The dazzling, inimitable Molly Ivins is back, with her own personal Hall of Fame of America’s most amazing and outlandish politicians–the wicked, the wise, the witty, and the witless–drawn from more than twenty years of reporting on the folks who attempt to run our government (in some cases, into the ground).
Who Let the Dogs In? takes us on a wild ride through two decades of political life, from Ronald Reagan, through Big George and Bill Clinton, to our current top dog, known to Ivins readers simply as Dubya. But those are just a few of the political animals who are honored and skewered for our amusement. Ivins also writes hilariously, perceptively, and at times witheringly of John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, H. Ross Perot, Tom DeLay, Ann Richards, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, and the current governor of Texas, who is known as Rick “Goodhair” Perry.
Following close on the heels of her phenomenally successful Bushwhacked and containing an up-to-the-minute Introduction for the campaign season, Who Let the Dogs In? is political writing at its best.
Covering the Reagan years to the present, this collection includes work from three Ivins books (not including Bushwacked) as well as other short published pieces. A proud liberal Texan, Ivins's best stuff hits close to home: she declares her home state "the National Laboratory for Bad Government" and pronounces Bush 43 a product of three Lone Star themes: religiosity, anti-intellectualism and machismo (she thinks the last trait faked). She appreciates the often-dirty art of politics her heroes include Lyndon B. Johnson, Barbara Jordan and Sam Rayburn, who fought and compromised for the greater good and praises Bill Clinton in that vein. Of Ronald Reagan, she writes, his charm was "not just that he kept telling us screwy things, it was that he believed them all." She sets her sights on a number of Republicans: Newt Gingrich, she says, had an affair during the Lewinsky drama, and she claims that Rush Limbaugh's satire cruelly attacks the powerless; Bush 41 she deems "a lickspittle even when he has a choice." Though she generally has a gentler touch with Democrats, Ivins is tough on John Kerry in the book's introduction: "e seems to suffer from extreme political caution." Then again, she wants regime change, reminding us, "he next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be in the White House, would you please pay attention?" Author tour.