Friday, September 15, 2006
Ann Richards Will Take Your Ass Out
The first time I ever voted was in the Texas election for Ann Richards. My dad went with me, and he voted for her as well. He was trying to atone for casting his lot not once, but twice for Nixon. Richards had a particularly nasty brawl on her hands in that election against the Republican Clayton Williams. She'd been in rehab for alcohol, was a self-described housewife who wanted to change the government, mother of four, and had a tremendous record as state treasurer. I loved Ann because of her outspoken ways -- the proverbial breath of fresh air to the old guard. Clayton W., a real jewel of a guy, made a few fatal mistakes in that campaign -- one of which included a brilliant and innovative strategy for rape victims -- if it's happening, just enjoy it since it's sex and you can't get out of it anyway. Man, why didn't I think of that? Rape hotlines around the country added this one to the list, I'm certain.
But even with the rape jokes and groovy immigration strategies -- let Mexicans break rocks in the hot sun with prisoners! -- he was still in the lead. The thing that broke him was refusing to shake Ann's hand in a pivotal public moment. Texas, for all its faults and backward ways, has a few things going for it and not shaking a woman's hand is a hanging offense. I've voted for a lot of people since Ann, but none as pivotal or wonderful. In one of the last public promos she did before announcing she had cancer, she played the part of an avenger against people talking in movie theaters -- the tagline is "Don't Talk During the Movie Or Ann Richards Will Take Your Ass Out." I love the idea of a seventy year old woman with shocking white hair and a blue business suit as powerful as any superhero. Texas is hell on women and horses, or so the saying goes, but if you survive, you can kick some ass. And that's a happy thought. Certainly better than any of Clayton's ideas.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." Ann Richards
Lone Star (Beer Flight)
1 Lone Star
1 Dos Equis
Benedictions and Maledictions
Restaurant suggestion for the weekend: Mon Jin Lau