Category Archives: Molly Ivins

What happened to the compassionate conservatives?

Repubs are douchnozzles

With the launch of the TeaBaggers after the 08 election of Obama, that compassion, however scarce, has left the building. Terrance Heath over at OurFuture.org, has a writeup entitled Compassionless Conservatism. In his writeup he quotes Molly Ivins from one of her 2003 columns, saying it’s just as timely today as it was 7 years ago when it comes to the R’s currently in the House and Senate, and I agree with him.From Mr. Heath’s writeup:

The difference between the “compassionate conservatism” of the Bush era and the compassionless conservatism ascendant in the GOP today is that there can be no claim of cluelessness or obtuseness. There is daily evidence that the people’s lives are being horribly affected by the GOP’s policies and political tactics — such as blocking the extension of unemployment benefits amid record unemployment and long-term unemployment. The rhetoric around this stomach-turning obstruction is a mixture of fickleness around “fiscal responsibility” and outright derision and hatred from the very people bearing the brunt of the economic crisis: the long-term unemployed who, after 99 weeks, face the exhaustion of their unemployment benefits. Today’s conservatives can’t claim not to know how their policies impact Americans’ lives. Rather than not knowing, today’s “uncompassionate conservatism” stems from not caring how their policies and political tactics impact people.

Lost in the debate of the president’s proposed “deal” with Republicans to “temporarily” extend the Bush tax cuts in exchange for a 13-month extension of the emergency extension of unemployment insurance benefits is one devastating reality. The proposed deal holds nothing for the 99ers, those Americans who have exhausted or are close to exhausting their unemployment benefits. In the proposed deal as it currently stands, the 99ers get nothing.

Any moderates that inhabited the republican party are now silenced by the extremists, or worse, were voted out of office this past November. For the R’s to steadfastly refuse to extend unemployment benefits to the 99ers during this recession/depression is unconscionable and down right fucking criminal in my eyes.

It’s also going to be harder on our economy since the current 99er’s (2 million citizens) are hanging by their fingernails, unable to spend money on the necessary things needed to stay alive: housing, food, clothing, etc.

Add to that number, the estimated four million more that will be in the same boat come 2011 and it makes the financial toll to our economy and our citizens even more heinous. Fucking assholes are really pushing the envelope not to mention they will be creating another 6 million poor folks.

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Molly Ivins-I will not support Hillary Clinton for President

From the grave Molly Ivins serves up a bitchslap of ol HRC. And damn if it isn’t a good one. A huge H/T to Fran, my co-conspirator at Sirens Chronicles for posting this on her blog for me to steal. 😉

Published on Friday, January 20, 2006 by the Columbus Free Press (Ohio)
I Will Not Support Hillary Clinton for President
by Molly Ivins

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.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. 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. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

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 from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, “Look, the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.” Bobby Kennedy — rough, tough Bobby Kennedy — didn’t do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy’s sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that 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) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush’s tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do “whatever it takes” to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

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 news 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.

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.

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I’m serious as a stroke about this — that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who’s ever studied this. Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years: embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff politics continue to run your town.

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I’ve said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were “German dogs.” They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless “string of bad news.”

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can’t get up and fight, we’ll find someone who can.

Molly Ivins is the former editor of the liberal monthly The Texas Observer. She is the bestselling author of several books including Who Let the Dogs In?

© 2006 Columbus Free Press