evils." After hearing Molly that day, I went with my heart and worked my ass off for Howard Dean in the primaries. But even though I wasn't a big Kerry fan - it never occurred to me not to vote for him in the general election. In a two-party system like ours, you do what you need to do to make sure your team is in charge.

If some idiot Democrat decides to get in a primary race against Obama for 2012, I'd suggest to all the poutragers that they feel free to work for that candidate and vote for him/her in the primaries. But once that's over - buck up and get the job done. That's the reality in a two-party system.

While I was thinking about Molly's words of wisdom, I decided to check out what she said about President Clinton while he was in office. We all know that she's one of the most outstanding progressives of our time. How did she handle her disappointments in our Democratic President?

You all need to go read this column she wrote back in December 1999. She's clear she wasn't a big Clinton fan.

Anyone volunteering a kind word for Clinton nowadays has to issue the obligatory disclaimer. In my case, it's easy, since I barely agree with him 50 percent of the time.

He's not my kind of Democrat and never has been. But at least I have the sense to recognize the man's merits, whatever his failings.

She goes on to summarize some of his successes and shortcomings. And then she says this:

Given the amount of personal abuse the man has taken, his resilience is just extraordinary. Apparently, he really does get up every day and start over.

We've never seen him get mad in public as the president, and I have often wanted to congratulate his late mother on his manners. Would that Trent Lott's momma had done half that well. Given the circumstances of his presidency, Clinton deserves a medal just for being generally cheerful...

Whatever Clinton's mistakes, they don't seem to have stemmed from malice. I may be wrong, but I don't see much mean in him.

Whoever wins the election next year, I give him six weeks and one good screw-up before someone in Washington has the simple honesty to say, "You know, Clinton coulda handled that with his eyes shut.''

This isn't an homage to Bill Clinton. I'm with Molly on her critiques of him. But it does make me wonder how she'd be talking about President Obama if she were alive today. This is an example of what a progressive Democrat sounds like when they disagree with a President but have an ounce of sense about politics. And its why I miss Molly so much these days. I suspect she'd be rapping these poutragers on the knuckles and telling them a thing or two about how its done.

6 comments:

  1. A lot of people criticize those of us that defend the president. They call us cult worshipers or "Obots". What they don't understand is that many of us do see faults in Obama and don't always agree with him 100%. But when you take the man as a whole and consider all the good things he's done so far, we know he's the man for the job.

    "Given the amount of personal abuse the man has taken, his resilience is just extraordinary. Apparently, he really does get up every day and start over.
    We've never seen him get mad in public as the president, and I have often wanted to congratulate his late mother on his manners. Would that Trent Lott's momma had done half that well. Given the circumstances of his presidency, Clinton deserves a medal just for being generally cheerful..."

    This could absolutely also desribe Pres. Obama.

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  2. I can imagine that if Molly were alive today - she might be more critical of Obama than I am. I'd be perfectly fine with that. For me its not the criticisms, its how they are expressed.

    As an example, Molly critiques some of Clinton's policies. But then she says this:

    "Whatever Clinton's mistakes, they don't seem to have stemmed from malice. I may be wrong, but I don't see much mean in him."

    In other words, she can disagree with him without maligning his motives. That's in stark contrast to the way the poutragers talk about President Obama when they disagree with him.

    And yes, I thought the same thing about the part you quoted - it could very easily be about Obama. And can you imagine what the reaction would be if you wrote something like that about Obama on one of the portage blogs?

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  3. I was thinking the same thing the other day! I miss Molly Ivins and wonder what she would have to say about Rick Perry, the New Progressive Left (as opposed to the more pragmatic one) and countless other things. She was so honest and true.

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  4. Didn't Molly have a name for Rick Perry? Governor Goodhair, I think it was.

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  5. I suspect Goodhair's presidential bid is making some of us seek out Molly's articles. It's what led me here.

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  6. I think people like Milt Shook have picked where the great Molly Ivans left off when I read things like this. http://is.gd/LChgFt

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