In our last episode I gave an outline of the pre-history of PUMA. I wasn’t trying to write a detailed history, I just wanted to make a rough sketch and I thought I could do it in a single post. But even though I broke it into two pieces and there was a lot I left out it was still pretty long. I was totally blown away by your responses.
I ended Part I on June 1st which was the day SM (aka sm77) coined the name Party Unity My Ass. It was intended as a joke but Riverdaughter put it into a post and within days it had gone viral. Darragh Murphy, Will Bower, Heidi Li, Diane Mantouvalos and Alegre are just a few of the people who helped to form our “rebel alliance” and the JustSayNoDeal coalition. I’m leaving out lots of people who deserve recognition and credit, but this is supposed to be a “brief” history.
The core of PUMA was and is Clinton Democrats, specifically Hillary supporters. I call myself a liberal and eschew the name “progressive” but regardless of labels the vast majority of PUMAs are left-of-center politically and were either Democrats or independents. Because Hillary’s core constituency was women PUMA has a similar demographic but it is not exclusively female nor is it focused entirely on “women’s” issues. But the sexism and misogyny directed at Hillary and Sarah Palin have certainly been strong motivating factors for most PUMAs.
One of the pieces of misinformation (lies) being spread about PUMA is that it is a GOP ratfucking operation. If that was true then those Republicans must be devious indeed. They would have had to plant moles in the Democratic party two and three decades ago and had them pose as loyal party activists until this year. They must have infiltrated Left Blogistan and positioned their operatives as prolific lefty writers at dkos and other blogs. They must have told them to pose as Hillary supporters early in the campaign having somehow foreseen the meltdown of the progressive blogosphere.
Maybe Karl Rove is a diabolical genius and told Donna Brazile how to rig the election in favor of Obama knowing that Hillary’s supporters would be outraged and positioning his operatives to take advantage. But when you really think about it, for PUMA to be a GOP ratfucking operation then Rove would have mad skills, because he would have had to either foresee or manipulate so many events.
Now it should be noted that when PUMA exploded onto the scene there was no one in charge of membership and we weren’t having people fill out applications and doing background checks on everyone who wanted to join. Undoubtably some of the people who began to show up had ulterior motives and hidden agendas. We know that many who joined under false pretenses were Obama supporters because they have since been exposed and given the boot.
The original PUMAs were united in two main goals – electing Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic nominee for President and defeating Barack Obama and the corrupt DNC cabal that supported him. Although some of us held out hope until the Demcratic convention that Hillary would be the nominee, others were pessimistic about her chances. The pessimists were correct, the fix was in.
The emotional high point for PUMA (so far) was when the DNC was forced to put Hillary’s name on the ballot and hold a roll call vote. PUMA was the driving force behind that effort, but the DNC simply rigged that vote as well. PUMA had a large contingent present in Denver and several were interviewed by the media, although the interviews weren’t always friendly. PUMA was involved in helping to expose the caucus fraud that allowed The Lightbringer to gain the early lead in pledged delegates, and has raised money to create and run anti-Obama ads in swing states. All in all, that’s not too bad for a paranoid band of shrieking holdouts.
The official end of Hillary’s campaign and her endorsement of Teh Precious caused an identity crisis for PUMA. Some PUMAs felt they should follow Hillary’s lead and support Uh-bama, while others chose to focus on electing downticket Democrats. Some PUMAs have chosen to vote for John McCain next Tuesday, hoping that Hillary will run against him in 2012. Others will be voting for third-party candidates or NOT (nothing on top) voting. A few pathetic cases showed a complete lack of principle by choosing to slurp the Kool-aid only after polls showed Obama with a clear lead.
Many PUMAs reregistered as independents but many of us are still Democrats. I spent over 20 years as a “yellow-dog” Democrat and I am still registered with the donkey party, but if Teleprompter Jesus wins next week I am through with the party and will reregister as an independent.
That’s a “brief” history of PUMA up to this point. There is lots that’s missing, particularly YOUR stories. If you didn’t already do so in my last thread, please describe briefly when you joined PUMA and why you joined. Include a little bit about yourself and your politcal background, party membership, etc. If you feel there is something important I left out, tell me what it is.
If you do that, I will compile it into a single volume that will be the definitive story of PUMA (so far) That assumes, of course, that after the election I am not hauled off to Gitmo and waterboarded with Kool-aid.