"More and more people see no connection between what the government does and what's happening in their lives," Molly Ivins says.
Molly Ivins has often poked fun at President Bush for his manner of speaking, or "Bushisms." In her new book, Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America, the syndicated columnist, fellow Texan and long-time Bush critic takes on his dealings and policies, and what she says are their underreported effects on average Americans.
Bushwhacked is a follow-up to Shrub, the book Ivins and co-author Lou Dubose wrote in 2000 about the presidential candidate Bush.
In an interview with NPR's Bob Edwards, Ivins explains that she doesn't hate the former Texas governor, with whom she attended high school. "In fact I've gone out of my way time and again to point out that he's a perfectly affable fellow, and he's not stupid and he's not mean," she says. "And it takes me aback to have people just make that assumption about me... What we're trying to show [in the book] is that whatever Bush's personal qualities are, his policies are having a genuinely deleterious effect on people's lives."
Bushwhacked's first chapter is devoted to an examination of Harken Energy Corp., in which Bush became a part owner in 1986. He sold his Harken shares in 1990, just before the stock's value plummeted. Ivins compares the company to Enron, the failed energy giant. Harken was "a perfect replica of Enron in miniature... but with exactly the same patterns of misbehavior for which [Bush] later wound up scolding others," she says.