Wondering why I use “lege” and “leges”? Here’s the reason.

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples

If you read my articles on here very often, you will have no doubt seen me use “lege” to mean “the legislature,” and “leges” to mean “legislators.” (And sometimes also “lege” to refer to a single legislator.

I would bet that most of you would assume I am just trying to save space and time. While that certainly makes sense, it’s not the actual reason. The actual reason is ... Molly Ivins.

Molly Ivins
Molly Ivins, via Wikipedia

I read Ivins’s columns, and bought her books, and reveled in her talent as both a writer and a commentator.

She managed to skewer all sorts of people who needed skewering, while at the same time writing with a sense of humor.

Some examples from the Wikipedia article about her:

  • On the subject of Pat Buchanan's combative Culture War Speech at the 1992 Republican Convention, Ivins quipped that the speech had “probably sounded better in the original German.”
  • On Bill Clinton: “If left to my own devices, I'd spend all my time pointing out that he’s weaker than bus-station chili. But the man is so constantly subjected to such hideous and unfair abuse that I wind up standing up for him on the general principle that some fairness should be applied. Besides, no one but a fool or a Republican ever took him for a liberal.”
  • On Republican Rep. James M. Collins, who had said that the energy crisis could be solved if “we didn’t use all that gas on school busing,” Ivins said “If his IQ slips any lower we’ll have to water him twice a day.”

And finally, the original point of this article, from the same Wikipedia article:

  • When outraged by instances of what she considered malfeasance or stupidity on the part of public officials, she couched her argument in an air of stunned amusement. She enjoyed telling stories about the Texas Legislature, which she simply called “The Lege,” calling it one of the most corrupt, incompetent, and funniest governing bodies in the nation.

So, in my small way, I am paying tribute to one of the best political writers I have ever read. Any time I think of her, I always say to myself, “She would have had a field day with Trump. God, we miss her.”

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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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