One of my heroes died today and my heart broke wide open. When I heard that Molly Ivins had lost her fight with breast cancer, I was in the car on the way to the grocery store, and I immediately started crying. The tears haven't stopped fully since, simmering below the surface, the lump in my throat making it hard to type even now.
I had the pleasure of seeing her once, when she did an appearance with Al Franken here in Seattle in September 2003. She was warm and funny, and mad as hell about what was happening in this country. And she was a fellow supporter of Howard Dean's presidential bid, which made me love her all the more.
She was one-of-a-kind, an amazing, inspirational writer, unabashedly, ruthlessly liberal, and she mercilessly gave the Republicans and the Bush administration in particular exactly the kind of hell they deserved. I'm pretty sure Shrub and Rove and that evil fuck Cheney are raising a glass tonight in thanks that she's gone.
I'm just so sad and angry. If you ever needed proof that life isn't remotely fair, just ponder that we lost Molly's bright light to fucking cancer while the waste of skin in the White House still walks blindly and pathetically among us, doing more damage to our country every day. How utterly ridiculous that she, of all people, will never get to celebrate the end of our long national nightmare when it finally, finally comes (719 days, by my count).
In her final column (god, how it hurts to type that), Molly implores us to get get the hell up and take some action to stop this horrific futile war... to refuse to allow Bush to send more of our men and women to die in his Iraq debacle:
"We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"
I've felt so defeated and helpless since November 2004, it's been hard to get my heart back into the process. Even taking back Congress, as much as it pleased me, didn't move me to action. I think back to 2003, how alive and hopeful I felt as Dean's campaign caught fire, as I imagined the possibilities and threw myself utterly and completely behind his candidacy... and I compare it the lukewarm emptiness I feel now when I look at the pool of Democratic candidates.
But in your memory Molly, I will try. I'll try to find some way to act, to make my voice heard as the chorus of NO MORE! grows. I'll try to find some way to re-ignite the spark and the hope. I'll keep my eyes open for the candidate with some Elvis in him, because as you oh-so-preciently predicted last time around, "You can't win without Elvis," and I'll throw my lot in and write and call and caucus and VOTE, speak truth to power, and do what I can to fix what's been so badly broken.
Good-bye, Molly Ivins, hellraiser extraordinaire. We miss you already.