Molly Ivins, the feisty political humorist and Texas tough lady died today after a long battle with cancer. Ivins, who gave George W. Bush the unforgettable nickname Shrub, was 62. Ivins' specialty was speaking truth to power, never aiming her satire at the powerless.
"The touble with blaming powerless people is that although it's not nearly as scary as blaming the powerful, it does miss the point," she wrote in a 1997 column. "Poor people don't shut down factories ... Poor people didn't decide to use 'contract employees' because they cost less and don't get any benefits."
"Molly Ivins, the irreverent nationally syndicated columnist from Texas who rankled conservatives and delighted liberals, died late this afternoon after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. She was 62.
A self-described leftist agitator, she infused her writings with both passion and wit. Her career spanned some 40 years, and in that time she thought nothing of calling President George W. Bush "Billy Bob Forehead," and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry "Governor Goodhair." Her columns drew such attention that her picture once graced billboards in North Texas above the words, 'Molly Ivins Can't Really Say That, Can She?' (That later became the title of one of her best-selling books).
Ivins sided with underdogs. In an interview last year with the Houston Chronicle, Ivins said she made a career writing about "who was getting screwed and who was doing the screwing." She was a diehard liberal in a state that turned from Democrat to Republican in the span of a decade and she hardly ever let an opportunity pass to lament the change.
"Well, fellow Texans," she wrote in 2003, the year the GOP took both houses of the Texas Legislature, "they can stick a fork in us, 'cause we're done."
By the end of her life, Ivins' columns were being carried in more than 300 newspapers around the country. She wrote six books, four of which became best sellers. They included "Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush;" "Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America," which she wrote with Lou Dubose; and "Who Let the Dogs In? Incredible Political Animals I have Known."
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Despite her failing health, Ivins wrote a column as recently as January 11, 2007, Stand Up Against the Surge, protesting Bush's proposed troop escalation in Iraq.