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I stumbled upon this gem of an article written by the incomparable Molly Ivins.  This is her empassioned, enraged and just plain disgusted plea to those political hacks who say a Senator can't be elected to the highest office of the land.  And beneath her anger, I can almost taste the pity she has for numbers-crunching pundits.

Article in its entirety can be found here.  

Thanks to peacenik for catching this article and writing what follows it.


"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.

More below the fold.....

"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?"

It's not about being left or right. It's about doing what's best for the American people. It's about standing up and not being scared of Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh. Dean got it.  Russ gets it. If you don't get it you shouldn't be President. Run, Russ, Run!

And, if you feel the same way MeetUp with fellow supporters on Presidents Day Weekend in Los Angeles, NJ, Madison or anywhere else in the country.

Originally posted to coffeebeetle24 on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 09:58 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A terrific column (none)
    That was diaried here a couple days ago that made it to the Rec'd list.

    I'm not going to say you should remove this diary, because it's possible some people haven't seen it yet.

    •  Yes, don't delete it! (none)
      I missed this gem the first time around, got it on the second. Fantastic column. Straight talk, no bullshit. The triangulating cowards running things make me sick. They're playing an out-of-touch inside game that only succeeds in washing out what ought to be obvious, striking differences between the parties. If they want to be Republicans, let them switch parties and take their philosophy of 'electability' with them to their new home. May it do as much for their new party as it did for their old.
  •  wow! (4.00)
    simply wow!

    It's not about being left or right. It's about doing what's best for the American people.

    This should be on every billboard in america.
    It's time to stop looking upon neighbors with differing points of view as an enemy to be destroyed.

    We have no future because our present is too volatile. We only have risk management. The spinning of the given moments scenario. Pattern Recognition. ~W. Gibson

    by Silent Lurker on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 10:02:02 PM PST

  •  I'm in LA and I'm there (none)
    Thanks for an inspirational essay.
  •  You're all SO Right! (none)
    I read the article three times.  Chills.  You couldn't fine a more succinct article if you tried.

    "I'm not joking. And don't call me Shirley."

    by coffeebeetle24 on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 10:26:29 PM PST

  •  Saw it and loved it a few days ago. (none)
    For her mouth to the people's ears!

    Living life in an uproar.

    by MilwMom on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 10:32:35 PM PST

  •  sorry (none)

    As I see it, Reid and Pelosi and Clinton and such have it right by holding out another six months to a year. Until the Republican disintegration is far enough that they lose Congress.

    Molly Ivins, wonderful as she is, simply doesn't understand the political demographics and the polling math on a pro level.  

    I'm all for government in the common interest.  But there is no consensus support, or political will, for it Out There.  Yet.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 10:47:29 PM PST

    •  the "pro level?" (none)
      that's the major fubar right there.
      the Beltway Crowd relies on "pro" polling.
      and, the pros are about 6 months behind.
      there's PLENTY of stomach for it as Molly's semi-pro polling numbers suggest.
      Hillary and all are chickenshit. that's all. simple as that.
      Molly is right. and the time is right.
      if not now when??
      when we retake the House??
      i won't hold my hand on my ass waiting for that to happen.
      BushCo won't implode. "The Press" is complicit in ensuring BushCo stays fully inflated. so, all them "pro" polls don't mean jack. they're part of the problem. Molly is right.
      the time is now or 2008 won't matter.
      •  nice diatribe (none)

        But you and Molly are simply and brutally naive in your ideas about the polling numbers.   Let me put it this way- Independents go passive and go away once a fight starts looking partisan.  Until you can split some Republicans off, i.e. get their side's support under 38%, it's a partisan fight in which Republicans have the upper hand simply due to control of all the major federal offices and majorities.

        Clinton and Pelosi and the rest know this.  Until Republican support has dropped to the 32-35% range, picking a straight fight isn't a winning proposition.

        At the present rate of solid drop-off of ~1% per month on average, it's six months or so from now until that 32-35% level is reached.

        And that is why the wise wait.

        Renewal, not mere Reform.

        by killjoy on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 11:37:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Enjoy (none)
          the wait then.  BTW, nice numbers crunching.  I wonder how it feels to live inside of a calculator.

          "I'm not joking. And don't call me Shirley."

          by coffeebeetle24 on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 11:43:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wish it worked some other way too (none)

            but that's not the case.  You can't talk latent conservatism and benefit of the doubt out of people, it takes facts and events that are intelligible and involve their interests in their mode of political thinking.

            It's nice that you still have outrage to throw at things.  I pretty much used up mine in November and December 2000 and during the Lewinsky thing.  You do what you can with fire, I'll do what I can with ice.  And, to riff off Robert Frost, in due course the two together will suffice.

            Renewal, not mere Reform.

            by killjoy on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 01:09:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  but, see, that was (none)
          oh so three or four (or 10 or 20) Election Cycles ago.
          that may have applied then. or, some "pro" believed it applied.
          and, of course the Elected believe the pros, so...
          but, it's all bullshit.
          hell, it may have even applied in 2004! or, at least some pros believed it still applied.
          but, it don't. it's horseshit.
          yes, both sides have a solid base of 38% or so, leaving some 24% or so "Independents" of one political stripe or another.
          and, the Election boils down to those 24%.
          but, that's a Lot! a whole buncha voters!
          and, apparently there are a Whole Lotta Indys and Repubs polling on the "Lib" side of the polling questions Molly quotes!
          that's a Whole Bunch of that 24% just waiting to vote Dem.
          if given a reason.
          if one of the Elected will step up and sound off like they have a pair (as Molly suggests).
          that's what Hillary and all those Elected relying on all of that Conventional Wisdom "Pro" Polling crap don't seem to get.
          and, what J. Kerry didn't seem to get last time.
          see, all those Indys would have voted for him if he gave them a reason.
          but, he relied on the "Pros." and got his ass handed to him.
          all that Conventional Wisdom "Pro" Polling crap was then. and, then don't matter now.
          the "Pros" need to adjust their calculators to now.
          becuz their CW polling methods are SO Last Century.
          yes, we still need over half of the 24% that's out there!
          but, that 24% is everywhere! all over the political map. blue, red, green and in between.
          this ain't 2004 anymore. tell the "Pros" to adjust their calculators.
          and, tell Hillary to grow a pair or sit down and shut up. waiting six months for the climate to change is waiting 6 months too late.
          earth to the Pros: the climate has changed. long since changed.
          Molly is right. as usual.
          •  Evidently (none)

            you don't know much about midterm election turnout.  Have a look who does turn out.  It's not Indies.  It's the two partisan contingents.  Midterm elections are won or lost on the moderates of one side or the other not turning out.

            The pros being wrong does not make amateurs' theories any better.

            Like the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections, the 2006 elections are going to be more of the Red/Blue map.  This time the Blue will be getting more intense and expanding (again).  I like our chances, and it makes no difference to me whether Democrats win this election in February or in June or in October, as long as quality Democrats do win majorities.

            I wish this stuff were more interesting and imaginative and fun, too, but I'm not willing to delude myself about it.  Politics is about hatred, fear, and crimes, about the ugly and stupid and traumatized and woundedness as much as it is about hopes and ideals.

            Renewal, not mere Reform.

            by killjoy on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 01:24:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  There It Is Again...Or Isn't (none)
      With all due respect, listen to yourself.  You're giving Clinton props for political posturing and not for what she stands for.

      As for Reid and Pelosi, I'd be hesitant to put them in the same sentence with Spineless.

      "I'm not joking. And don't call me Shirley."

      by coffeebeetle24 on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 11:28:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  there would be (none) fact you could say there already is...note how many people Molly's article resonates with...

      I have been saying it for years and I can't be that "odd" about it and "they" will come...

  •  Senators (none)
    Senators can win nominations, no doubt about that.

    In the entire history of the United States of America, only two sitting Senators from any party have won campaigns for President, no doubt about that.

    What does this have to do with Molly's column, anyway?

    Political Hack

    •  Overlooking Feingold and Ilk (none)
      It has everything to do with Molly's column.  In case you haven't been paying attention, Clinton is the DLCs darling.  She's got an awful record IMHO and a recurring argument in favor of overlooking Dems like Feingold is that he isn't electable because he's a Senator.

      signed with pity:

      A Concerned Citizen

      "I'm not joking. And don't call me Shirley."

      by coffeebeetle24 on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 11:25:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Too bad some concerned citizen... (none)
        ... didn't make an enraged plea to Molly to wake the fuck up before she voted for Nader in 2000. Yeah, no big deal that W ended up in the White House, right, Molly? Response For Hurricane Evacuees

        by socal on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 11:34:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Feingold (none)
        I think Feingold's politics are great. I love the guy. I also think the fact that he is a Senator is only one small fraction of his problems.

        If Feingold has serious Presidential aspirations, he should follow the lead of Andrew Jackson. Jackson lost the 1824 Presidential contest when he was a sitting Senator. In 1825 he resigned his Senate seat because he wanted to improve his prospects of winning in 1828. He won in 1828.

        I'm not sure what my recipe has to do with the political landscape 180 years after Jackson's win. How much money could an ex-Senator raise, for example? I dunno, maybe the efforts of John Edwards will be an indication.

        •  Well Said (none)
          and point well taken.  But I think it's disingenuous to ignore what he stands for simply because of his Senate position.  If you believe strongly enough in a candidate's ability, then support that candidate.  

          "I'm not joking. And don't call me Shirley."

          by coffeebeetle24 on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 11:40:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If you REALLY want (none)
    ..change and an honest goverment you have to be willing to take chances and shake things up...that means not depending on or allowing poitics as usual in EITHER party.
  •  yeah!!!!!! (none)
    what molly ivens said...that goes DOUBLE for me!!!

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 05:01:03 AM PST

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