All those millions the taxpayers have lavished on the Public Broadcasting System over the years haven't gone for naught. They've achieved at least one significant thing: given Bill Moyers a base from which to launch a presidential campaign. At least in the mind of Molly Ivins.
The headline of her latest column says it all: Run Bill Moyers For President, Seriously
While Molly doesn't expect Moyers to win the election or even the nomination, she believes his candidacy would have a salutary effect on other Democratic contenders. Here's the essence of her thesis:
"Just get him into the debates. Think about the potential Democratic candidates. Every single one of them needs spine, needs political courage. What Moyers can do is not only show them what it looks like and indeed what it is, but also how people respond to it. I’m damned if I want to go through another presidential primary with everyone trying to figure out who has the best chance to win instead of who’s right. I want to vote for somebody who’s good and brave and who should win."
Of course Molly's image of just who Moyers is stands in stark contrast to the record that the man has amassed over the years. She calls him "a wise and a kind man." This is where MRC is worth its weight in gold, for they have documented his rants for years now. Among his top hits was this one, which won Moyers MRC's Quote of the Year at its 2003 DisHonors Awards Dinner:
“The entire federal government — the Congress, the executive, the courts — is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to surrender control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine.
“Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you like the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what’s coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture....”
“So it’s a heady time in Washington, a heady time for piety, profits and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money. Don’t forget the money....”
“Republicans out-raised Democrats by $184 million and they came up with the big prize: monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.”
— Bill Moyers’ commentary on PBS’s Now, November 8.
Ah, Bill the Wise and Kind.