The late, lamented Molly Ivins was an aficionado of Texas politics. And national politics when a Texan made it onto the big stage. I was recently reading “Letters to The Nation,” a collection of dispatches she wrote for The Nation magazine. From “Notes from Another Country,” her report on the 1992 Republican National Convention:
“The Republicans spent much of their time peddling fear and loathing, but it was more silly than scary, like watching people dressed in bad Halloween werewolf costumes.”
“In trying to determine just how far to the right the G.O.P.’s loony wing will go, it’s worth noting how Pat Robertson … says feminism ‘encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.’”
“The … source of the nastiness is cynical political professionals pushing divisiveness for political reasons, exploiting fear and bigotry because it works. Old dog. Still hunts.”
And some nostalgia:
“Listening to George Bush, near the end of his speech, read the poetry written by Ray Price with the gestures scripted by speech coach Roger Ailes … I’ve been listening to him since 1966 and must confess to a secret fondness for his verbal dyslexia. Hearing him has the charm and suspense of those old movie serials. Will this man ever fight his way out of this sentence alive? As he flops from one syntactical Waterloo to the next, ever in the verbless mode, in search of the long-lost predicate, or even a subject, you find yourself struggling with him, rooting for him. What is this man actually trying to say?”
If you did not stay up late election night, you probably haven’t seen this. The talking heads were preening in the spotlight, making light-hearted banter about the pundits, including themselves, and how wrong they were. Oh well. Then Foreign correspondent Richard Engel came on and spoiled their party.
Unfortunately, this clip doesn’t include their reaction to Engel’s downer.