Paging Miss Cleo!

November 15, 2008
I see an empty suit . . .

I see an empty suit . . . taking an oath

So I’m reading this post by a sane Correntian and I follow a link to find this from the NYT:

THE time has come, Senator Barack Obama says, for the baby boomers to get over themselves.

In taking the first steps toward a presidential candidacy last week, Mr. Obama, who was born in 1961 and considers himself a member of the post-boomer generation, said Americans hungered for “a different kind of politics,” one that moved beyond the tired ideological battles of the 1960s.

[…]

While the Obama-Clinton generational dynamic will mostly play out in the primaries, Republican voters will be weighing the candidacy of one of the oldest men ever to seek the presidency, John McCain, 70, the only member of the likely field born before the baby boom’s unofficial start in 1943.

 That Obamafluffer article was published on January 21, 2007 by John M. Broder.  Let’s review:

As of that date, Barack Obama had written two “memoirs, given one nationally televised speech, appeared on Oprah, cake-walked into the Senate when his main competition in both the primary and general election had dropped out, had not chaired any subcommittee meetings or authored any important legislation.  He also had not won a single caucus or primary, been endorsed by any super delegates, nor reported any campaign donations.  There were several Democratic “heavyweights” besides Hillary Clinton that were expected to run, including Al Gore, John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden.

Yet somehow Mr. Broder correctly predicted that the primary campaign would be a contest between Obama and Hillary.  Even though the dynamic turned out to be genderational (penis vs. vagina) rather than generational, this guy should be on the Psychic Friends Network.

Either that or he should be indicted for insider trading.

Call 1-800-BIG-FAKE

Call 1-800-BIG-FAKE

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My Voting Strategy – Just Say No To Derangement

November 2, 2008
A Rabid Obama Supporter

A Rabid Obama Supporter

Riverdaughter asked us to all to come up with a single word to describe why we are voting the way we are on Tuesday.  That’s really a tough assignment because there are lots of words to choose from.  I considered “principles,” “honesty,” “integrity,” “ethics,” “experience” and “shame” because those are all things Barack Obama lacks.

I thought about using “liar,” “fake,” “phony,” or “unscrupulous” because those are all things that Obama is.  I was going to use “hubris” because that is Obama’s favorite sin, but then I saw this and realized that my word had to be “derangement.”

Obama’s strategy in the primary campaign against Hillary was to take advantage of and fan the flames of Clinton Derangement Syndrome.  Unhinged misogyny was the major component of CDS, but it went beyond that into other areas as well.  From the obsession with Hillary’s voice, ankles and cleavage to her alleged tears (or lack thereof) the media and Obama supporters became the He Man Woman Haters Club.

But they also bought into and pimped every noxious rumor and allegation that came along.  Racism, Tuzla, kneecapping and RFK were only the more prominent fables being spread by Obamanation.  They also recycled old right-wing memes from the nineties.  Even worse, they launched unhinged attacks on Hillary’s supporters too.

But the derangement didn’t end with Hillary’s candidacy, it metastisized and mutated into Palin Derangement Syndrome.  While there are reasons to oppose Sarah Palin, the attacks on her have been truly bizarre.  Sadly, many of these attacks have come from alleged feminists.

Now some people might say that it is unfair to blame Obama for what his supporters say and do.  I disagree.  First of all, Obama has never done more than tepidly denounce the attacks on Hillary and Sarah.  Secondly, while publically pretending to oppose or be unaware of the attacks, the Obama campaign has pushed them in the media and through the blogosphere.  Lastly, even if Obama were wholly innocent his supporters scare the bejeezus out of me.

It’s not enough to say I cannot support Obama, I believe he must be defeated.  I cannot in good faith advocate the defeat of Obama and then expect someone else to do the dirty work.  Voting for a third-party or NOT (nothing on top) voting would be a cop-out.  When I was young and dumb and full of shit I voted for Ronald Reagan, but for over two decades I have been a yellow-dog Democrat.  I thought I would never vote for a Republican again.

This year I will just say no to derangement and cast my vote for McCain/Palin.


What if?

October 22, 2008

The incomparable Bob Somerby makes a very astute observation:

Why had Klein reinvented things so? We don’t have the slightest idea. But here’s a possible hint: In 2006, the presumptive Democratic nominee was a certain Hillary Rodham Clinton. And make no mistake: If Clinton had run against McCain this year, this campaign would have been covered quite differently by more than a few major “journalists.”

Oh you betcha!  Not that long ago John McCain not-so-jokingly referred to the media as his “base” and they universally portrayed him as a straight-talking maverick.  So when did they suddenly decide that McCain was old and evil?  It wasn’t until after they declared that Barack Uh-bama was the “presumptive” (presumptuous) nominee and Hillary was forced to suspend her campaign.  Then they turned on McCain like a bad dog. 

But what if somehow Hillary had managed to win the nomination?  After-all, she was the popular vote winner, and won all the big states except Illinois, as well as the critical swing-states.  The goofy DNC rules gave Obama a narrow lead in pledged delegates, primarily (pun intended) due to the way his campaign gamed (cheated) in the red state caucuses and the overwhelming (85-90%) support he received from African-American voters in southern (red state) primaries.  Neither Hillary nor Teh Precious won the nomination outright based on pledged delegates, it was decided by the superdelegates.  So what if the SD’s had voted for her instead of him?

One thing is for sure, the media would still be loving them some straight-talking St. Maverick.  He wouldn’t be old, evil, or racist.  Assuming he had still chosen Sarah Palin she would be considered a smart, reform-minded candidate who was uncorrupted by Washington D.C.  She would also be getting praised as something new and exciting, a conservative, christian feminist.

We would still be hearing a lot about racism though, because the media would be constantly talking about how African American voters would be staying home on election day to protest how Hillary had stolen the nomination with the help of racist superdelegates.  Even if Obama was her running mate, voting for McCain (or not voting) would be considered the only principled choice for progressive Democrats (not just AA voters) because the racism and corruption of the DNC could not be tolerated.

If Obama was not her running mate, he would not be out campaigning on Hillary’s behalf.  He would be praised for showing party loyalty by not launching a third-party campaign or (publically) criticizing Hillary, and would already be considered the Democratic front-runner for 2012.  Meanwhile he would continue to demonstrate his awesome post-partisan leadership skills in the Senate.

One other thing – the recent financial crisis would have been laid squarely at the feet of Bill Clinton, and it would be lamented that no one heeded the warnings given by both McCain and Senator Obama.

So, am I right or am I right?


Fair is Fair!

August 30, 2008

If you are a feminist, womanist, or a liberal/progressive who thinks women should cast their votes based solely or primarily on “woman’s issues” then you cannot rightfully criticize any woman who casts her vote in order to help a woman break the glass ceiling and become the first female Vice President.

If you have argued or agreed with the idea that there is nothing wrong with African Americans voting for for an African American candidate over a white candidate, even if the white candidate has a longer record of working to advance the interests of African Americans and advocates policies that are more beneficial to the African American community, then you are a hypocrite if you criticize a woman who votes for another woman based on gender, even if the male candidate advocates policies that a more beneficial to women.

As a white male, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  I have never criticized the overwhelming support given to Barack Obama by the African American community.  I think it is perfectly logical and reasonable for them to support an African American candidate in the hope of seeing him become the first African American President of the United States.  I also understand why so many women supported Hillary Clinton.

My issues with Barack Obama have nothing to do with the color of his skin, and my support of Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with her gender.  But anyone who supported Barack Obama in whole or in part because of his race, cannot criticize anyone who supports Sarah Palin in whole or in part because of her gender.  Fair is fair.

The primary campaign was historic because it saw one of the two major political parties select a Presidential nominee who is African American.  It would have been just as historic if Hillary was selected as the nominee, because she would have been the first woman to reach that milestone.

This election continues to be historic because the “highest, hardest” glass ceiling that has kept women and minorities from either of the two highest offices in the country will be shattered regardless of who wins in November.  If the person who shatters that glass ceiling is Sarah Palin, I will have mixed emotions.

I will be happy and proud to see a woman reach the nation’s second highest office.  I will be sad because that woman is a Republican, and because Democrat Hillary Clinton deserves the honor of shattering that barrier.

If the Democratic leadership had not been infected with CDS, they would have given Hillary the Presidential nomination that she both deserved and rightfully earned, and had he run a clean campaign they could have selected Barack Obama as her running mate. 

Had the Democratic leadership done so, both candidates would have blasted the glass ceiling to smithereens in November, and a more experienced Barack Obama would be perfectly positioned to follow Hillary into the Presidency eight years from now.  That would be sixteen straight years that the Oval Office was not occupied by a white man.

But the Democratic leadership was too full of hatred for the Clintons, and Barack Obama too arrogant and impatient to wait or to allow a woman to go first, so John McCain and the GOP have seized the golden opportunity presented to them.  Until yesterday morning I thought John McCain would more likely than not defeat Barack Obama in November.  Barring any unseen developments, I am now certain of it.

Four years from now, the Democratic party will have a final opportunity to ensure that the first woman President of the United States is a Democrat.  They can nominate Hillary Clinton, and watch her beat either McCain (if he runs for reelection) or Palin (if she is nominated to replace him.) 

She would also beat the stuffing out of any other Republican the GOP could nominate.

So if you supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination, don’t come whining to me about “McSame” or “4 more years of Bush” when McCain and Palin open a big can of “Whoop-Ass” on Obama and Biden this November. 

If you do, this will be my response:

“I TOLD YOU SO!”


You Down With O.P.P.?

July 2, 2008

Imagine falling in love with someone who is already in another relationship.  They tell you how bad that relationship is.  They tell you earnestly how it’s you they really love, not the other person.  They promise you that soon the two of you will be together forever. 

But they say can’t leave that relationship right now.  They tell you it’s financial, or for the children, or because they are afraid.  So they sneak out and come see you, enjoy some good hot nasty lovin’ and whisper sweet nothings in your ear.  Then they leave.

They keep saying soon, maybe next month, but next month never comes.  There is always some new excuse, some new reason, some new broken promise.  If you have ever been in this situation, you know how much it hurts.  But if you have ever had a friend in this situation, you would tell them the obvious truth:

“They’re just screwing you!”

How long has the Democratic party been coming by, sweet talking and schmoozing you, taking your money and votes, and then going back home to their real love?  How long have they been promising you the sun, the moon and the stars, but delivering nada planada?  Too long.  Way too too long.

Right now this country is controlled by an elite ruling class.  This class consists of life-time and charter members.  The life-time members are the wealthy, the rich and shameless.  They own or control the corporations and most of the wealth.  Some of them aren’t even Americans.  The charter members are the politicians and media.

Let’s jump in the wayback machine and go back to our nation’s founding.  The Democratic party is sometimes called the “Party of Jefferson” because we can trace it’s origins to Thomas Jefferson, our third President and one of the greatest political philosophers in history.  Jefferson is most famous for writing the Declaration of Independence and for making the Louisiana Purchase, but he did something else of great significance.

In 1776, as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, he authored and helped enact a law abolishing primogeniture.  Primogeniture is the common law right of the firstborn son to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings.  It is the tradition brought by the Norman Invasion to England in 1066. 

In feudal Europe, all the land was owned by the aristocracy.  Commoners worked on the land, but didn’t own it.  The more land you owned, the more status you had.  Most of our laws concerning property, water rights, landlords and tenants, trespass and inheritance derive from this system.

If you were the firstborn son and lived long enough, you got everything.  If you had male heirs, your siblings got nothing.  Your younger brothers had few options.  They could join the priesthood, where family connections could hopefully propel them to the status of Bishop or higher (the leaders of the Catholic church were very connected to politics, that’s why the game of chess has “bishops”.)  Your siblings could engage in intrigue and try to poison your food, thus moving into the line of succession.  Or they could participate in military ventures in hope of winning and being awarded captured lands.

Many of these younger sons of aristocracy were given land grants in the colonies that became the southern United States.  The goal of these settlers was to become landed gentry like their relatives back in Europe.  They wanted to own the land, not work on it.  “Gentlemen” didn’t work, they studied the arts and sciences, and lived lives of leisure.   They established plantations, and because they needed laborers to replace feudal serfs, they imported African slaves.

The North, on the other hand, was settled by non-aristocrats seeking religious freedom.  These people, who would become the “Yankees,” were small farmers, traders, and craftsman.  They became manufacturers, sailors, and businessmen.  Their goal was wealth, not land.  This is why slavery never caught on in the North, even though the Yankee sailors participated and profited in the slave trade.

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville argued that the abolition of the laws of primogeniture caused the death of the landed aristocracy and also brought a shift to democracy.  This was Jefferson’s goal, to eliminate aristocracy in America.  It wasn’t immediate, and it was a violent transition, but eventually the old system ended.

But it was replaced by something else that is just as much a threat to democracy as the aristocracy.  It was replaced by the corporatists.  Those Yankees were very successful at business, and the Industrial Revolution made many of them fabulously wealthy.  Chattle slavery was replaced with wage slavery.  And the Supreme Court of the United States even declared that corporations were “persons” under the law.

You can actually look at the Civil War as the point when the corporatists overthrew the old aristocrats.  The industrialized North versus that agragarian South.  The “good guys” won, right?  Maybe, or maybe not.  It was more like “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”  We traded one set of masters for another.

Frederick Jackson Turner wrote “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” in which he argued that the frontier shaped the American identity.  That has some truth to it, but the frontier also provided a safety-valve for discontent.  Anyone unhappy with their economic situation could head west in search of greener pastures.  But the frontier closed long ago.

With few exceptions, both parties have supported the corporatist aristocracy for generations.  Once upon a time the power was held by the railroads, the trusts, and big industrialists.  These were the capitalists that Socialism rose up in opposition against.  The workers of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries may not have had televison or the internet, but they knew they were being screwed.

They tried to fight back, and many were killed or imprisoned by our government.  There are numerous instances where police and military forces were sent to break-up strikes by killing, beating and/or arresting the striking workers.  It was a long and bloody struggle for economic freedom and democracy.

Not all politicians sided with the elites, and when the people were able to organize effectively they were successful in making changes.  Theodore Roosevelt was an early champion of the people.  He is known as a “trust-buster” and help break up monopolies.  He enforced regulation of the railroad industry and enacted the first laws on food safety and purity.  He also enacted the first environmental conservation laws.

The corporatists hated him.  As governor of New York he was so effective fighting corruption and “machine” politics that he was made William McKinley’s Vice-President in order to get him out of the way.  But then McKinley was assassinated.  Upon hearing the news of McKinley’s death, Senator Mark Hanna, then one of the most powerful politicians in the country, said “That damned cowboy is president now.”

Teddy Roosevelt was part of the Progressive Movement, which lasted from about 1890 until 1920.  Many changes were enacted during that era, including Women’s Suffrage, the direct election of Senators, Prohibition, and the passage of electoral reforms at the state level, including secret ballots, the initiative and the recall.

The corporatists fought back, and regained power during the 1920’s.  Much like the conservative ascendency that reached its peak under George W. Bush, the Republican Ascendancy of the “Roaring Twenties” was so successful is led to a complete repudiation by the voters in the 1930’s.

The liberal administration of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal began a long dark age for the corporatists.  The liberal movement continued to make gains until the 1960’s and early 1970’s, and the last great acheivements were the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and SCOTUS decisions on abortion and the death penalty.  

The defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment marked the end of liberal gains, but it was nearly 50 years after FDR that the corporatists were finally successful in beginning to rollback the New Deal under Ronald Reagan.  Since then it has been a battle by liberals to hold on to the gains made by their parents and grandparents.  The entire 8 years of the Clinton administration was spent defending against the corporatists.

Bill and Hillary Clinton, like Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, are not part of the corporatist aristocracy.  In fact, they are hated by those malefactors of great wealth.  Bill Clinton was elected on a promise to provide comprehensive health care reform.  He tried to keep that promise.  He appointed Hillary to lead the effort, and she did her best.  They were defeated, not by the Republican party, but by traitors in the Democratic party that sided with the corporatists.

These treasonous Democrats in Congress and the media have been posing as liberals and progressives for decades, but they are owned body and soul by the corporatists.  They  say they love us, but they are just screwing us.  They undermined Hillary’s health care reform, and forced Bill to settle for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” instead of lifting the ban on gays in the military.

For years now they have been playing a kabuki dance with George Bush, making speeches but not providing any effective opposition.  In 2006, a disgusted electorate repudiated the GOP and elected a Democratic Congressional majority.  But that victory was basically in spite of the Democratic leadership, not because of it.  

People wanted an end to the war and the lawless behavior of the Bush Administration.  Many of us wanted Bush and Cheney impeached.  So what did the new Democratic majority do?  Not a goddamn thing.  Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.

One of new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s first acts was to declare that impeachment was “off the table.”  There has been no effective attempt to end the war in Iraq, and continued funding for the war passes with little debate.  Congressional oversight into the activities of the Bush administration is a joke.

We now know that our government kidnaps and tortures people, operates secret prisons, and keeps people locked up without due process or the benefit of habeas corpus.  The Department of Justice has been politicized to the point of prosecuting political opponents and screening attorneys for partisan loyalty.

The administration lies, obfuscates and stonewalls, and all the Congressional Democrats do is write sternly worded letters.  They don’t even attempt to block the appointment of radical conservatives to the federal bench.  The latest outrage is the FISA bill, which among other bad things provides immunity to telecommunications giants that participated in illegal domestic spying.

The voters don’t want it, and it is anathema to liberal ideology.  It is in clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, and the immunity provisions will foreclose any independent inquiry of illegal domestic spying by the Bush Administration.  Not only is the Democratic Congressional leadership making no effort to oppose the bill, they are eager to get it passed with as little debate or publicity as possible.

This is why the Democratic leadership selected Barack Obama to be the nominee, in opposition to the will of the majority of the Democratic Party.  This is why the corporatist-owned media has pushed Obama’s candidacy and shrilly opposed Hillary.  Obama is one of them, while Hillary is not.

You don’t really think the Village hates the Clintons because they are redneck hillbillies, do you?  Bill and Hillary are both Ivy League educated lawyers, smart and sophisticated.  They are hated because they are loyal to us, not the corporatists.  That’s why the Democratic leadership wants to purge them from the party and discredit Bill’s legacy.

Senator Obama is a product of the corrupt Chicago machine.   His relationship with William Ayers isn’t about radical Sixties’ politics, it’s about Ayers’ family connection to Commonwealth Edison and Exelon.  Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, is a former lobbyist and astroturfer for Exelon.  Rev. Wright and Tony Rezko are just more pieces of the puzzle that shows the shape of political corruption in Illinois. 

Despite what the media claims, Obama is and has been the “establishment” candidate.  He had their money and support from the beginning, despite his empty resume.    We were supposed to listen to the media, we were supposed to fall for the “hope” and “change” slogans, and believe he was a grassroots candidate.  We were supposed to believe that Hillary is an evil, corrupt racist.  We were supposed to believe that she was “divisive” but that Obama was going to bring “unity.”  We were supposed to be stupid, low-information voters. 

But they miscalculated.  They underestimated Hillary, and they underestimated us.  They didn’t expect her to fight so well or so long.  They didn’t expect her to win our loyalty, respect and love.  They didn’t expect her to inspire us to rise in opposition to them.

They didn’t expect PUMA


I Was There When PUMA Was Born!

July 1, 2008

PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) is one month old.  It was several months in gestation.  I think the moment of conception was some time in between the Iowa causcuses and the New Hampshire primary.  That was when the Village idiots in the MSM were prematurely celebrating Hillary Clinton’s political demise. 

But something unexpected happened.  The voters of New Hampshire, especially women voters, rallied to support Hillary, and gave her an upset victory.  Some exit surveys showed that these voters were outraged by the media’s treatment of Hillary.  Rachel Maddow called it the “Tweety Effect” because of the over-the-top Hillary bashing of Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

During the next few months there were many  more incidents that helped PUMA to form and grow.  There were the false accusations of racism leveled against Bill and Hillary by the Obama campaign leading up to the South Carolina primary.  There were reports of “irregularities” in several state caucuses.  There was the constant biased media coverage.

Most significantly, there was the conduct of the Obama supporters.  Ranging from rude and obnoxious to bullying and intimidating, these “Obots” launched attacks on Hillary and anyone who dared to support or even defend her.  Disturbingly, these attacks reeked with the stench of right-wing meme, recycled from the Nineties.

The Obots goal was to shout down and stifle anyone they disagreed with.  They were partially sucessful.  They drove Hillary supporters out of several allegedly “progressive” blogs.  But rather than be silenced, the refugees started new blogs, like The Confluence which was founded by Riverdaughter.

Hillary had a bad month in February.  After winning big on Super Tuesday (but not receiving delegates commensurate with her wins) she suffered a series of defeats, mostly in solid “red” states that will almost certainly vote GOP in November.  But she persevered, and came back to win big in Ohio and Texas.  She then went on to win landslide victories in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Senator Obama on the other hand, began to stumble as the nation finally began to look closely at his record and his dubious associates.  It was obvious that the more the voters saw, the less they liked.  But the media tried to shield him, and the Democratic leadership tried to drag him across the “presumptive” finish line.

This brings us to Florida, Michigan, and the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee.  Michigan and Florida scheduled primary elections prior to the date set by the DNC.  This was done by their state legislatures, not the state parties.  The DNC, led by Donna Brazile, decreed that the two states would be stripped of all delegates.

Senator Obama, pandering to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, took his name off the Michigan ballot.  He urged other candidates to do the same, hoping to make Hillary look bad.  Several did so, but later Obama supporters were urged to vote “uncommitted.”  Obama’s name remained on the ballot in Florida.  Hillary won both states by large margins, although “uncommitted” finished second in Michigan.  The Obama campaign blocked any revote attempts in both states. 

As the campaign season progressed it became obvious that the Democratic party was facing a public relations nightmare of having disenfranchised two important states.  But the DNC leadership was unofficially supporting Senator Obama, so they were unwilling to restore the delegates because that would give Hillary the lead if not the victory.

So the RBC held a meeting to resolve the problem.  Their backroom deal is best described by meeting attendee John David Overton (aka Mawm): “Lipstick on a pig!”  The RBC not only gave Senator Obama all the uncommitted votes in Michigan, but they even awarded him some of the delegates won by Hillary!

That triggered labor, and the birth contractions began.  It was obvious to Hillary supporters that the election was fixed and that the party leadership had decided to ignore the majority of the voters and select Obama as the nominee.  It was also obvious that they were taking Hillary’s supporters for granted, assuming we had nowhere else to go and would have to support their candidate.

A few days later I joined several other Hillary supporters at The Confluence.  The overwhelming consensus was defiance to the party leadership.  Then a Conflucian posted this:

SM, on June 1st, 2008 at 3:39 pm Said:

HORRAY FOR HILLARY!!

Thank you Puerto Rico!

I am making an announcement. I am now a member of the PUMA party.

P arty
U nity
M y
A ss

Rico, give everybody a round of Barcadi & Coke on me!

 

PUMA was born!

PUMA is a uniquely grass-roots phenomenon.  We not only have no institutional support, the candidate that inspired us has endorsed the candidate we oppose.  But it’s not about her, it’s about him.

We do not, cannot, and will not support or vote for Senator Barack Obama. 

Call us names, accuse us of racism or of being Republicans, we don’t care. 

NO DEAL!


It’s Not About Hillary

June 28, 2008

     There have been numerous posts throughout Left Blogistan in the last few weeks concerning Hillary supporters. They are right about one thing. Hillary supporters are angry.

The Obama Fan Boiz (OFB) at the original pro-Obama blogs either arrogantly predict that the “true” Democrats among Hillary’s supporters will “get over it” and “come around” by November or they are trying to figure out how they can manipulate Hillary supporters to make that happen. The confident ones tend to be obnoxious and condescending, and can’t seem to stop bashing Hillary and her loyal supporters.

The others are taking a less antagonistic and more sensitive approach, advocating that the people who supported Hillary be given time to “grieve” and stressing things like party loyalty and the different type of Supreme Court appointments that Obama and John McCain would likely make. Roe v. Wade is frequently mentioned.

Both types of OFB are clueless. They don’t even know who we are, let alone what we think.

There are a number of former pro-Hillary sites that are now pro-Obama, some tepidly, some enthusiastically. They too stress party loyalty and the difference between McCain and Obama. Some consider Obama a qualified candidate but would have preferred Hillary, others consider him the lesser of two evils compared to McCain. I hold no animosity for these new Obama supporters. I understand their position, but I don’t agree.

Lastly, there are the P.U.M.A. (Party Unity My Ass) sites. Most of them are fairly new but have seen tremendous growth in the past few weeks. The denizens of these sites are sometimes referred to as “dead-enders.” Markos Moulitsas Zuniga called us a “shrieking band of paranoid holdouts.” I am a PUMA. 

The conventional wisdom is that PUMA’s are mostly older women who consider themselves feminists. The OFB think we are either are racists or GOP ratfuckers. The conventional wisdom is wrong.

PUMA’s do tend to be older than OFB’s, but we are among the demographic that is into blogging, meaning that most of us aren’t retired. We’re in our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Many of us are male (like your truly) and most of us are above-average in education (most political bloggers are.) There are large numbers of LGBT’s in the PUMA movement, as well as racial minorities.

There is a common meme that Hillary’s supporters, being older feminists, “identified” with her and took the sexism and misogyny in the campaign personally. Speaking for myself, I found the sexism and misogyny offensive, and was shocked to see alleged “progressives” participating. I agree with Melissa McEwan that such people are “fauxgressives,” because no true progressive can be a sexist.

Many PUMA’s recall the Sixties, even if we were too young to participate in the struggles. I was born in 1960, and one of my earliest memories was the JFK assassination. I was 3 ½ half years old when he was killed, and I recall my mom coming home early from work that day, and I remember the television coverage of his death and funeral. I have clearer memories of the MLK and RFK assassinations, especially RFK because I live in California he visited my town on a whistle-stop tour in the days leading up to the primary. I remember Vietnam and the anti-war protests, Watergate, McGovern (he visited my town on a whistle-stop in 1972) and Jimmy Carter.

PUMA’s are idealists, not racists. We are judging Obama on the content of his character, not the color of his skin. His character, and his resume. Nearly all PUMA’s are long-time or life-time Democrats. Although I am ashamed to admit that when I was young and dumb I voted for Reagan, I have been a yellow-dog Democrat since 1984, and have voted straight a Democratic ticket in every election for twenty-four years. I was a liberal back when it was a dirty word.

PUMA’s remember the Nineties and the Presidency of Bill Clinton. We never thought he was perfect, and his reputation even before he was elected was such that the Lewinsky scandal was not particularly shocking or surprising. We wished he was more liberal and less “triangulating,” but his entire time in office was spent defending earlier liberal progress against an ascendent conservative GOP.

In the early Nineties, it seemed that the “Reagan Revolution” had run out of steam. But it was only pausing to catch its breath. Headed by Newt Gingrich, the GOP went on the attack in a successful attempt to win control of Congress. They had money, organization, candidate recruitment, and media support. They had “talk radio” with Rush Limbaugh and soon had their own television network in FOX News.

Part of the GOP strategy involved destroying Democratic leaders through scandal. Privately funded operations dovetailed with Congressional investigations and special prosecutors. Salacious details and unsupported allegations were promptly leaked to the media. Bill Clinton was a prominent target. Richard Mellon Scaife funded the “Arkansas Project” to find dirt on the Clintons.

“Whitewater” was the most mainstream of the investigations of Bill and Hillary’s old failed land deal. $60 million was spent by Kenneth Starr investigating that deal alone. Other “investigations” included the firing of the White House Travel Office employees, Vince Foster’s suicide, and the White House Christmas card list. Tabloid papers like the National Enquirer competed with mainstream media on stories about the Mena Airport, murder, rape, drug dealing and numerous lesser offenses, including allegations that Bill fathered a child with a black woman.

In the end, Bill Clinton was impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate for lying about a blow-job, and settled out of court with Paula Jones. But the attacks also included the propagation of meme’s about the Clintons, including that they were “divisive,” “corrupt,” “power-hungry” and “ruthless.”

For PUMA’s, the most shocking thing about this primary campaign was the way those right-wing memes were recycled and used enthusiastically by Democrats against Hillary. Even worse was the adoption by the Obama campaign, the OFB and the media of the idea that Bill and Hillary were racists, or were at least using a racist campaign strategy. This naturally led to the meme that many if not all of Hillary’s supporters were racists.

If this false and despicable story were merely the work of the media it would be bad enough, but it was clearly being pushed by the Obama campaign. There is an old saying that “politics ain’t beanbag,” but this was beyond the pale. Of course, Obama himself didn’t publically push the meme, nor did he personally push any other smears. His campaign did the dirty work, allowing him to denounce such sleazy tactics (days later, after the damage was done.)

The RFK smear, alleging that Hillary was suggesting she stayed in the race in case of (or even hoping that) Obama was assassinated was icing on the cake after the racism allegations. To most PUMA’s, falsely accusing another Democrat of racism is unforgivable. But it isn’t just these smears that motivate the PUMA’s.

Conventional wisdom among the OFB and the media is that PUMA’s think Hillary lost due to sexism and misogyny. Again, they are wrong. PUMA’s understand that sexism and misogyny (as exemplified by the male pundits at MSNBC) were at most a contributing factor in the campaign. And Obama and his campaign didn’t really demonstrate sexism or misogyny as much as they did plain old contempt for both Bill and Hillary, as well as her supporters.

Let me tell you a secret: IT’S NOT ABOUT HILLARY.

It really isn’t. It’s about Barack Obama. We don’t think he is qualified to be President. We don’t like the tactics he used in this campaign. We don’t like the way he “won,” And we especially don’t like his supporters.

When you consider that we are almost all Democrats over the age of 30, then you must realize that we have experienced losing elections before. We are not merely sore losers. If Hillary had lost to another qualified candidate, we would be disappointed but we would still support the winner. But Barack Obama is not qualified to be President. He simply does not have the necessary experience. He is just now completing his fourth year in the US Senate. Prior to that he was a part-time legislator in Illinois.

His legislative accomplishments, both in the Senate and in Illinois, are unremarkable and there is evidence they were largely unearned. His voting record in Illinois is troubling for the number of times he voted “present” or mistakenly voted the wrong way.

Senator Obama has argued that in place of experience he has superior judgment. He offers as evidence a little noticed speech he gave against the war in Iraq back in 2002, but his statements and votes since then contradict the speech. His recent statements and policy flip-flops call into question his judgment, but not nearly as much as his association with people like William Ayers, Tony Rezko, Rev. Wright, Father Phleger and others.

His supporters argue that he is an inspiring public speaker, but he has been shown to have trouble speaking without a Teleprompter, and there are questions as to whose words he uses in his speeches.

As discussed above, PUMA’s are offended by the tactics used by Senator Obama in this campaign, particularly the race-baiting. This nation bears deep scars because of racism, and we are not yet fulled healed. Falsely accusing others of racism in order to win elections is an impermissible tactic, and doing so disqualifies the offender from holding office. Period.

PUMA’s are outraged at the way the Democratic National Committee and certain Democratic party leaders manipulated the rules in order to give the nomination to Senator Obama. The Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting on May 31st was especially galling, because they took delegates away from Hillary and gave them to Senator Obama. Donna Brazile in particular will always be infamous to PUMA’s.

We are also upset at the nomination system. The patchwork of primaries and caucuses (and sometimes both) all with different rules was bad enough. But the DNC rules gave too much influence to caucuses in small “red” states. Add to that evidence that Obama supporters gamed the caucuses to skew the results, and the legitimacy of the outcome is at best questionable.

Which brings us to the Obama supporters. PUMA’s understand that many of Senator Obama’s supporters are good, decent progressive Democrats that share our values. We have no problem with those people. But there is a group of Obama supporters that are obnoxious, abusive and nasty.

These people are not progressives or liberals. The are fauxgressive libertarians. This group is overwhelming young, male, and infected with CDS. They not only drove Hillary supporters away from the “A” list blogs, they followed us to new sites and attacked us there. The things they say range from rude and condescending to abusive and threatening.

Some say we should not blame Senator Obama for the behavior of some of his supporters. That might be true, but there is an old saying that “you are judged by the company you keep.” Senator Obama did little or nothing to prevent or denounce their behavior, and in some instances he seemed to encourage it, like when he used the contemptuous “dirt off your shoulder” gesture referring to Hillary.

PUMA’s have taken a long and thorough look at Barack Obama. They have given careful consideration of all the issue and arguments made for and against his candidacy. And they have concluded that Senator Barack Obama is unfit to be President of the United States.

But he is now the “presumptive” Democratic nominee, so many people think we must support him. Rebecca Traister at Salon said:

“These angry people have nowhere else to go. So the safe expectation is that they will fall in line without much kicking and screaming. And that, ultimately, is why many of them are kicking and screaming. Yes, they’re going to vote for Obama. Of course they’ll vote for him. The truth is, they’ll probably love voting for him. But after what they feel has been done to them — the way in which they were written off, marginalized and resented, their hopes mocked and their history-making ambitions dismissed as retrograde identity politicking — damned if they’re going to be nice girls about it.”

Ms. Traister apparently didn’t bother to interview any PUMA’s before writing about them. If she had, she would have discovered that we do have options. We own our votes. They are ours, and we owe them to no one.

We will not give them to Barack Obama.

Some of us will vote for John McCain. I myself, will not. I live in California, which has been solidly blue in Presidential elections since at least 1992. If my state is “in play” next November, Senator Obama will have lost so many other states that the outcome here will not matter.

I either will not vote for any candidate for President, or I will write-in Hillary Clinton’s name. Or perhaps I will cast my ballot for a third-party candidate. I will vote down-ticket for other Democrats.

Some PUMA’s see their actions as a protest. I see it as a battle for the soul of the Democratic party. Allowing John McCain to win is bitter medicine, but necessary to purge certain elements from the party, or at least the party leadership. There is no place in the party for sexism, misogyny, race-baiting, or CDS.

Now the situation isn’t hopeless. There are alternatives. The Democratic convention isn’t until August. One alternative would be to nominate Hillary Clinton. Of course, that would anger the rabid Obama supporters, and despite their “get over it” rhetoric they would likely refuse to support Hillary.

But like I said, it isn’t about Hillary. Even though we believe her to be by far the best available candidate, there are other Democrats that PUMA’s would support. Al Gore probably tops that list, but Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and Wesley Clarke are qualified for the job, as would be Madeline Albright or Dianne Feinstein. There are others as well.

One thing the Democratic party leaders and superdelegates should have no doubt about: We aren’t bluffing.

Party Unity My Ass!