If you're a corrupt, asshole politician with a sensitive soul and/or relatives in the Bush family, you can rest easy, homes: Molly Ivins will skewer you no more. The legendary Texas columnist died today.
When I was first waking up to the political world, I was probably about 11 or 12. I used to read The New York Times at the kitchen table and Newsweek on long car trips, sometimes refusing to stop reading, even though I knew it would make me carsick. Although I remember following the 1988 presidential campaign to some extent, my political sensibilies came into being during the time of George H.W. Bush, a president I didn't particularly care for.
Which is probably why I liked reading Molly Ivins so much. I was introduced to her by my mom, who always made sure to point out Ivins' work to me whenever she came across it. We would read aloud passages that just absolutely gored Bush's ox in a way no other writer would, hooting and laughing and wondering why no one else understood things the way Ivins did.
In hindsight, it's obvious that Ivins was absolutely fearless when it came to speaking truth to power. Growing up you think all journalists are ready to cross swords with politicians, but it's not so, especially now.
I can't claim to be a devoted reader of Ivins'. I don't own a single book of hers, and I never made a concerted effort to seek her out. But every so often, I'd come across something she wrote, something so blistering and wonderful, sparks might as well have been coming off the page. I'd read it and think: Oh, yeah. I forgot how awesome she is.
It was my loss that I never made her a must-read. Now it's America's loss that her voice will be heard no more. I don't know about the rest of you, but I know what my plans for tonight are.