Sure, sure, everyone loves Rachel Maddow and her sexy lesbian librarian glasses. But the best new political pundits minted in 2008 were not on cable news, or even on Huffington Post. They were Margaret and Helen, the two octogenarians whose blog caused a sensation with Helen's post: Sarah Palin is a Bitch ... There I said it. Margaret and Helen -- friends for sixty years, as their banner problems -- pride themselves on being old ladies who speak their minds. In practice, Helen does most of the speaking, since Margaret never actually posts and just calls Helen to make comments about their newfound conversation with America. Here is Helen kicking it all off with thoughts on Sarah Palin:
Oh and my favorite - my husband Todd (the first dude) and I sit around the kitchen table wondering about the cost of college like many of you... oh really. Your oldest son went from high school into the military. Your next oldest is pregnant with plans to be married to some hockey jock at age 17. Seems to me you've got lots of time before you have to worry about college tuition especially being college doesn't seem to be a priority in your family.
The post was accompanied by a graphic made by Helen's grandson, which said: I CALL BULLSHIT. This was in early October. The election was in fever pitch. Not surprisingly, Helen's rant drew attention. Thousands of hits and hundreds of comments. Her response:
Hello world. Well where do I begin? I am shocked at
the response to my little rants. You sure do know how to make an old
gal feel special. Of course there is another woman out there who feels
special, but that's only because she's been shooting caribou out the
window of her Straight Talk Express on the way to her next Republican hillbilly rally.
For crying out loud America. How bad does it have to get? Senator
McCain is practically crumbling to dust before our very eyes while
Governor Palin is out in the hinterland screeching about some 60's
hippie who bumped into Obama once or twice over the years. This from
the woman who panders to secessionists in Alaska. Please, dear God, somebody throw a stone because that glass igloo needs to be shattered!
And so it continued. Margaret and Helen, whose grandson taught her how to "blog" so as to keep up with her best
friend for more than six decades, wound up offering the most concise, funny and even analytically astute commentary on an election where everyone had something to say. She fulminated about The View's Elisabeth Hasslebeck. And called Elizabeth Dole a jihadi. On the eve of the election, Helen asked everyone to share thoughts on their grandma as the best way to honor Barack Obama. (Unhappy thoughts about grandmas were referred to Dr. Laura's blog.) After it was over, the 82-year-old lady from Texas said all that ever needs to be said about California's Proposition 8:
That post, like all the others, was signed off with. "Thanks for stopping by. I mean it. Really." With the election done, there's less to get riled up about in the papers each day, and Helen says she feels like she is running out of steam.
Luckily, the old ladies have a plan to speak their mind on the topics of our choosing:
So Margaret and I have been talking and we wanted you to know that we have enjoyed your comments - your conversation - as much as you seem to be enjoying ours. In that spirit we have asked my grandson to add a page where you can leave ideas and ask questions for us to write about on this web page blog.
But be warned. We are not Dear Abby or that other one - her sister. We call 'em as we see 'em. We won't hold back no matter how much we like you!
So let's all provide Helen and Margaret with fodder for keeping us all humbled and entertained. They want you us to sop by and leave a comment. They mean it. Really.