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YOU GOT TO DANCE WITH THEM WHAT BRUNG YOU: Politics in the Clinton Years by Molly Ivins

YOU GOT TO DANCE WITH THEM WHAT BRUNG YOU: Politics in the Clinton Years


Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
Publisher: Random

An outrageous, penetrating, fun collection of articles from three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Ivins. As political columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Ivins is a human oxymoron: a Texas liberal. Her down-home, good-ol'-girl style thinly cloaks a wicked wit wielded in support of strong political beliefs. While Ivins sees the purpose of journalism as being ""to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable,"" her appeal is nevertheless very broad for a simple reason. Unlike many of her conservative peers, Ivins actually likes people, even the politicians she has made a career of skewering. She genuinely enjoys life in a ""nation undeterred by reality"" and a political system that ""requires a certain relish for confusion."" The refreshing thing about Ivins is that she not only sees the normally harmless lunacy that surrounds her, she appreciates it; rather than clucking about the downfall of social values or despairing over cultural demise, she is ready to grab a beer and watch the real world go by. While this volume is an enjoyable mechanism for obtaining a larger-than-usual dosage of Ivins's humor, however, the inevitable choppiness of a series of short essays on disparate topics makes for a somewhat disappointing book. Insofar as there is a continuing theme, it's the corrosive effect of money in politics and the need for campaign finance reform. On this subject she cuts to the bottom line: The millions special interests invest in political campaigns are amply rewarded, and ""the rest of us get stuck with that much more of the tab for keeping the country running. . . . "" For Ivins it is time to recognize the necessity of publicly financed elections if we want politicians dancing with the public rather than special interests. Entertaining, regardless of your politics.