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Molly, get your pan

The Webster Retort
February 16, 2007

By Stephen Webster

Molly, get your pan

God, I miss Molly Ivins.

Yes, it was just last month when the most well-known “liberal” columnist this side of the Atlantic passed away. And yes, only two-thirds of you are stinging over this as much as I am. To steal the words of a greater man, we mourn for ourselves, because we will miss her so greatly.

The last paragraph of her last column, titled “Stand Up Against the Surge”, went a little like this …

“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 do hope she will forgive me, posthumously of course, for this sort of brazen plagiarism. It is typically not in the interest of any journalist to simply recycle quotes from other writers. But Molly’s archive is different.

Molly is worth plagiarizing.

That thought in mind, let us recall some of her recent work.

November 3, 2006:
“Stunning coincidence. The verdict in the long-running trial of Saddam Hussein in Iraq is now due two days before our congressional elections in November. Astounding. How ineffable.”

June 16, 2006:
“We’re lurching into the ludicrous. So we’re thinking, who else belongs on this distinguished roster? ‘Heckuva job Brownie’ Brown, of course. The guy in charge of implementing the Medicare drug plan. Rumsfeld! By golly, there’s a man who never made a mistake.”

December 1, 2006:
“There’s been so much in print about how Daddy 41’s people are back in the saddle that I was terrified when I saw a photo of Dan Quayle among the pack. If they’ve called back Dan Quayle to lend intellectual heft, we’re all dead ducks.”

January 27, 2006:
“That’s always been one of my least favorite excuses, ‘Everybody does it.’ You can’t find a mother who will let her five year old get away with that, but politicians often whip it out as though it held moral water.”

June 2, 2006:
“As we all know, things can always get worse, and often do. I rather think it’s going to be up to the Democrats to hold the metaphoric hands of this crippled administration until it limps off stage. The Republican National Committee has a new scare tactic for the faithful: You must give to the party, or else the Democrats will spend the next two years investigating the administration (horror of horrors).”

The boss men are telling me I cannot fill up the entire newspaper with words we do not have rights to, so I make the cut here. If it were up to me, all of Molly’s immortal columns from the early 70’s through the start of 2007 would be put together in one mighty anthology.

It would not topple “The Empire”, but if nothing else, it would be one hell of a read.

But, since I do not own an international publishing house (one o’ these days …), I merely offer a prompt in passing.

Molly’s last printed wish was that the majority of Americans – I.E. those of us who can see the foolishness of standing on the sidelines in a civil war – stand up, raise hell, bang on pots and pans and assert our constitutionally dictated position as this nation’s deciders.

On Monday, February 19 – President’s Day, of all days - The Dallas Peace Center and the non-hippie hipsters at DallasRally.com are going to throw an old-fashioned protest against the war.

It will be held at the spot where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, in DallasDealey Plaza, on the corner of Elm and Houston St. Festivities start at 4 p.m. And just in case you were wondering, there will be no pot-luck dinner afterward.

If you cannot make it, there are regular peace and justice events put on by these and other organizations in the Dallas area. Keep an eye on DallasRally.com, and look up your local chapters of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Peace Action or Military Families Families Speak Out. Always remember: you are not alone.

I, and Molly, expect to see you in the streets, banging pots and pans, raising hell to end this damn war. It is time to turn up the volume and get our boys out of ‘Dad.

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