Quotations by Ivins, Molly


I believe politics is the finest form of entertainment in the state of Texas: better than the zoo, better than the circus, rougher than football, and even more aesthetically satisfying than baseball. Becoming a fan of this arcane art form will yield a body endless joy — besides, they make you pay for it whether you pay attention or not.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Good morning, Fort Worth! Glad to be here,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1 Mar 1992)
Added on 26-Jan-12 | Last updated 26-Jan-12
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My fellow citizens, we live in a great nation. It’s occasional resemblance to a lunatic asylum is purely coincidental and doubtlessly not the intention of the author of us all.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Being an ‘Arthur'”, Mother Jones (Jan/Feb 1992)
Added on 8-Mar-12 | Last updated 8-Mar-12
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There is a batty degree of triumphalism loose in this country right now. We are brushing off world opinion as though it mattered not a whit what other people think of us.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Blast from the Past,” Creators Syndicate (19 Nov 2002)

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Added on 27-Sep-11 | Last updated 27-Sep-11
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I just finished with nine months of treatment for cancer. First they poison you, then they mutilate you, then they burn you. I’ve had more fun. And when it’s over, you’re so glad that you’re grateful to absolutely everyone. And I am. The trouble is, I’m not a better person. I was in great hopes that confronting my own mortality would make me deeper, more thoughtful. Many lovely people sent books on how to find a more spiritual meaning in life. My response was, “Oh, hell, I can’t go on a spiritual journey — I’m constipated.”

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Cancer, II” The Progressive (Oct 2000)

In a similar vein, Ivins wrote in "Who Needs Breasts, Anyway?", Time (18 Feb 2002): "Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that."
Added on 3-Oct-11 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
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The single most dangerous thing you can do in politics is shut off information from people who don’t agree with you. Surround yourself with sycophants, listen only to the yea-sayers … then stick a fork in it, you’re done.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Election Denial” (3 Apr. 2001)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Nov-20
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There are three things one must not do in the face of electoral disaster. Whine. Despair. Or fall for that specious old radical crap: “Things have to get worse before they can get better.” The only possible response to that one is, “Not with my child’s life.” Nor is it helpful to sit around hoping that given enough rope, the R’s will hang themselves. They’ll hang us along with them. The only thing to do is to fight harder and smarter.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Fight Harder,” The Progressive (Dec 2002)
Added on 17-Nov-11 | Last updated 17-Nov-11
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It’s hard to convince people you are bombing that you’re doing it for their own good.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Foolish Military Strategy,” The Progressive (Dec 2001)
Added on 10-Nov-11 | Last updated 10-Nov-11
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I am not anti-gun. I’m pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We’d turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don’t ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (9 Mar 1993)
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Added on 19-Jan-12 | Last updated 12-Nov-15
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I think government is a tool, like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build with or you can use a hammer to destroy with.  Whether government is good or bad depends on what you use it for and how well you use it. On the whole, it’s a poor idea to put people in charge of government don’t believe in using it.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Good morning, Fort Worth! Glad to be here,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1 Mar 1992)
Added on 12-Jan-12 | Last updated 12-Jan-12
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Sunday-morning chatter announced in horror: “People may think the rich can buy their way out of the justice system.” No shit. Been going to Texas prisons for a long time. Seen nobody rich on Death Row yet. You mean MONEY has something to do with justice in this country? … Wake me when impending egalitarianism is a problem. In the meantime, oligarchy is eating our ass, our dreams, our country, our heritage, our democracy, our justice, and our tax code.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Injustice and Inequality,” The Progressive (Apr 2001)
Added on 3-Nov-11 | Last updated 3-Nov-11
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It’s like, duh. Just when you thought there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you’re wrong.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Is ‘Republican Tax Break For the Rich’ Simply Redundant?” (2000)

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Added on 1-Mar-12 | Last updated 1-Mar-12
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Keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cat, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“The Fun’s in the Fight,” Mother Jones (May/Jun 1993)

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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Sep-11
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You got to have fun while you’re fightin’ for freedom, ’cause you don’t always win.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“The Fun’s in the Fight,” Mother Jones (May/Jun 1993)
Added on 12-Apr-12 | Last updated 12-Apr-12
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There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity – like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule — that’s what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel — it’s vulgar.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“The Mouth of Texas” People (9 December 1991)
Added on 22-Mar-12 | Last updated 22-Mar-12
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Government is just a tool, like a hammer. There’s nothing intrinsically good or evil about the hammer; it all depends on what it’s used for and the skill with which it is used.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Wiggy Republicans”, Mother Jones (Sep/Oct 1992)
Added on 30-Dec-11 | Last updated 30-Dec-11
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There’s a weird Republican schizophrenia: They want welfare mothers to work and working mothers to stay home.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
“Winning Women” (2 Aug. 2001)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
(Attributed)
Added on 9-Feb-12 | Last updated 9-Feb-12
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It’s all very well to run around saying regulation is bad, get the government off our backs, etc. Of course our lives are regulated. When you come to a stop sign, you stop; if you want to go fishing, you get a license; if you want to shoot ducks, you can shoot only three ducks. The alternative is dead bodies at the intersection, no fish, and no ducks. OK?

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
(Attributed)
Added on 23-Feb-12 | Last updated 23-Feb-12
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Experience has taught me that things are likely to get worse, so these will eventually turn out to be the Good Old Days, and think what a fool you’ll feel like later if you don’t enjoy them now.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
Bill of Wrongs (2007)
Added on 5-Jan-12 | Last updated 5-Jan-12
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I believe that ignornance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. I believe that the people is not dumb. Ignorant, bigoted, and mean-minded, maybe, but not stupid. I just think it helps, anything and everything, if the people know. Know what the hell is going on. What they do about it once they know is not my problem.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? “Pitfalls of Reporting in the Lone Star State” (1991)

Her journalistic credo. Full text. Originally printed in the Houston Journalism Review.
Added on 2-Feb-12 | Last updated 2-Feb-12
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There is not one thing wrong with the liberties set forth in the Declaration and the Constitution. The only problem is, the founding fathers left out poor people and black people and female people. It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? “We the People” (1991)
Added on 16-Feb-12 | Last updated 16-Feb-12
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Listen, a populist is someone who is for the people and against the powerful, and so a populist is generally the same as a liberal — except we tend to have more fun.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
The Progressive (Jan 2007)
Added on 22-Dec-11 | Last updated 22-Dec-11
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Things are not getting worse; things have always been this bad. Nothing is more consoling than the long perspective of history. It will perk you up no end to go back and read the works of progressives past. You will learn therein that things back then were also terrible, and what’s more, they were always getting worse. This is most inspiriting.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
The Progressive (Mar 1986)
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Added on 21-Dec-15 | Last updated 21-Dec-15
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I do not believe the President’s sex life is any of our business. After thirty years of political reporting, I have been unable to establish a link between marital fidelity and high performance in public office. It really doesn’t matter who they screw in private, as long as they don’t screw the public.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
The Progressive (Mar 1998)
Added on 8-Dec-11 | Last updated 8-Dec-11
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This is a column for everyone who ever said, “I’m sorry, I’m just not interested in politics,” or, “There’s nothing I can do about it,” or, “Hey, they’re all crooks anyway.” … I’ve got one word for all of you: Katrina. … This, friends, is why we need to pay attention to government policies, not political personalities, and to know whereon we vote. It is about our lives.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
The Progressive (Oct 2005)
Added on 15-Dec-11 | Last updated 3-Nov-20
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Our political system has been thoroughly corrupted, and by the usual suspect — money, what else? The corruption is open, obscene, and unmistakable. The way campaigns are financed is a system of legalized bribery. We have a government of special interests, by special interests, and for special interests. And that will not change until we change the way campaigns are financed.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You, Introduction (1998)
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Added on 27-Jan-21 | Last updated 27-Jan-21
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Yes, the bad-lawyer felony is the leading cause of the death penalty in Texas.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
Column, Creators Syndicate (10 Jun 1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Sep-11
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The problem with those who choose received Authority over fact and logic is how they choose which part of Authority to obey. The Bible famously contradicts itself at many points (I have never understood why any Christian would choose the Old Testament over the New), and the Koran can be read as a wonderfully compassionate and humanistic document. Which suggests that the problem of fundamentalism lies not with authority, but with ourselves.

Molly Ivins (1944-2007) American writer, political columnist [Mary Tyler Ivins]
Creators Syndicate column (27 Jun 2000)

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Added on 15-Mar-12 | Last updated 15-Mar-12
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