Transcript: Journalist Molly Ivins on her book Bushwhacked | Nov 30, 2003

Molly Ivins and the Host appear in a studio. They sit in two chairs facing the studio audience. Metal bars jut out from the ground. The walls are decorated with silver and black curtains. Molly Ivins is in her late fifties with short blond hair. She wears a pair of light brown glasses, a brown shirt with a black long-sleeved undershirt, black pants, and black wedges. The Host is in his late fifties with short grey hair and a grey goatee. He wears brown glasses, a pink shirt with a colourful tie, a black leather jacket, and black pants, socks, and shoes.
[Audience applause]

The Host says LET... LET ME START YOU OFF
WITH AN EASY QUESTION.
WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON IN
YOUR COUNTRY?

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.'"
[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins says THE LAST TIME
YOU INTERVIEWED ME IT WAS THE
DAY AFTER THE MONICA LEWINSKY
STORY HAD BROKEN.
UHM, AND THE UNITED STATES HAD
COME TO A SCREAMING HALT.
PEOPLE WERE... COULD JUST SPEAK
OF NOTHING ELSE, NOTHING WAS
HAPPENING, TRAINS WERE STOPPED,
PLANES WERE STOPPED.
EVERYONE WAS OBSESSED WITH
MONICA AND HERE I AM IN CANADA
AND MICHAEL STARTS THE
INTERVIEW BY SAYING WELL, SO
HAVING ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR
PSYCHODRAMAS DOWN THERE, EH?

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues UHM, GOSH, JUST
THE USUAL AMOUNT OF FUN... AND
JOLLIFICATIONS, WHAT CAN WE
TELL YOU?
I DON'T KNOW, THERE WE WERE I
THINK IT WAS SEPTEMBER 11th,
THERE WAS A TERRIBLE EVENT, THE
ENTIRE WORLD WAS SYMPATHETIC.
EVERYBODY RUSHING TO OFFER
HELP.
THE FRENCH EVEN OFFERED MONEY.
UHM...

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues AND HERE WE ARE
A FEW YEARS LATER AND EVERYBODY
HATES US AND UHM, I DON'T KNOW.
UHM, I HAVE NEVER... THE TROUBLE
WITH AMERICAN LIBERALS, ONE
TROUBLE WITH AMERICAN LIBERALS
IS THAT WE TEND TO HEAR THE
SOUND OF JACKBOOTED FASCISM
AROUND EVERY CORNER.
UHM, BUT I AM KIND OF WORRIED
ABOUT THE STATE OF THE NATION.
MY BOY GEORGE W. UHM, IT SEEMS
TO ME IS NOT CONTRIBUTING TO
UH, WORLD BETTERMENT TO PUT IT
MILDLY.

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues THERE ARE TWO... AT LEAST IN
MY PERCEPTION, THERE ARE TWO
GEORGE W's.
THERE'S THE PRE-9-11 AND THE
POST 9-11 AND IN THE DAYS
FOLLOWING THAT AWFUL ASSAULT
AND THE MURDEROUS ATTACK HE
SEEMED TO RISE TO SOMETHING.
HE SEEMED TO BE ABLE TO BE VERY
PRESIDENTIAL IN COMING TO GRIPS
WITH IT.
NOW ARE THERE TWO W's HERE?
ARE THERE TWO GEORGE BUSH'S?

Molly Ivins continues NO, I DON'T
THINK SO.
UHM, I MEAN, I KEEP SEEIN' THE
SAME ONE I'VE KNOWN ALL THESE
YEARS.
I'VE KNOWN HIM SINCE HIGH
SCHOOL.
I NEVER KNEW HIM WELL BUT I'VE
KNOWN HIM FOR A LONG TIME.
UHM...
W... THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT
IT IN THE SPEECH HE MADE AFTER
SEPTEMBER 11, THE JOINT ADDRESS
TO CONGRESS WAS THE SPEECH OF
HIS LIFE AND I THINK AMERICANS
ALL SIGNED UP TO YOU KNOW,
SUPPORT THE ONLY PRESIDENT WE
GOT AND UHM, BY THE TIME HE
FINISHED DRAGGING US THROUGH
THAT WAR IN IRAQ I THINK WE
WERE BACK TO HAVING DOUBTS
ABOUT HIM AND YOU KNOW, IN SOME
WAYS I THINK IT MUST... I THINK
HOW TERRIBLY FRIGHTENED HE MUST
HAVE BEEN.
UH, TO HAVE HAD THAT HAPPEN ON
HIS WATCH.
UH, YOU KNOW IT'S NOT UHM...
FOREIGN POLICY WAS NOT HIS
FORTE.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues HE DIDN'T RUN
FOR THE PRESIDENT ON THE
GROUNDS THAT HE WOULD BE A
GREAT INTERNATIONAL LEADER.
UHM, AND YOU KNOW, WE HAD HOPES
HE WOULD BE VERY ADEQUATE.
UHM, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN AND I
DON'T KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER THIS
BUT DURING THE 2000 CAMPAIGN AN
AMERICAN JOURNALIST ASKED HIM
ONE OF THOSE GOTCHA QUESTIONS,
SO HE SAID, "YOU'RE RUNNING FOR
PRESIDENT, CAN YOU NAME THE
LEADERS OF THE FOLLOWING THREE
COUNTRIES?"
AND OF COURSE HE COULDN'T AND
EVERYBODY THOUGHT OH, THAT'S SO
MEAN.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues WHO WOULD NEED
TO KNOW THE NAMES OF THE
LEADERS OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES?

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues THE COUNTRIES
WERE NORTH KOREA, PAKISTAN AND
INDIA.
NOW IF THEY ASKED HIM THE HEAD
OF CANADA...

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues WHAT DO YOU THINK?
DO YOU THINK HE WOULD'VE BEEN
THERE WITH THE ANSWER?

Molly Ivins continues OH, NO, I THINK
WE ALL WOULD'VE KNOWN IT NEVER
WOULD'VE MATTERED.

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues YOU HAVE TO GIVE US A SENSE
OF... OF HOW TEXAN HE IS.
YOU DESCRIBE IN YOUR BOOK...
YOU DESCRIBE TEXAS AS
MISSISSIPPI WITH GOOD ROADS.

[Audience laughter]
The image changes to a green screen. A cover of a book appears on the screen. It reads, "Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose. Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America." The cover shows George W. Bush, a man in his fifties with short grey hair, holding a saw in a forest. He wears protective goggles, a plaid button down, a navy fleece, and yellow gloves.

The Host continues HOW TEXAN IS GEORGE W. AND
HOW ON THE OTHER SIDE UNTEXAN
IS HE?

Molly Ivins continues I THINK HE IS
CULTURALLY TEXAS IDENTIFIED TO
AN EXTRAORDINARY DEGREE.
UH, YOU MAY RECALL HIS DADDY IS
CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF SORT OF
EASTERN UPPER CLASS WASP.
UH, WHEREAS W. ODDLY ENOUGH WHO
WAS BORN IN CONNECTICUT AND
EDUCATED BACK EAST AT VERY
FLOSSY SCHOOLS IS REALLY TEXAS
IDENTIFIED TO A STRIKING DEGREE
AND TEXANS REALIZE THAT AND
THINK OF HIM AS A TEXAN.
WE ALWAYS HAD OUR DOUBTS ABOUT
POPPY BUSH BECAUSE REAL TEXANS
DO NOT USE THE WORD SUMMER AS A
VERB.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues BUT W REALLY IS
A TEXAN AND I THINK YOU SEE IN
TERMS OF THE PERSONALITY YOU
CAN SEE THREE DISTINCT STRANDS
OF VERY TEXAN UH, CULTURE SORT
OF WOVEN TOGETHER IN HIM.
ONE IS THE RELIGIOSITY.
TWO IS THE ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM
AND THREE IS THE MACHISMO.
UH, THE UHM, MALE SWAGGER AND
ALL THREE ARE TYPICALLY TEXAN
AND ALL THREE ACTUALLY STRIKE
VERY RESPONSIVE CORDS WITH A
LOT OF THE ELECTORATE AND I
THINK IT COMES IN PART OF
BUSH'S EXPERIENCE HE WENT TO
SCHOOL IN THE EAST TO BOTH PREP
SCHOOL AND COLLEGE AND HE
REALLY THOUGHT THAT UHM, A LOT
OF THE PEOPLE HE MET BACK EAST
WERE SNOBS AND HE IDENTIFIES
SNOBBISM AND INTELLECTUALS AS
THE SAME THING.
HE'S ACTUALLY SAID YOU KNOW,
THESE PEOPLE FROM THE EAST AND
COME DOWN HERE AND LAUGH AT MY
FRIENDS FROM MIDLAND, THEY
REALLY MAKE ME MAD.
AND YOU KNOW HE DOESN'T EXPRESS
HIMSELF VERY WELL BUT YOU COULD
SEE HE WAS... HE WAS DEEPLY
FELT.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.’"
[Audience laughter]

The Host continues ON THE RELIGIOSITY QUESTION,
HE'S QUOTED DAVID FRUM, DAVID
FRUM A CANADIAN ACTUALLY QUOTES
HIM IN THE BOOK SAYING THAT
WHEN HE'S IN THE OVAL OFFICE I
REALLY SHOULDN'T BE HERE.
I SHOULD BE ON A BARSTOOL IN
DALLAS AND IF IT WASN'T FOR GOD
THAT'S WHERE I'D BE.

Molly Ivins continues YEAH, HE SAID
THAT IN THE 2000 CAMPAIGN THAT
HE WENT TO A REHAB HOUSE FOR
ALCOHOLICS AND TOLD THEM DEEPLY
MOVED APPARENTLY, YOU KNOW,
OBVIOUSLY THAT UH, IF IT WERE
NOT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD I
WOULD BE ONE OF YOU.
UHM, AND YOU KNOW PEOPLE WHO
WORK WITH ALCOHOLICS UHM,
BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A LONG
PROCESS BY WHICH YOU GRADUALLY
RECOVER FROM THAT DISEASE AND
THAT INVOLVES WORK OVER TIME.
THE ALTERNATIVE METHOD WHICH IS
JUST GOD SPEAKS TO YOU AND
THERE YOU ARE UHM, APPARENTLY
LEAVES SOME UNSOLVED QUESTIONS
OF BAGGAGE UHM, THAT HE... I
MEAN, I DON'T DO ARMCHAIR
PSYCHOANALYSIS BECAUSE I AM
TOTALLY UH, UNQUALIFIED BUT
UHM...

The Host continues AND HAVE NO NEED OF IT, A
TOTALLY NORMAL PERSON.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues YEAH, WHEN IT
COMES TO FREUD IT'S NOT MY
THING BUT UHM, I THINK IT LEAVES
SOME UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS.

The Host continues TELL ME ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE
AND THE EXPERIENCE OF TEXAS
WHEN HE WAS IN THE STATE HOUSE
IN AUSTIN BECAUSE I GET FROM
YOUR BOOK AND YOUR COLUMNS THAT
THERE'S BEEN A KIND OF
TRANSMIGRATION OF TEXAS ONTO
THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA AND BY EXTENSION THE
REST OF THE WORLD...

Molly Ivins continues WE ALL ARE IN
SO MUCH TROUBLE.
UHM, THERE'S A COUNTRY WESTERN
SONG, "LOVE ON EVERYTHING" AND
I'M STARTING TO THINK THIS IS
TEXAS ON EVERYTHING.
I MEAN, HE IS TURNING THE
ENTIRE COUNTRY, THE REST OF THE
COUNTRY INTO TEXAS.
I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY DON'T
SECEDE.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues WHEN W. BECAME
GOVERNOR OF TEXAS HE INHERITED
A VERY TIDY SURPLUS FROM HIS
PREDECESSOR WHO ALSO HELPFULLY
SOLVED A NUMBER OF LONG
STANDING PROBLEMS IN THIS STATE
AND WE HAD RESOLVED THE SCHOOL
FUNDING CRISIS AND THE PRISON
CRISIS AND THE CONSTRUCTION
CRISIS AND LOTS OF OTHER
ANNOYING THINGS AND HE SAILED
IN AND UHM, SORT OF TOOK CREDIT
FOR ALL OF THAT.
UHM, BUT YOU KNOW THERE'S AN OLD
SAYING IN POLITICS, IT'S BETTER
TO BE LUCKY THAN SMART, UHM, AND
BUSH HAS BEEN LUCKY HIS ENTIRE
LIFE.
SO HE CAME IN, HE TOOK OVER AN
ECONOMY AND A BALANCED BUDGET
IN SURPLUS AND PROMPTLY GAVE A
HUGE TAX CUT TO THE PROPERTY
OWNERS AND THEN HE GAVE ANOTHER
HUGE TAX CUT TO THE PROPERTY
OWNERS AND THEN HE SORT OF LEFT
FOR WASHINGTON.
UH, UNFORTUNATELY, HE LEFT NO
MONEY IN THE RAINY DAY FUND
WHICH IS YOU KNOW, A SORT OF
SAVINGS ACCOUNT YOU'RE SUPPOSED
TO BUILD UP FOR BAD TIMES AND
WE HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN IT
AND UH, THE ECONOMY TURNED SOUR
AND THE STATE RAN A 10 BILLION
DEFICIT.

The Host continues 10 BILLION?

Molly Ivins continues YES, THIS YEAR
WHICH MEANT THAT WE HAD TO
SINCE THE STATE HAS BEEN NOW
COMPLETELY TAKEN OVER BY
REPUBLICANS UHM, WHO DO NOT
RAISE TAXES WE HAD TO SLASH 10
BILLION OUT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
IN A STATE WHERE THE LEVEL OF
SOCIAL SERVICES THANK GOD FOR
MISSISSIPPI.

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues THERE ARE AROUND THE
PRESIDENT AND INDEED THE VICE-
PRESIDENT UH, A NUMBER OF
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VARIOUSLY
DESCRIBED AS FRIENDS, PALS AND
CRONIES, CAN YOU TALK
ABSOLUTELY IT ABOUT THIS
NETWORK OF SHADOWY PEOPLE AND
SOME NOT SO SHADOWY THAT ARE
AROUND HIM AND THE INFLUENCE
THEY HAVE ON HIM.
CARL ROVE FOR EXAMPLE.

Molly Ivins continues I THOUGHT YOU
WERE TALKING ABOUT DICK CHENEY.
UHM...

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues CARL ROVE IS A
CAMPAIGN CONSULTANT.
I'VE WATCHED HIM OPERATE IN
TEXAS FOR 30 YEARS.
HE'S REALLY, REALLY GOOD.
HE HAS NO SCRUPLES AT ALL.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.'"

Molly Ivins continues
UHM, AND HE JUST IS... HE IS A
REALLY TOUGH PLAYER AND HE IS
PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF RUNNING
CAMPAIGNS, I'VE SEEN HIM DO IT
UH, THAT ARE NASTY, VICIOUS AND
RACIST.
UHM, AND NO PROBLEM.

The Host continues AND HE HAS THE EAR OF THE
PRESIDENT?

Molly Ivins continues YEAH, THEY CALL
HIM BUSH'S BRAIN AND THAT'S A
LITTLE TOO PATRONIZING.
I MEAN, SOMETIMES IT'S HARD TO
TELL WHERE ONE BEGINS AND THE
OTHER LEAVES OFF POLITICALLY.
UHM, THE FACT IS THAT THEY'RE
BOTH VERY GOOD AT POLITICS.
BUSH IS INTERESTED IN POLITICS
AND HE'S VERY GOOD AT THE
POLITICAL SIDE OF POLITICS.
HE HAS NO INTEREST IN
GOVERNMENTS.
POLICY BORES THE LIVING SHIT
OUT OF HIM.
UHM...

The Host continues IT'S A DEFICIT, ACIDIC
PRESIDENT, ISN'T IT?

Molly Ivins continues YES.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues AND SO YOU'RE
THINKING WHY WOULD HE RUN GIVEN
THAT IT BORES HIM AND UHM, HE'S

- YOU KNOW JUST A TRIAL TO
HIM.
HAPPILY.
HIS POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY BASED
ON JESUS OF COURSE UHM, IS THAT
UHM, THERE SHOULD BE LESS
GOVERNMENT ANYWAY.
IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THE
GOVERNMENT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING.
THAT'S ALL TO THE GOOD.
IN TEXAS THE BELIEF IS THAT THE
PRIMARY DUTY OF GOVERNMENT IS
TO CREATE THE HEALTHY BUDINESS
CLIMATE AND ONCE YOU HAVE THE
HEALTHIEST, BIDNESS CLIMATE...

The Host continues BUD-INESS?

Molly Ivins continues BID-NESS, IT'S
SPELLED WITH A 'D' IN THE
MIDDLE, BIDNESS.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues ONCE YOU, IT'S
SPELLED WITH A 'D' IN THE
MIDDLE, BIDNESS.

Molly Ivins continues ONCE YOU HAVE
THE HEALTHY BUDINESS CLIMATE
EVERYTHING WILL TAKE CARE OF
ITSELF.
YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT
ANYTHING ELSE.

The Host continues IN YOUR BOOK AND IN YOUR
COLUMNS YOU'VE WRITTEN
EXTENSIVELY ABOUT THIS
EXTRAORDINARY NETWORK OF...
WELL, THE ONLY THING I CAN CALL
IT IS BIG MONEY, OIL MONEY OR
OIL MONEY HOWEVER YOU SAY THAT
UHM, AND HE SEEMS TO BE IF NOT
IN THE MIDDLE OF IT CERTAINLY
UH, A PLAYER, A BENEFICIARY,
GOING BACK TO MIDLAND TEXAS AND
ALL OF THAT.
CAN YOU SITUATE HIM IN THE KIND
OF TEXAS FISCAL PICTURE,
FINANCIAL PICTURE.

The image changes to a green screen. It shows the cover of "Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America."

Molly Ivins continues UHM, YES...

She stammers.

Molly Ivins continues THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY
IN THE BUSH FAMILY.
UH, BOTH SIDES OF IT.
BARBARA'S SIDE PERHAPS IS EVEN
RICHER THAN THE BUSH'S.
UHM, BUT IT IS UHM, A TRADITION
IN THAT FAMILY THAT ONE YOUNG
MAN GO OUT SOMEWHERE AND START
OVER AND SO BIG GEORGE, POPPY
GEORGE WENT TO TEXAS WHICH I
THINK THEY THOUGHT WAS QUITE
EXTRAORDINARY OF HIM.
THEY WEREN'T SURE THAT THE
INDIANS HAD BEEN FULLY PACIFIED
UHM, AND ACTUALLY MADE A MINT OF
MONEY IN THE OIL PATCH.
UHM, AND THEN HIS SON WHO
CLEARLY WAS YOU KNOW, A LITTLE
CONFUSED AND UH, NOT QUITE SURE
WHAT HE WANTED TO DO WITH HIS
LIFE, DECIDED THAT HE GO INTO
THE OIL BUSINESS, TOO AND UHM,
HE HAD AN OIL COMPANY WHICH HE
TOOK INTO BANKRUPTCY AND SO HIS
DADDY'S FRIENDS CAME AND
RESCUED HIM AND SO HE GOT
ANOTHER OIL COMPANY, HE TOOK
THAT INTO BANKRUPTCY AND HIS
DADDY'S FRIENDS CAME AND
RESCUED HIM AGAIN AND HE GOT
ANOTHER OIL COMPANY AND HE TOOK
THAT INTO BANKRUPTCY AND HIS
DADDY'S FRIENDS... AND SO
FORTH.
UHM, AND THIS... THE INTERESTING
THING ABOUT W. UHM, IS JIM
HIGHTOWER'S LINE "BORN ON THIRD
AND THINKS HE HIT A TRIPLE."

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues UHM...

[Audience laughter]
[Audience applause]

Molly Ivins continues NEVER BEEN
CLEAR TO GEORGE WHY ANYBODY
COULDN'T GO OUT THERE AND FAIL
IN THE OIL BUSINESS THREE TIMES
AND THEN BUY A BASEBALL TEAM.
UHM, AND I THINK ONE OF HIS
PROBLEMS IS THAT HE'S RESISTED
ALL HIS LIFE RECOGNIZING THE
EXTENT TO WHICH HE WAS BORN UH,
NOT WITH A SILVER SPOON BUT
WITH A FULL SET OF 12 DINNER...
12 PERSON SET OF CUTLERY.
UHM, AND BECAUSE HE DOESN'T LIKE
TO ADMIT THAT, OBVIOUSLY IT'S
BEEN A CONFLICT ALL HIS LIFE
RELYING ON HIS DADDY'S NAME.
I MEAN, HE GOT INTO PREP SCHOOL
ON HIS DADDY'S NAME, HE GOT
INTO COLLEGE ON HIS DADDY'S
NAME.
I DON'T KNOW WHY HARVARD LET
HIM IN, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
LAW SCHOOL TURNED HIM DOWN.
UHM, HE GOT INTO THE AIR
NATIONAL GUARD ON HIS DADDY'S
NAME AND I WOULD LIKE TO DEFEND
THAT PARTICULAR UNIT OF THE AIR
NATIONAL GUARD KNOWN AS THE
CHAMPAGNE UNIT.
UHM, IT IS TRUE THAT IT WAS FULL
OF THE SIGNS OF WEALTHY TEXAS
FAMILIES INCLUDING GOVERNOR
CONNOLLY'S SON AND SENATOR
BENSON'S SON AND THEN
CONGRESSMAN BUSH'S SON BUT
THERE WERE BLACK MEMBERS OF
THAT UNIT.
THEY ALL HAPPENED TO PLAY
FOOTBALL FOR THE DALLAS
COWBOYS.
[Audience laughter]

The Host continues WHEN WE SEE HIS LEGISLATIVE
PROPOSALS GO UP TO CONGRESS
INCLUDING DRILLING IN THE
NATURAL WILDLIFE RESERVE IN THE
ARCTIC AND ALASKA AND SO ON,
THE IRRESISTIBLE INSTANCE IS
THAT HE'S DOING THIS IF NOT ON
BEHALF OF BUT CERTAINLY IN AID
OF BIG OIL, BIG MONEY.
NOW THAT'S A CHEAP SHOT YOU CAN
TAKE AGAINST ANY PRESIDENT BUT
IS THERE... IS THERE TRUTH IN
THAT?

Molly Ivins continues NO, WITH BUSH
THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT
NOBODY... HE DOESN'T... YOU
DON'T HAVE TO BRIBE HIM.
YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO PERSUADE
HIM.
HE REALLY BELIEVES ALL THAT
STUFF.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.'"

The Host continues HE'S A TRUE BELIEVER.

Molly Ivins continues YEAH, AND YOU'D
DON'T... I MEAN, IT'S
WONDERFUL.
ALL THESE BIG CAMPAIGN
CONTRIBUTORS, YOU KNOW, UHM,
WOULD LIKE HIM TO DO SOMETHING
THE WE DO NATURALLY ANYWAY.
HE'S THE KIND OF IDEOLOGICAL...
ACTUALLY I HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO
YOU, WEST TEXAS IS FULL OF
ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND
HE'S A WEST TEXAN IN AN ODD
WAY.
MIDLAND IS... WHAT CAN I TELL
YOU ABOUT MIDLAND?
OH, I KNOW, UHM, I WAS AT AN
ACLU BOARD MEETING, THAT'S
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION,
NOT A POWERFUL ORGANIZATION IN
MY STATE.
UHM, NOT LONG AGO AND THE
REPRESENTATIVES, THE MEMBERS OF
THE BOARD FROM HOUSTON AND
DALLAS HAD BOTH DESCRIBED SOME
REALLY DREADFUL INSTANCES OF
GAY BASHING SO THAT EVENING I
WAS SEATED NEXT TO THE BOARD
MEMBER FROM MIDLAND AND I SAID
WELL, HAVE YOU BEEN HAVING ANY
TROUBLE WITH THE GAY BASHING IN
MIDLAND AND SHE LOOKED AT ME
AND SAID OH, HELL, HONEY, THERE
IS NOT A GAY IN MIDLAND WHO
WOULD COME OUT OF THE CLOSET
FOR FEAR OF PEOPLE WOULD THINK
THEY'RE A DEMOCRAT.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues THEY'RE
CONSERVATIVE OUT THERE.
AND W. ACTUALLY THOUGHT THAT
JIMMY CARTER WAS LEADING THE
UNITED STATES TO WHAT HE CALLED
EUROPEAN STYLE SOCIALISM.
NOW IF YOU REMEMBER THE VERY
BAPTIST MINISTER CARTER, THE
UNLIKELIHOOD OF THAT BEING TRUE
YOU HAD TO LIVE IN MIDLAND AND
SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH THE
PETROLEUM CLUB TO BELIEVE THAT.

The Host continues THE CONTRAST BETWEEN GEORGE
W. AND GEORGE HERBERT WALKER
BUSH, FATHER AND SON.
UHM, AT ONE POINT I READ THAT
THEY DIDN'T GET ALONG EARLY ON
BUT THEY HAVE RESOLVED THEIR
DIFFERENCES.
IS HE HIS FATHER'S SON?
IS HE LIKE...

Molly Ivins continues I THINK HE
SPENT MOST OF HIS LIFE DEALING
WITH THE FACT THAT HE'S HIS
FATHER'S SON.
UHM, AND PAPA BUSH WAS
APPARENTLY A FIGURE OF GREAT
AWE TO ALL OF THEM.
I MEAN, HE MAY SEEM A LITTLE
LIGHT AND DAFFY UH, TO MANY BUT
HE WAS A MAN OF MANY REAL
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND YOU COULD
SEE BUSH'S ATTEMPTS TO EMULATE
HIS FATHER AND EVERYTHING FROM
TRYING TO PLAY BASEBALL TO UH,
GOING INTO POLITICS UHM...
POPPY HAS MORE THE YOU KNOW,
UPPER CLASS GRACE OF NEVER
HAVING QUESTIONED HIMSELF ABOUT
ANYTHING WITH BUSH YOU SEE THAT
REALLY INTENSE, COMPETITIVE,
YOU KNOW HE'S GOING TO BEAT YOU
TO PROVE THAT... THAT HE'S
GOOD.
I THINK THEY DO IN FACT GET
ALONG.
THEY MERELY WENT THROUGH ONE OF
THOSE SORT OF PASSAGES WHERE
YOU KNOW, THE LATE ADOLESCENT
MALE TAKES ON DADDY.

The Host continues WHAT EVERYONE SAYS ABOUT
PRESIDENT BUSH THE FIRST HE WAS
THE HEAD OF THE CIA, HE WAS AN
EMISSARY TO CHINA, HE WAS
AMBASSADOR... HE KNEW THE
WORLD.
UHM, A TRAIT THAT DOES NOT SEEM
TO BE PASSED ON TO HIS SON.

Molly Ivins continues EXACTLY.
WHAT I'M TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO
YOU IS THAT THERE IS AN
EXTRAORDINARY DEGREE OF
PROVINCIALISM IN TEXAS.
IN PARTICULARLY IN WEST TEXAS.
UHM, I THINK THAT PROVINCIALISM
IS UNIVERSAL CHARACTERISTIC.
WE'RE ALL PROVINCIALS TO SOME
EXTENT BUT IT IS QUITE STRIKING
IN TEXAS AND BUSH IS A VERY
GOOD EXAMPLE OF IT.

The Host continues IN THE SAME BREATH PEOPLE
TALK ABOUT THE TEXANIZATION OF
THE U.S.
WE TALK ABOUT THE
AMERICANIZATION OF THE WORLD,
THIS IDEA OF EMPIRE.
DOES PRESIDENT BUSH HAVE IN
SOME RECESSES OF HIS MIND THE
IDEA OF EMPIRE, HEGEMONY,
AMERICAN?

Molly Ivins continues I VERY
SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT.
UHM...

The Host continues THEN IF WE ACCUSE HIM OF
THAT, IF WE SAY THAT AMERICA IS
TRYING TO EXTEND ITSELF IN... I
WON'T USE THE WORD
IMPERIALISTIC BUT EXTEND ITSELF
IN THE WORLD WE'D BE WRONG THEN
WOULD WE?
IF WE DESCRIBE THAT AS A MOTIVE
TO THE PRESIDENT.

Molly Ivins continues UH, TO THE
PRESIDENT SPECIFICALLY YES, YOU
WOULD BE WRONG.
ON THE OTHER HAND HE IS
SURROUNDED BY UH, ADVISORS AND
PEOPLE EXTREMELY CLOSE TO HIM
WITH THE GREAT ACCESS TO HIM
WHO I THINK DO BELIEVE THAT.
THE WHOLE NEOCONS INTELLECTUAL
CROWD AT THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENCE AND THEN I THINK THAT
CHANEY, RUMSFELD ACTS AS...
THAT WAS THE SORT OF YOU KNOW,
WORLD DOMINATION THEORY WAS
ACTUALLY PUT FORTH BY PRETTY
MUCH THE SAME PLAYERS DURING
POPPY BUSH'S ADMINISTRATION AND
WAS CONSIDERED SO LUNATICALLY
EXTREME THAT NOBODY EVER GAVE
IT A SERIOUS HEARING.
AGAIN IN 1997 MANY OF THESE
SAME PLAYERS CALLED NEOCONS,
DEFENCE INTELLECTUALS, UH,
ISSUED A SORT OF GENERAL
STATEMENT ABOUT THE WORLD UHM,
WHICH BASICALLY WHAT BUSH WOUND
UP TALKING ABOUT SOMEWHERE A
YEAR AGO UHM, PRE-EMPTIVE WAR.
UHM, MILITARY HEGEMONY, AND I
THINK MUCH OF IT, AGAIN THIS IS
A VERY DICEY THING TO DISCUSS
UHM, BUT I THINK IT NEEDS TO BE
ADDRESSED UHM, QUITE A FEW OF
THE NEOCON DEFENCE
INTELLECTUALS ARE JEWISH AND IN
FACT, SEVERAL OF THEM HAVE BEEN

- HAVE WORKED AS PAID ADVISORS
TO THE LECUD PARTY OF ISRAEL.
UHM, NOW WHEN YOU MENTION THIS
IMMEDIATELY YOU KNOW, YOU SORT
OF GET INTO OH, PLEASE, NOT
ANOTHER JEWISH CONSPIRACY
THEORY.
IT IS NOT THE PROTOCOLS OF THE
ELDERS OF ZION TO POINT OUT
THAT FOR MANY OF THESE AMERICAN
JEWS THE DESPERATE CONCERN FOR
ISRAEL IS CLEARLY AN INFLUENCE
IN THEIR THINKING ON FOREIGN
POLICY.

The Host continues BUT THERE HAS NOT BEEN A
QUESTION, HAS THERE IN THE
COUNCILS OF WASHINGTON THAT
AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL IS
SHRINKING OR WOULD DISSIPATE.
A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.'"

Molly Ivins continues OH, I THINK
THAT UHM, I THINK THAT YOU KNOW,
PART OF THE UNSPOKEN SUBTEXT OF
THIS FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE IS
YOU KNOW, THE ABSOLUTE LOCK
STEP COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL NO
MATTER WHAT AND OF COURSE
ANYONE LIKE UHM, ONE OF THE
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES UH,
GOVERNOR DEAN, UH, WHO SUGGESTS
THAT WE MIGHT BE BETTER OFF
WITH A MORE EVEN HANDED POLICY
IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS OF COURSE
IMMEDIATELY SUBJECTED TO
CHARGES OF ANTI-SEMITISM.
VERY DICEY THING.

The Host continues AFTER 9-11 AND THE INFAMOUS
AXIS OF EVIL, AGAIN WRITTEN BY
A CANADIAN DAVID FRUM...

Molly Ivins continues YOUR
CONTRIBUTIONS ARE...

The Host continues I KNOW, I KNOW.

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues THE PRESIDENT SET FORTH A
NUMBER OF REASONS FOR WAR
AGAINST IRAQ.
THE WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION, THE FACT THAT HE
WAS A DESPOT, THE FACT THAT HE
PRESENTED A CLEAR AND PRESENT
DANGER TO THE SECURITY OF THE
UNITED STATES.
THE FACT THAT IRAQ WAS A
HOMELAND FOR AL-QAEDA AND
PERHAPS THERE WAS A CONNECTION,
IN FACT, INFERENTIALLY HE SAID
THERE WAS A CONNECTION BETWEEN
IRAQ AND 9-11.
UH, NONE OF WHICH HAS COME TO
BE TRUE.

Molly Ivins continues UHM, THE ONE
REASON FOR TAKING OUT SADDAM
HUSSEIN THAT THEY SPECIFICALLY
DISAVOWED, THEY SAID THIS
REASON IS NOT SUFFICIENT.
THERE IS SO MANY OTHERS, UH, IS
THE ONLY ONE THEY'RE LEFT WITH
WHICH IS THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN
WAS A MISERABLE S.O.B.

The Host continues RIGHT.
NOW IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO
THE WAR AND IN DAYS AND WEEKS
FOLLOWING THE WAR ALTHOUGH
ARGUABLY IT'S STILL GOING ON.
THE PRESIDENT'S APPROVAL
RATINGS WERE ATMOSPHERIC.
THEY WERE EXTREMELY HIGH.
CONFRONTED WITH THESE NEW,
WELL, THE DISCLOSURES THAT THE
WEAPONS AND THE BOMBS AREN'T
THERE, AL-QAEDA'S NOT THERE,
ALTHOUGH THEY SEEM TO BE
POURING IN SINCE THE END OF THE
WAR, WHY IS HE SO POPULAR, WHY
DOES HE RETAIN THE POPULARITY
HE HAS?

Molly Ivins continues WELL, HIS
NUMBERS ARE GOIN' DOWN.
UHM, YOU KNOW HE'S BELOW 50 PERCENT AND
UHM, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE
DESPERATELY WORRIED INCLUDING
AT THE WHITE HOUSE UHM... AND I
THINK THE NUMBERS WERE HIGH FOR
SO LONG BECAUSE WE WANTED TO
BELIEVE UH, AND BECAUSE WE
ALWAYS RALLY BEHIND THE
PRESIDENT IN TIMES OF NATIONAL
EMERGENCY, 9-11 WAS CERTAINLY A
SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM.
UH, THEN WE HAD A WAR IN
AFGHANISTAN, THEN WE HAD A WAR
IN IRAQ.
THERE WAS AN EXTENT TO WHICH WE
WERE DRAGGED KICKING AND
SCREAMING INTO THAT WAR.
I MEAN, IT TOOK THEM A GOOD SIX
MONTHS UH, TO SELL THAT WAR TO
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
YOU REMEMBER THE IMMORTAL WORDS
OF ANDREW CARD WHICH IS CHIEF
OF STAFF WHO SAID ONE ASKED WHY
THEY WAITED TILL SEPTEMBER TO
SAY WE WERE GONNA... WE WERE
GONNA HAVE A WAR WITH THESE
PEOPLE.
THEY HAD ACTUALLY MADE UP THEIR
MINDS MONTHS EARLIER.
UH, HE SAID "OH, WELL, IN
MARKETING TERMS YOU NEVER BRING
OUT A NEW PRODUCT IN AUGUST."

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues AND THAT'S WHAT
THEY DID.
THEY MARKETED THAT WAR AND THEY
MARKETED THE SHIFTING RATIONALE
OF WHERE THE WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION PROBABLY AL-
QAEDA... THAT WHOLE YOU KNOW,
THE
NUCLEAR PROBLEM, ONLY SCARY
THINGS.
UHM, AND EVEN SO IT WAS QUITE A
STRUGGLE TO GET THE COUNTRY
CHINNED UP ENOUGH TO GO AND
THEN OF COURSE THIS OFTEN
HAPPENS, ONCE THE TROOPS WERE
OVER THERE WE ALL SWUNG AROUND
TO UH, SUPPORT THEM AND FOR A
WHILE THERE IT LOOKED LIKE UH,
I AM IN THE UNHAPPY POSITION OF
BEING ABLE TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO
WHICH IS A TERRIBLE SOUR
SATISFACTION.
UHM, IT WAS A SHORT, EASY WAR
AND ALL THE PEOPLE SAID IT WAS
GONNA BE LONG AND HARD AND
DIFFICULT WERE WRONG.

The Host continues BUT EVEN THOUGH UHM, HIS
NUMBERS MAY BE FALLING IN A
POLL RECENTLY I READ SOMETHING
LIKE 56 PERCENT OF AMERICANS BELIEVE
THERE WAS A DIRECT LINK BETWEEN
SADDAM HUSSEIN AND 9-11.

Molly Ivins continues 70 PERCENT.

The Host continues 70 PERCENT.

Molly Ivins continues IT'S SUCH AND
INDICTMENT OF THE AMERICAN
MEDIA.
THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE
THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN HAD
ANYTHING TO DO WITH 9-11 AND
ODDLY ENOUGH THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION HAS NEVER SAID
THAT.
THEY HAVE INFERRED IT HOWEVER
ON SO MANY OCCASIONS AND SO
MANY COMMENTATORS IN OUR PUBLIC
LIFE HAVE SORT OF CARELESSLY
MADE THAT CONNECTION OVER AND
OVER AGAIN THAT PEOPLE ARE
PERSUADED THAT IT'S TRUE.

The Host continues "BUSHWHACKED" IS NOT
ENTIRELY ABOUT THE PRESIDENT.
IT'S ALSO INTERESTING THAT YOU
TALK ABOUT UH, THE CORPORATE
ECONOMY WHICH IS GOING SIDEWAYS
AT THE MOMENT IN THE U.S. AND
YOU TALK ABOUT TO AND ABOUT
VERY ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO CAN'T
MAKE THE RENT, THEY CAN'T GET
HEAT IN THEIR APARTMENTS IN
CHICAGO IN THE WINTER AND THAT
THEY'RE PURCHASING POWER, THEIR
SALARIES HAVE DIMINISHED, THERE
HAVE BEEN I THINK 700,000 JOBS
LOST.

Molly Ivins continues 2.7 MILLION.

The Host continues THAT'S WHAT I SAID 2.7
MILLION.

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues IS HE GOING TO... IS IT
POSSIBLE THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO
HIS FATHER COULD HAPPEN TO HIM?
VICTORIOUS IN WAR YET ON THE
DOMESTIC ECONOMY FRONT HE WENT
SOUTH.

Molly Ivins continues IT WOULD BE THE
GREATEST OF ALL IRONIES BECAUSE
FROM THE DAY THEY WALKED INTO
THE WHITE HOUSE BOTH W. AND
CARL ROVE HAVE BEEN DEDICATED
AND THEY'RE WELL SHREWD
POLITICALLY UH, TO NOT LETTING
HAPPEN TO THEM WHAT HAPPENED TO
POPPY BUSH AND THE LESSONS THEY
OVER LEARNED UH, WERE NEVER
BREAK A PROMISE LIKE NO NEW
TAXES.
UHM, AND THEY OVER LEARNED IN MY
OPINION UH, THAT YOU HAVE TO
KEEP THE BASE OF THE REPUBLICAN
PARTY WHICH IS SORT OF THE
CHRISTIAN, RIGHT, RED MEAT,
REPUBLICANS, YOU HAVE TO KEEP
THEM HAPPY.

The Host continues THAT'S THE CORE SUPPORT
GROUP?

Molly Ivins continues RIGHT AND UHM, I
THINK THEY'VE OVERDONE IT ON
BOTH OF THEM AND CONSEQUENTLY
ODDLY ENOUGH ARE IN DANGER OF
REPEATING POPPY'S MISTAKES
PRECISELY.

The Host continues THEN WHY ISN'T IT POSSIBLE
FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, A
FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATION
DURING THE 20th CENTURY TO COME
UP WITH AN OPPOSITION THAT
WOULD SPEAK TO THE CONCERNS
OF
THE PEOPLE YOU WRITE ABOUT IN
"BUSHWHACKED"?
THE PEOPLE WHO, 44 MILLION
AMERICANS WHO DON'T HAVE UH,
HEALTH CARE UH, THE FALLING
DOWN CRAPPY SCHOOLS AND ALL OF
THAT.
WHY CAN'T THE DEMOCRATS
COALESCE AROUND SOMEBODY WHO
COULD MAKE THOSE POINTS?

Molly Ivins continues CONSIDER THE
MAGNIFICENT LEADERSHIP
POTENTIAL OF TOM DASHAM.
WOULD YOU FOLLOW THAT MAN INTO
BATTLE OR WHAT?

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.’"
[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues UHM, I DON'T
KNOW WHY THE DEMOCRATS ARE SO
GUTLESS AND SPINELESS BUT IT'S
CERTAINLY WORTH POINTING OUT
THEY ARE.
AND EVERY NOW AND AGAIN YOU
KNOW, YOU SEE THEM SORT OF ONE
STEPS FORTH AND SAYS SOMETHING
AND LIGHTNING DOESN'T STRIKE
AND THE OTHERS KIND OF GO...
UHM, IT'S REALLY INTERESTING HOW
DEAN UH, IS... HAS REALLY
TAPPED INTO A DEEP WELL OF
ANGER AND THAT'S... THAT'S THE
ANGER AT BUSH IS THERE.
IT'S VERY REAL.
IT'S NOT JUST OVER A ROCK.
IT'S OVER WHAT'S HAPPENING IN
PEOPLE'S LIVES.
AMERICAN'S TEND TO BE CURIOUSLY
PASSIVE ABOUT THAT THOUGH.
VERY OFTEN THEIR LIVES ARE JUST
TURNING TO MUD UHM, SO POLITE
THESE CANADIANS AND THEY DON'T
MAKE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN
WHAT'S GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES
AND POLITICAL DECISIONS AND WE
SAW THAT IN THE BOOK OVER AND
OVER.
UHM, IT'S MADDENING AND AT THE
SAME TIME UHM, YOU HAVE TO
ADMIRE PEOPLE WITH THAT AMOUNT
OF GUMPTION.

The Host continues I WAS LISTENING IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO GEORGE
NORRIE...

Molly Ivins continues I DON'T KNOW
HIM.

The Host continues ALL RIGHT, HE'S A TALK SHOW,
NATIONAL AMERICAN.

Molly Ivins continues I'M SO SORRY.

The Host continues AND THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT
THE 87 BILLION BILL FOR IRAQ
AND THE CALL... I HEARD THREE
OR FOUR CALLS AND VIRTUALLY
EVERYONE SAID IT'S WORTH THE
PRICE TO KEEP AMERICA SAFE.
WE HAVE TO SPEND THE 87
BILLION WHICH CAN PROVIDE A
HELL OF A LOT OF HOUSING OR
HEALTH CARE BUT THE PEOPLE WHO
PHONE IN LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
SAY WE'VE GOT TO PAY THE PRICE
TO KEEP THE COUNTRY SAFE.

Molly Ivins continues ISN'T THAT
IRONIC?
AS THOUGH WE HAD BEEN ATTACKED
BY SADDAM HUSSEIN.
I MEAN, THAT IS... THAT WAS THE
AMAZING BATE AND SWITCH THAT
THE BUSH PEOPLE PULLED.
UHM, AND AMERICAN WAS GENUINELY
CONVINCED THAT WE HAD TO DEFEND
OURSELVES AGAINST THAT MAN WHO
HADN'T ATTACKED US AND DIDN'T
HAVE ANY WEAPONS THAT HE
COULD'VE DONE SO WITH.
UHM, AND THE IDEA THAT THE WHOLE
THING IS A GIANT SHOCK IS
JUST...
I THINK AMERICANS WILL PROBABLY
DO THAT WONDERFUL THING HUMAN
BEINGS DO WHEN THEY'RE
CONFRONTED WITH INFORMATION
THEY DON'T LIKE, THEY JUST SORT
OF IGNORE IT.

The Host continues ALL RIGHT, THE INFORMATION,
YOU RAISE THE QUESTION OF
INFORMATION AND YOU HAVE
WRITTEN RATHER SCATHINGLY ON
OCCASION ABOUT THE MEDIA, THE
PROFESSION, TRADE OR PASTIME
THAT WE'RE INVOLVED IN, UHM, AND
YOU'VE BEEN SUBJECT TO SOME
BARBS BECAUSE OF THAT.
I KNOW RUSH LIMBAUGH HAS TAKEN
TERRIBLE SHOTS AT YOU.

Molly Ivins continues BREAKS MY
HEART.

The Host continues BUT...

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues IS... ASIDE FROM YOURSELF
AND THREE OR FOUR, WELL, MORE
THAN THREE OR FOUR PEOPLE.
I COULD NAME... THERE SEEMS TO
BE A SOMNOLENCE IN THE
WASHINGTON PRESS CORE, ARE WE
ASLEEP HERE OR WHAT... WHAT'S
HAPPENED?

Molly Ivins continues THERE'S BEEN SO
MUCH SOMNOLENCE.
SOGGY, SELF-IMPORTANCE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. IS THE MOST
DREADFUL PLACE IN THE WORLD TO
BE A POLITICAL REPORTER.
IT'S A CITY WHERE EVERYBODY
SAYS EXACTLY WHAT EVERYBODY
ELSE SAYS AND WHAT REALLY
DRIVES ME CRAZY IS THAT WHEN I
GO THERE, RATHER THAN SORT OF
SWEEPING IN AND SAYING GOD
DAMN, YOU FOOLS, I'M FRESH IN
FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS AND YOU
PEOPLE ARE FULL OF MUD AS THEY
SAY IN CANADA.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues I'M NOT THERE
MORE THAN 10 MINUTES BEFORE I
FIND MYSELF SAYING EXACTLY WHAT
EVERYBODY ELSE SAYS SO I STAY
AWAY FROM THE PLACE BUT REALLY,
I WAS STRUCK.
I WAS THERE ON A BOOK TOUR JUST
A FEW DAYS AGO.
THE ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE WITH
THESE TELEVISION PUNDITS UH,
WHO MUST BE WHITE BECAUSE
THEY'RE ON TELEVISION UH, SAY
THE SILLIEST THINGS.
I MEAN, THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT
DEAN IS NOT... ABSOLUTELY
IMPOSSIBLE... IT WOULD BE A
DISASTER FOR THE DEMOCRATIC
PARTY AND HAS NO CHANCE OF
WINNING THE NOMINATION.
UHM, I THINK THAT THEY BETTER
LOOK AGAIN.
UH, AND I'M NOT EVEN A DEAN
PERSON.

She pushes up her sleeves and continues
UHM, THE... THINGS THAT THEY GET
EXCITED ABOUT, IT REMINDS ME,
THEY'VE GOTTEN ALMOST TO AN
EXTENT, IT'S LIKE WATCHING
SCORPIONS FIGHT IN A BOTTLE.
UHM, THOSE OR I GUESS A BETTER
EXAMPLE WOULD BE A GONG SHOW BE
SORT OF WORLD WRESTLING
FEDERATION POLITICAL CHAT
SHOWS.
UHM, WHERE YOU PUT ON SOME
LUNATIC RIGHT WINGER SAYING
TOTALLY ABSURD THINGS UH, AND
THEN OF COURSE THE LEFT IS HELD
DOWN BY SOME PEPPY CITIZEN LIKE
DAVID BRODER.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues DO YOU KNOW
IT'S AS THOUGH THEIR IDEA OF
THE BALANCED SEESAW IS YOU HAVE
SOMEBODY ON THIS END AND
SOMEBODY IN THE MIDDLE.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues UHM... AND OF
COURSE THE POLITICAL DISCUSSION
IS SO TENTED TOWARD THE RIGHT
THAT IT'S JUST ABSURD AND THE
TIMIDITY, I MEAN THEIR
INABILITY TO ACTUALLY STAND UP
AND SAY LOOK, THIS EMPEROR IS
NOT WEARING ANY CLOTHES.

The Host continues THEN WHERE... WHY DID YOU
COME FROM WHERE YOU COME FROM?
I KNOW TEXAS HAS A... HAS A
STREAK OF ORNERINESS AND
POPULISM AND THE TEXAS OBSERVER
AND ALL THOSE WONDERFUL UH,
PEOPLE WHO WENT ACROSS GRAIN,
THEY WENT AGAINST THE GRAIN.
WHAT WAS IT IN YOUR UPBRINGING
YOU SAID NO, NO, IT DOESN'T
HAVE ANY CLOTHES AND THE ACLU
IS NOT A COMMUNIST
ORGANIZATION...

Molly Ivins continues I THINK IT IS
TRUE OF ALMOST ALL SOUTHERN
LIBERALS CERTAINLY OF MY
GENERATION THAT WE STARTED WITH
CIVIL RIGHTS.
ANYBODY WHO WAS RAISED IN THE
SOUTH BEFORE THE CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT AND WAS INVOLVED IN
THAT UHM, I BET THAT'S WHERE
SOUTHERN LIBERALS COME FROM
BECAUSE FOR A LONG TIME THAT
WAS THE ONLY POLITICAL ISSUE IN
THE SOUTH AND ONE THING HAVING
BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT WILL
DO FOR YOU IS THAT YOU NEVER
LOSE YOUR SENSE OF OPTIMISM,
YOUR SENSE OF HOW MUCH THINGS
CAN CHANGE AND HOW FAST THINGS
CAN CHANGE IN AMERICA AND HOW
IMPORTANT THE ROLE OF
GOVERNMENT CAN BE IN MAKING IT
A PLACE WHERE THERE'S LIBERTY
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL OR AT LEAST
MORE LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR
ALL THAN THERE USED TO BE.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.'"

The Host continues DO YOU FIND THAT... DO YOU
EVER GET DISCOURAGED?
I MEAN, WHEN YOU WRITE ABOUT
THE PHIL GRAHAM'S AND THE TOM
DELAY'S AND I THINK YOU WROTE
ABOUT PHIL GRAHAM THE RETIRING
SENATOR OF TEXAS THAT NOT EVEN
HIS FRIENDS LIKE HIM.
UHM... BUT DON'T YOU GET
DISCOURAGED OR THINK GOD, NO
ONE IS LISTENING OR IF THEY'RE
LISTENING, THEY'RE NOT DOING
ANYTHING.

Molly Ivins continues RIGHT.
UHM, AGAIN THAT SENSE, THAT
PRIMITIVE SENSE OF OPTIMISM UH,
I THINK COMES FROM THE
EXPERIENCE OF HAVING WATCHED
THE BLACK PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH
RISE UP AND TAKE POWER FOR
THEMSELVES AND THAT WAS SUCH AN
ENDURING LESSON IN DEMOCRACY
UHM, THAT I'VE NEVER FORGOTTEN
AND I KNOW IT CAN BE DONE.
UHM, TEXAS LIBERALS OF COURSE
ARE IN A PARTICULAR HIGH
POSITION UH, MY LATE FRIEND
BILLY CLARKE WAS CALLED A FEW
YEARS AGO, SOMEBODY CALLED HER
AND SAID HOW ARE YOU DOING?
SHE SAID WELL, THEY JUST
IMPEACHED MY BOY UP IN
WASHINGTON.
THERE'S NOT A DEMOCRAT LEFT IN
STATE WIDE OFFICE IN TEXAS.
EVERY JUDGE IN HARRIS COUNTY IS
A REPUBLICAN AND YESTERDAY I
FOUND OUT I HAVE CANCER.
I THINK I'LL GO OUT AND GET A
PREGNANCY TEST WITH MY LUCK
IT'LL COME BACK POSITIVE.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues AND THAT'S SORT
OF THE WAY TEXAS LIBERALS ARE.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues WE HAVE NO
CHOICE BUT TO LAUGH.

The Host continues ALL RIGHT, WE'RE MOVING INTO
THE QUADRENNIAL YEAR, THE
PRESIDENTIAL YEAR, THE NEW
HAMPSHIRE PRIMARIES ARE
JANUARY-FEBRUARY.
WHAT DO YOU SEE IN TERMS OF AN
EFFECTIVE OPPOSITION TO THE
PRESIDENT AND REPUBLICANS AND A
KIND OF OPENING UP OF DEBATE OF
PEOPLE ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES IN THE
CAMPAIGN.

Molly Ivins continues WELL, THERE ARE
TO TAKE THE SECOND OF THAT
FIRST THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS AND
FOUNDATIONS AND WHAT DO THEY...

She speaks in a foreign language.

Molly Ivins continues
YOU KNOW, THE RIGHT THINKING
CITIZENS.
WE KEEP TRYING TO MAKE THE
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AND
DEBATES BETTER WITH VERY LITTLE
SUCCESS SO FAR BUT WE'RE STILL
WORKING ON IT BUT THERE ARE
LOTS OF INTERESTING PROJECTS
INCLUDING IN-DEPTH POLLING
PROJECTS AND UHM, YOU KNOW,
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZEN GROUPS
WHERE THEY GET TOGETHER AND
HASH OUT THE MAJOR ISSUES AND
SO ON.
THERE ARE LOTS OF INTERESTING
THINGS LIKE THAT GOING ON BUT
I'M CYNICAL ENOUGH TO THINK
THAT IT'S NOT GOING MAKE A
GREAT DEAL OF DIFFERENCE.
UHM, THERE A COUPLE OF THINGS
JUST AS A POLITICAL REPORTER
YOU HAVE TO THINK LOOKING AT
NEXT YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION, MOST PEOPLE IN OUR
BUSINESS ARE FOR VERY GOOD
REASON LOOK AT MONEY FIRST AND
BUSH IS GOING TO RAISE OVER
200 MILLION FOR HIS CAMPAIGN.

The Host continues I COULD'VE SWORN YOU SAID
200 MILLION.

Molly Ivins continues YES, A SUM THAT
DWARVES ANYTHING THAT HAS EVER
BEEN SEEN BEFORE IN AMERICAN
POLITICS IN FACT, IT WILL
PROBABLY GO CONSIDERABLY HIGHER
THAN THAT.
CONSEQUENTLY, MANY OF MY
COLLEAGUES WHO'VE BEEN AROUND
QUITE A FEW ELECTIONS HAVE
ALREADY SAID THAT SUCKER'S
OVER.
UHM, JUST AS A GENERAL RULE,
ANYBODY WHO WOULD CALL A
POLITICAL RACE THIS FAR OUT IS
A NINCOMPOOP.
UHM, AND YOU ALWAYS, I DON'T
PLAY THAT GAME, I'M NOT INTO
PREDICTING.
I DON'T HAVE A CRYSTAL BALL.
I DON'T KNOW WHO'S GOING TO WIN
THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN POLITICS
AND OFTEN DOES.
UHM, I SEE IT QUITE DIFFERENTLY.
I THINK THAT THERE HAS BEEN A
GENUINE SEA CHANGE IN AMERICA
JUST VERY RECENTLY WITH PEOPLE
SORT OF WAKING UP AND SORT OF
SEEING ALL KINDS OF THINGS THEY
DON'T LIKE GOING ON.

The Host continues BUT WHAT HAPPENS THE FIRST
TIME REPUBLICANS RUN THE TOP
GUN AD OF THE PRESIDENT ON THE
U.S.S. ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN HIS
JUMPSUIT?

Molly Ivins continues I THINK THE
SITUATION IN IRAQ AND I DO NOT
EVER ROOT FOR BAD THINGS TO
HAPPEN UH, ESPECIALLY TO MY
COUNTRY UHM, I THINK IT'S
POSSIBLE THE DEMOCRATS WILL BE
RUNNING THAT AS AN AD FOR THEIR
SIDE NEXT YEAR.
I REALLY DO.
UHM, I'M NOT SURE... I MEAN, I
STAND BACK AND LOOK AT IT AND
I'M NOT SURE WHAT HE'S GOT TO
RUN ON.
I THINK IRAQ IS TURNING INTO A
DISASTER AND AGAIN MY
PREDICTION WAS SHORT, EASY WAR,
THE PEACE FROM HELL AND I THINK
ONE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT
COMING AND SHOULD BE HELD
RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT HAVING SEEN
IT COMING.
UHM, THE ECONOMY'S A MESS.
UHM, THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS
NOT... IS FALLING APART.
I MEAN, WE'RE NOT JUST TALKING
CRACKS HERE AND THERE, WE'RE
TALKING HUGE CHUNKS OF IT
FALLING OUT.
UH, THE ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD,
IT DOESN'T HAVE THAT MUCH
CLOUT, IT'S NOT THAT MUCH OF AN
ISSUE WITH MANY VOTERS BUT IT
IS LOATHSOME UHM, THE CORPORATE
SCANDALS CONTINUE.
UHM, THERE IS NO GOOD NEWS OUT
THERE.
I MEAN, WHAT ARE THEY GONNA RUN
ON?
UHM, I WANTED TO GO BACK EARLIER
BECAUSE I HAD FAILED TO SAY
SOMETHING.
WHEN I WAS TALKING ABOUT
PROVINCIALISM UH, IN TEXAS
PARTICULARLY IT'S VERY STRIKING
WHEN YOU GO THROUGH GEORGE W.'s
FOREIGN POLICY SPEECHES, THE
WORDS THAT APPEAR OVER AND OVER
AGAIN ARE THREAT, DANGER,
ENEMY, EVIL.
NOWHERE EVER AT ANY TIME HAS
HE SPOKEN HOW HE MIGHT MAKE A
BETTER WORLD.
HOW WE MIGHT WORK WITH OUR
NEIGHBOURS AND BUILD
INSTITUTIONS AND SOLVE PROBLEMS
TOGETHER.
AND THAT IS TO MY MIND THE
ULTIMATE KIND OF PROVINCIALISM.
TO SEE EVERYWHERE OUTSIDE AS A
THREAT.
THEY'RE DIFFERENT, THEY'RE NOT
US.
THEY'RE CANADIAN.

[Audience laughter]

The Host continues THANK YOU, THANK YOU, IT'S
GOOD TO TALK TO YOU.
NOW SOME QUESTIONS FROM OUR
AUDIENCE.
ARE YOU GAME FOR THAT?

Molly Ivins continues SURE.

[Audience applause]

The Host continues MOLLY IVINS.

[Audience applause]

The Host points and says YES, SIR.

The image changes to the studio audience. A microphone is set up in the aisle. A man approaches a microphone. He is in his late sixties, clean-shaved, with grey hair. He wears a blue shirt, blue jacket, and brown pants.

Joe says HI, MOLLY, I'M JOE GREEN,
CHAIRMAN OF DEMOCRATS ABROAD,
CANADA AND A DUAL CITIZEN.
UHM, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO SPEAK
IF YOU COULD TO UH, WITHIN YOUR
KNOWLEDGE OF THE ABSENTEE
BALLOT, THE ABSENTEE VOTE IN
PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS AND
WHETHER YOU THINK THAT'S AN
IMPORTANT ISSUE OR NOT.
THERE ARE ABOUT FOUR UHM, FOUR
TO 500,000 AMERICANS LIVING IN
CANADA AND UH, WE EXPECT THAT
AT LEAST HALF OF THEM ARE
DEMOCRATS, MAYBE MORE AND UHM,
WE THINK THAT IT'S IMPORTANT
THAT THAT VOTE GET OUT AND I'D
LIKE TO HEAR YOUR VIEW OF THAT.

Molly Ivins says WELL, UHM,
THERE'S A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY
IF BUSH WINS THE NEXT ELECTION
THAT THE POPULATION OF
AMERICANS IN CANADA WILL GO UP
ASTRONOMICALLY.

[Audience laughter]
[Audience applause]
[Indistinct Chatter]

Molly Ivins continues YOU WOULDN'T
BELIEVE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE TALKING ABOUT IT
SERIOUSLY.
UHM, OBVIOUSLY IT IS IMPORTANT
AND UH, I THINK IT'S GOING TO
BE ONE OF THOSE ELECTIONS WHERE
EVERY VOTE COUNTS.
I THINK WE'LL GET SOMETHING
CLOSE TO A REPLAY OF 2000.

The Host says YES, SIR.

A man in his early seventies approaches the microphone. He is clean shaved with short grey hair. He wears a grey sweater and charcoal coloured pants.

The old man says I'M CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT'S
HAPPENING WITH THE UNITED
NATIONS AND THE ATTITUDE
TOWARDS THE UNITED NATIONS.
FIRST THEY WERE OSTRACIZED FOR
NOT JUMPING IN, NOW PEOPLE ARE
SAYING IN THE MEDIA AND OTHERS
ARE SAYING THAT IF THEY DON'T
RUSH INTO SUPPORT THAT THEY
WILL PROVE THEIR IRRELEVANCE.
WHAT IS THIS BUSINESS ABOUT THE
IRRELEVANCE ABOUT THE UNITED
NATIONS AND HOW CAN IT BE
COMBATED?

Molly Ivins says WELL, YOU
REMEMBER THE FIRST THREAT WAS
IF YOU ALL DIDN'T GO ALONG WITH
US, YOU WOULD BE IRRELEVANT AND
YOU DIDN'T AND NOW YOU WON'T
HELP US AND SO YOU'RE
IRRELEVANT.
YOU MAY NOTICE THERE'S A THEME
HERE.
UHM...

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues I FIND THAT THE
PREWAR, I REALLY THINK THAT THE
PREWAR DIPLOMACY OF THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION WAS APPALLING.
UHM, I DON'T SPEAK FOR ANYONE
BUT MYSELF UH, BUT I THOUGHT
AMONG MANY OTHER COUNTRIES THE
TREATMENT OF OUR... OUR
TREATMENT OF CANADA,
PARTICULARLY THE CONTEMPTUOUS
DISMISSAL OF WHAT MIGHT HAVE
BEEN THE LAST POSSIBILITY OF
ACTUALLY GETTING THE U.N.
RESOLUTION, THE CANADIAN PLAN,
UH, WAS THERE IS A TEXAS WORD
FOR THIS, TACKY, RUDE AND
ARROGANT AND I WAS JUST
EMBARRASSED AT THE WAY WE WERE
TREATING THE REST OF THE WORLD.
BULLYING COUNTRIES INTO
SUPPORTING US.
BRIBING THEM, THREATENING.
IT WAS CONDUCT SO UNBECOMING
UHM, AND THE DAMAGE THAT WAS
DONE TO OUR REPUTATION IN THE
PROCESS WAS VERY SERIOUS AND
VERY GRAVE AND IT'S GOING TO
TAKE A LONG TIME TO REPAIR.

The Host says YES, SIR.

A man in his thirties approaches the microphone. He has long brown hair and wears a grey jacket with a black shirt.

The brown-haired man says DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS ON
THE CALIFORNIA RECALL NEXT
WEEK?

Molly Ivins says THOSE OF US WHO
LIVE IN TEXAS ARE SO GRATEFUL
TO CALIFORNIA.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Molly Ivins. Journalist. Author ‘Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.’"
[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues WHICH HAS BEEN
ATTRACTING A LOT OF ATTENTION
THIS YEAR.
UHM, I WENT OUT TO COVER THE
CALIFORNIA ELECTION.
TO TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR
SITUATION A FEW WEEKS AGO, UH,
THE FIRST THING I DID WAS DYE
MY HAIR PUNK PURPLE TO ADD TO
MY CREDIBILITY AS A COMMENTATOR
ON THE MATTER, UHM, GREY DAVIS
MAKES Mr. ROGERS LOOK AS THOUGH
HE WERE ON STEROIDS.
UHM, AND ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
LOOKS LIKE A CONDOM STUFFED
WITH WALNUTS.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues I REALIZE THAT
THIS IS NOT AN IN-DEPTH
ANALYSIS.

[Audience laughter]

Molly Ivins continues OF THEIR POLICY
STANDS HOWEVER UH, GIVEN THAT
RACE IT WAS THE BEST I COULD
DO.

The Host says YES, SIR?

A man in his early seventies approaches the microphone. He is clean shaved and bald. He wears glasses, a grey suit, and a purple shirt.
The bald man says Miss IVINS, I UNDERSTAND
THAT UH, ABC WILL BE DOING A
WEEKLY TELEVISION PROGRAM
CALLED THE GROPERS.

[Audience laughter]

The bald man continues I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU
CONSIDER GEORGE W. A DANGEROUS
MAN, UHM...

Molly Ivins says DO I CONSIDER
W. DANGEROUS MAN?

The bald man says YES, UH, I HAVE A NUMBER OF
OTHER QUESTIONS BUT WE'LL...

[Indistinct Chatter]

The Host says ONE AT A TIME, NOT TO WORRY.
NOT TO WORRY.

The bald man says IS HE A DANGEROUS MAN?

Molly Ivins says TO THE EXTENT
THAT IGNORANCE COMBINED WITH
POWER IS DANGEROUS, YES, HE IS
BUT AGAIN HE IS NOT MALIGN.
UHM, HE'S NOT MEAN AND HE'S NOT
STUPID BUT HE IS TERRIBLY
BLINKERED BY TEXAS
PROVINCIALISM AND CLASS
PRIVILEGE.
THERE'S MUCH OF THE WORLD HE
DOES NOT SEE.

The Host says I WANT TO THANK YOU.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
THANK YOU FOR TALKING TO US.
MOLLY IVINS.

[Audience applause]

Watch: Journalist Molly Ivins on her book Bushwhacked