Zombie Lies

November 12, 2008


So I’m making a Wedneday morning hangover tour of Left Blogistan and I see this in a comment at TGW:

As for KO, telling Hillary that there was no mathmatical way for her to win without the superdelagates did not strike me as rhetoric but sense. She lost a long time before she conceded, to my point of view.

Well that just made the swollen cut above my right eye start throbbing like it had it’s own pulse.  How many times are we going to keep hearing the same zombie lie?  You can shoot it, stab it, chop off it’s head, burn it to a crisp and blow it to smithereens and then you turn around and here it comes again, shuffling along in search of brains to eat. 

I did what I always do when I see a zombie lie – I blasted it with truth and gave it both barrels:

Obama needed the SD’s to win just as much as Hillary did.

Hillary won the popular vote, and if the the RBC hadn’t given Obama all the undecided votes in Michigan (plus some of Hillary’s delegates) she would have had the pledged delegate lead too.

But as I was typing out my response I was thinking how sick and tired I am of zapping zombie lies.  I’ve also believed that most advances in human history were not the result of hard work, they were the result of lazy guys like me trying to avoid hard work.  Then it struck me that we need to fight zombie lies with zombie truths.

We’ve known for a long time that Obama trolls are incapable of thought in the Cartesian sense (“Cogito, ergo sum”) so they rely on Axelrovian talking points (aka zombie lies) to provide semi-coherent content to their inane postings.  But those same zombie lies form the Kool-aid katechism of the sippy-kup kingdom that all Obama cultists undergo during indoctrination (“coming to Obama”)

Many of us have been engaged in discussions online or in real life and seen the sippy-kup kidz recite the same rote zombie lie, word-for-word.  A few of the more creative Obamanationals change a word or two but usually it’s spoken or typed in a memorized cut & paste monotone.  What we need is a set of zombie truths that are easy to access and effective.  If you see a zombie lie, go to your bookmarks, click on the zombie truth page, copy the appropriate zombie truth and paste it into your reply.  A printable version would be handy for those of us who aren’t surgically grafted to a computer.

But like I said, I’m lazy.  So I want y’all to do the hard work for me.  Tell me what zombie lies you keep seeing and your standard response (if you have one.)  Then I can compile and edit (cut & paste) them into a single post that you can bookmark.  Depending on the zombie lie, we might want a short and long zombie truth response.

We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  If someone else has already come up with a good answer, we can use it (giving them proper cred) but let’s try to make this our thing.  If the zombie lie is something like these:

I didn’t see the misogyny. I still don’t see it from KO.


As for Obama , I don’t think there wasn’t sexism from many people in the process but the fact that Obama said Hillary was likeable enough was not a strike at her gender.

the appropriate response may include a link to a site like Shakesville where examples of misogyny by KO and BO are detailed. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wasted time trying to relocate stories or sources so I can cite them in a post.  Many times the search has ended in frustration because the info has been moved or scrubbed.  Teh Google is not always your friend, sometimes it provides too much information. a virtual haystack containing a single needle.

Although the campaign is over we will be seeing the same old zombie lies for years, as well as lots of new ones.  Let’s create and maintain a one-stop reference for countering the propaganda, lies and spin that will be fed to us by Obamanation.  As I write this in a stream of semi-conciousness it occurs to me that this should be a PUMA priority.  This is not a one-person, one-post project, it’s a project that will take time and dedication and will utilize a variety of skills.  Some of you may not enjoy writing but you have mad skills at cataloging or organizing databases. 

What do you think?

PUMA – A Brief History (Part II)

October 30, 2008

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.

PUMA Planning

October 28, 2008

Darragh Murphy said “We are the ones no one was expecting.”  Damn straight!  PUMA is something rare and unusual, a genuine grassroots movement.  I am proud to be a part of it, and proud of my sisters and brothers in the coalition. 

But regardless of who wins next week, PUMA has a lot of work to do in the months and years ahead of us.  Although we surprised a lot of people (including ourselves) when we came into existence halfway through the campaign, we no longer have the element of surprise on our side.  So where do we go from here? 

Don’t look at me for the answer, I don’t know.  I do have some ideas, but so do many of you, and this coalition belongs to all of us.  Here is my suggestion, just a modest proposal and not anything more:  Think about it.

Think about what you would like PUMA to be, what you think we should do and stand for.  And one more thing, think about what you are willing and able to do for PUMA.

We need to think about, talk about it, and then we need to do something about it.  If we are going to make a difference, we need to start now.  And as Pat Johnson said earlier, “Let’s stop looking at 2012.”

Don’t believe everything you read

October 26, 2008


     I saw a link to a post at Taylor Marsh and some intuition made me click on it.  The post concerned a letter from someone claiming to be a former PUMA:

Dear Taylor, I wanted to write to you and apologize for things I’ve thought and said in the past after our primary elections were over. I admit, I was very very mad at you for not going along with what I know believe was a staged GOP chaos operation. I don’t feel good about myself or my actions being involved in a group that was nothing but full of lies and hate and looked at people like me as disposable if I no longer went along with their agenda. I feel disgusted, sad and just icky. If I could take the last few months back, I would. I am saddened and ashamed of my actions and behavior. I want to say I am deeply sorry for things I’ve either posted here out of anger or elsewhere. I wrote the following as a way I hope I can roughly explain my horrible experience with the so called PUMA group. Take care.

The last couple months I started to get the feeling these were not even Hillary supporters, much less Democrats. I found them parroting Rush talking points, posting articles from Free Republic and even throwing Hillary Clinton under the bus. I’ll never forget one thread where Hillary was fundraising for Obama. Two supposedly Hillary P.U.M.A. said she looked haggard and unattractive. I began to see the months I spent fighting misogyny along side people I thought were on my side be wasted and flushed down the drain. They also continued to insinuate Hillary was a weak woman and being controlled by Obama, that she doesn’t really support him, only doing what she is told to do. …

… Over the last couple months I noticed my favorite Hillary board begin to change. Republicans were made moderators and the new members vs old members was 2:1….

… I had posts deleted for pointing out Sarah Palin supported giving $150 per severed wolf paw in Alaska that was killed from an aerial plane. I had posts deleted that said trickle down economics doesn’t work. I had posts deleted that showed McCain favors giving tax cuts to the wealthy while Obamawants to give a break to the poor and middle class. I was told by Hillary supporters that McCain has a better tax plan AND healthcare plan than Obama. When I said no and pointed out reasons why..you guessed it..my post was deleted. Right there was my proof these were never Hillary supporters. …

I would like to thank the P.U.M.A.s for making me wake up before it was too late. … … …

(emphasis added)

I’m assuming that the ellipsis marks [. . .] were placed there by Ms. Marsh to indicate missing text.  Now Taylor supported Hillary during the primaries but promised that she would support Obama if he became the official nominee.  I’m not going to criticize her for keeping that promise, even though I chose a different path.

But when I saw that letter I recognized it from a post I saw while wading through some sewage early this morning:

Read the rest of this entry »

Would You Buy A Used Car From This Man?

October 26, 2008

Democrats For Principle Before Party is running this ad.

You can help – donate at Tom In Paine

What’s next?

August 28, 2008

Many PUMAs are depressed and angry today.  I understand how you feel, even though I expected this result.

The nomination was rigged, long ago.  The people responsible for ignoring the will of the voters and selecting Barack Obama as the nominee have been plotting and planning for years.  This was no accident.  The full scope of what happened may never be known, but in hindsight some of it is obvious.

We were caught by surprise, and have been playing “catch-up” for months.  But we have made tremendous progress.  PUMA is less than three months old, and we have already made the national news.

So we lost this battle, but it was one they didn’t even expect to have to fight.  Now we have to regroup, get organized, and figure our and strategy and goals for the future.  There will be a need for local, state and national activities.  We need to be ready next time, so that things like caucus fraud don’t occur. 

This struggle will take a long time.  It will last at least four years, maybe longer.  Women’s Suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement took decades.  Considering the progress we have already made, I expect that we will achieve victory much sooner.

Meanwhile, life goes on.  We have jobs, families, and lives to live.  We need to pace ourselves, so we don’t burn-out.

Our next goal?  Making sure that Barack Obama is defeated in November.


Purging Dissent Is Not Democratic

August 28, 2008

Are “lefty” blogs purging dissent?

Today at TalkLeft:

The primaries are over. Sen. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are our nominees.

This is a historic day for the Democrats and for Denver. TalkLeft fully supports the Democratic ticket. I’ve resolved my conflicts and will both vote for as well as support Obama-Biden in 2008. A Republican-led Justice Department and a Supreme Court with another right-wing ideologue would be the worst possible outcome for me.

If you are unhappy with the ticket, I’m sorry. But, this is a blog, and it’s my blog. TalkLeft will do its part to ensure victory in November. In fact, I encourage everyone to make a donation now to Obama-Biden 2008.


Each of our posts can only accommodate 200 comments. So, for those of you who are remain unhappy with the ticket, please find another place to express your dissatisfaction and negativity. Those critical of the ticket will be limited to four comments in a 24 hour period.

Gee, Jeralyn, perhaps you should change the name of your blog to “TalkObama” since it will be restricted to his campaign-approved talking points.

I am a liberal and I have liberal values.  That means I “talk left” all the time.  To me, party is far less important than country or ideology.  If the Democratic party doesn’t reflect my values, I won’t support it.  Right now it doesn’t, so I don’t.  If that means I get deleted or banned, so be it.

Earlier today, Lambert Strether blocked my account at Corrente.  What was my sin? 

I mentioned William Ayers.  You know, the unrepentant domestic terrorist that is a known associate of Barack Obama.

Says Lambert:

It’s the PUMA equivalent of Bill Clinton shutting down LAX to get his haircut — a zombie talking point, repeated over and over and over again, gaining even its truthiness solely through currency.


And the amazing thing is — and here’s where teh stupid really, really burns — there are all sorts of reasons, right or wrong, not to vote for Obama that are actually important. That have to do with real people’s lives and real issues.

After the convention is, mercifully, over, I hope the PUMAs individually and severally have a come-to-Jeebus moment on truthiness and truth, and figure out whether “any stick to beat a dog” is the right way to blog, or not.* And whoever thinks anything, anything at all can be built on truthy foundation is a lost cause.

Lambert is one of the leading advocates of “Progressive Blogosphere 2.0” and likes to talk about blogger ethics.  So what does he do here?

First he compares the known association of Barack Obama and William Ayers to an urban myth.  LAX was never shut down so Bill Clinton could get a haircut.  He also implies it is strictly a PUMA talking point.  Then he refers to the documented association with the word “truthiness” implying it’s a lie.

When I argue with him, he insults me and calls me names: 

A more pathetic and futile attack on Obama’s judgment is hard to imagine — especially when there would have been so many more ways to attack. FISA’s about judgment. Heck, holding no hearings on Iraq is about judgment. But all we get is this lame-oh shit from wankers — as evidenced by their behavior — who seem totally unable to elevate their game. And this from the inventor of the great Obama Golf! Sweet Jeebus!

And the futility of repeating it, long after it’s clear it’s not getting any traction, doesn’t help matters at all. In fact, it makes you look, as I have pointed out, stupid.

The bright side is that at least we’re dealing with amateurs.

So when I object to name-calling, Lambert says:

Calling names? Oh the humanity. Thank you for sharing your concerns. How about polluting five years of work and thousands of posts with unevidenced, unlinked, sloppily reasoned, tendentious zombie talking points? Over and over and over again? How does “calling names” stack up against that? I’ve reached my gag limit on this. Put up or shut up, and stop making the blog look bad. That goes for the whole load of zombies, all of them: Ayers, Rezko, all the signs hung round the necks of all the zombies. Do the analysis. And it had better be real, unlike whatever No Quarter’s been peddling this week, and better than what that Diamond guy was peddling. Do the work. Not, of course, that it will make any difference now. Well done, all. Deliver me from “friends.”

Finally, he tells me this:

I await the investigative report with interest. Seriously.

Then he promptly blocks my account, making it impossible for me to respond or post the report he claims he is awaiting (seriously.)  Good thing I have my own blog, isn’t it?

As Denisie commented on my earlier post:

It feels like he’s preparing to jump the shark and all week has been about his Thursday night or Friday morning post of “Barack got my vote.”

Earlier this year we saw the purging of dissent from DailyKos, MyDD and other sites.  That’s what led to the creation of The Confluence and Alegre’s Corner, along with many other new sites.  Lambert was one of the people lamenting that purge.  Now he does the very same thing.

Looks like we need PB 3.0

So, are any other “progressive” sites now requiring people to drink the kool-aid in order to gain admission?

“Zero Tolerance” means zero tolerance

August 27, 2008

Righteous criticism of Barack Obama has been made by Hillary Clinton’s supporters and others because of his association with people like William Ayers, Tony Rezko, and Reverand Jeremiah Wright.  He has also been justifiably criticized for the misogyny, sexism and CDS-fueled abuse that has been directed at Hillary and her supporters from the fauxgressive blogosphere.

But what if there was incontrovertable proof that Senator Obama did not share the beliefs of any of the actual individuals involved?  What if he strongly disagreed with the actions and words of Ayers, Rezko, Wright, and the Cheetopians, but merely maintained the associations with them, and/or accrued the benefits of their support, in order to reach the White House?  What if he intended to throw them all under the bus once he was victorious, and then govern as a true liberal/progressive?

I hope you would agree with me that if all that were true, he would still be a hypocritical opportunist who was unworthy of the Presidency.

Freedom of speech, religion and association require tolerance for different beliefs and opinions, but bigotry and discrimination are anethema to liberal/progressive ideology.  To be a liberal or progressive requires that  you have “zero tolerance” for any kind of bigotry or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or national origin.  It must be denounced, opposed, and disassociated from. 

The meltdown of Progressive Blogosphere 1.0 is due in large part to major “A” list bloggers turning a blind eye to misogyny and sexism because it helped the candidate they supported.  MASSIVE FAIL!

Remember during the February 26th debate when the late Tim Russert asked Senator Obama about being endorsed by Louis Farrakhan?  From Media Matters:

OBAMA: You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments. I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.

Following Obama’s answer, Russert asked, “Do you reject his support?” Obama then replied, “Well, Tim, you know, I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy,” adding: “I have been very clear in my denunciations of him and his past statements, and I think that indicates to the American people what my stance is on those comments.”

After some more back and forth between Obama and Russert, Hillary took Obama to school:

CLINTON: Tim, I just want to add something here, because I faced a similar situation when I ran for the Senate in 2000 in New York. And in New York, there are more than the two parties, Democratic and Republican. And one of the parties at that time, the Independence Party, was under the control of people who were anti-Semitic, anti-Israel. And I made it very clear that I did not want their support. I rejected it. I said that it would not be anything I would be comfortable with. And it looked as though I might pay a price for that. But I would not be associated with people who said such inflammatory and untrue charges against either Israel or Jewish people in our country.

And, you know, I was willing to take that stand, and, you know, fortunately the people of New York supported me and I won. But at the time, I thought it was more important to stand on principle and to reject the kind of conditions that went with support like that.

RUSSERT: Are you suggesting Senator Obama is not standing on principle?

CLINTON: No. I’m just saying that you asked specifically if he would reject it. And there’s a difference between denouncing and rejecting. And I think when it comes to this sort of, you know, inflammatory — I have no doubt that everything that Barack just said is absolutely sincere. But I just think, we’ve got to be even stronger. We cannot let anyone in any way say these things because of the implications that they have, which can be so far-reaching.

A political candidate has no control over how people vote, and can only “reject” votes by resigning.  But they can refuse to accept donations from people they disagree with, and they can reject any support or endorsement from those same people.  A liberal/progressive candidate must speak out forcefully against bigotry or inappropriate acts committed in their name, even if they had no prior knowledge or involvement.  Senator Obama failed to do that.

Liberal/progressive individuals, groups, coalitions and/or parties cannot associate with or accept support from bigots of any kind.  They cannot compromise themselves ethically in order to win.  “Winners never cheat and cheaters never win.” 

You cannot be a little bit unethical any more than you can be a little bit pregnant.  You either are or you aren’t.  If you find out your group contains bigots, you must kick them out or leave.

And you can’t wait until after the election either.  That’s zero tolerance.

Howard Beale – Honorary PUMA

August 21, 2008

The original “Mad Prophet of the Airwaves” from the 1976 movie Network:

I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it.

We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore.

We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.”

Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.

You’ve got to say, “I’m a human being, God damn it! My life has value!”

So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”  

Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:


Peter Finch (who played Howard Beale) died of a heart attack shortly after appearing on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to promote Network.  I remember watching the show that night, then reading Finch’s obituary in the paper the next day. 

Peter Finch was posthumously awarded the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Howard Beale.

BTW – Robert Duvall actually had the best line of the movie, playing Frank Hackett and channeling a modern network news executive:

“We’re not a respectable network. We’re a whorehouse network, and we have to take whatever we can get.”

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

July 23, 2008

It sounds cynical, but a political campaign can be viewed as a bidding competition. Candidates need votes to get elected, and the one who buys the most votes wins (unless Diebold is counting the ballots.) They don’t usually pay cash but promising a tax cut comes pretty damn close.

They promise to pass new laws, or to repeal old ones. They assure you that they will end waste, fraud and abuse, while making government more efficient. The put out a laundry list of promises hoping that your favorite issues will be covered. And just to see if you’re paying attention, they promise to pay for increased spending with tax cuts.

Our two-party system results in interest groups forming coalitions to support one party and its candidates. Although all of us have diverse issues we care about, some people have a pet issue or cause that they care about much more than the others. These people are often misnamed as “single issue voters.” In Parliamentary systems with multiple parties the elected representatives themselves tend to be more narrowly focused, so the coalition building happens after the election rather than before.

Conventional wisdom says that the GOP is supported by greedy businessmen, holy rollers and warmongers, while the Democratic party’s core constituency is a coalition of anti-American dope-smoking hippies, whiny minorities and man-hating, hairy-legged feminists. It is an article of faith among some progressives that blue-collar workers belong in the Democratic party but vote for GOP candidates because they are “low-information” racists.

The basic premise of a coalition is working together for mutual benefit. It isn’t limited to issues everyone agrees on, it also includes helping other groups achieve their goals with the implied or express covenant that they will help you achieve yours. Sometimes those various goals are in conflict with each other, and unless a compromise is reached the coalition may splinter.

In theory, the candidates and parties adopt platforms that reflect the combined agendas of the coalition members. But those platforms are meaningless if they only receive lip service after the election. Even worse is when the politicians secretly pursue agendas of their own that conflict with their stated platforms.

The old Democratic coalition is in disarray and may not survive. There are a number of different causes of this conflict, but one of the primary problems is that the Democratic leadership (including many of the current Representatives and Senators) have their own agenda, and they are aggressively pursuing it at the expense of their constituents. The FISA bill vote is a perfect example of this. There is no “Democratic” constituency that supported the FISA bill, and most Democrats were actively opposed to it, yet it was pushed forward by Pelosi, Hoyer, Reid and Obama,

Although the situation did not develop overnight, it became glaringly obvious during this year’s primaries primaries that some coalition members were very unhappy. Women comprise the single largest group of disaffected Democrats, but they are not alone. LGBT and Hispanic voters did not support the presumptuous nominee, nor did many old-school DFHs. It’s easy to understand their anger, because the Democratic leadership has breached the implied covenant that brought the coalition together.

There are several coalition factions whose goals I support but with less enthusiasm than they themselves have because I am not personally affected. I am opposed to racial discrimination but I am white. I support full and equal rights for LGBTs, but I’m a flaming heterosexual. I am pro-choice but will never have to choose because I am male. But even though those are other people’s issues they are is not in conflict with my own. I believe in protecting civil liberties and limiting the abuse of government power, particularly in regards to criminal law. I also believe in using the power of government to improve the quality of life of everyone, and to protect the weak against the strong.

For many years now I have faithfully cast my vote for whatever Democrat was on the ballot, often without making any inquiry other than party affiliation. But the reality is that for most of those years I simply gave my vote away, because I got nothing in return, for myself or for other coalition members. (The exception was the eight years of the Clinton administration.)

All those years I took pride in my party loyalty and now I realize I was just a fool, because I was telling the Democratic party and candidates they could take me for granted and ignore my wants and needs. The could pursue their own agendas without interference from me, because no matter what they did (or failed to do) they could count on my vote.

If I had been more disloyal they might have offered to pay me for my vote instead paying me no attention. Who knows what I could have got in return for my vote? I might have universal health care right now instead of my current plan which is called “don’t get sick.” We might even have “Congressional oversight” of the Bush Mob.

It wasn’t just me that screwed up though, it was the entire Democratic coalition. Our parents and grandparents allied their factions with others to form the coalition, which gravitated to the Democratic party because it had a liberal/progressive ideology. Some coalition members, like blue-collar workers, joined during the New Deal, but others became members during the Civil Rights era when minorites took the place of Southern conservatives. The conservatives and reactionaries who were unwilling or uninterested in staying in the coalition migrated to the GOP.

But beginning in the 1960’s and 70’s, the Democratic party started to become less responsive to the coalition’s agenda. They still said they supported the agenda, but they quit fighting for it. They made excuses, and blamed the Republicans for obstructionism, even when the Democratic party controlled Congress and the White House. They let Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich turn “liberal” into a dirty word. The Village idiots joined in, propagating the idea that liberalism is a bad thing, and constantly preaching that if Democrats want to win elections they have to become Republicans.

And the coalition fell for it, booing and hissing at the GOP while loyally voting for Democrats. Eventually it got to the point where the Democratic leadership did nothing, or even worked against the coalition goals. They couldn’t get legislation we supported passed, nor could they stop the GOP from passing legislation we opposed. But we kept voting for them anyway.

Now they even have the chutzpah to demand our support after they ignored the will of a majority of Democrats and gamed the system in order to force upon us an unqualified nominee for President.

Imagine if the PUMA movement had been around for a couple decades instead of a couple months. Imagine if PUMAs were adamant that they would not vote for bad candidates, even if it meant letting a Republican hold the office temporarily. More importantly, imagine if they demanded something concrete in exchange for their votes.

Eventually the Do-Nothing Democrats would be replaced with candidates who cared about our concerns, and were willing to fight for us. Or perhaps those new candidates would appear in the GOP or in a viable third party. (Once upon a time there were liberal Republicans, perhaps one day soon they will return)

So how do we fix this mess? First of all, we must stand firm and refuse to give our votes away any longer. If the Democratic party wants our votes, they must pay us for them, and not with promises. Their credit is maxed out. Since there is no promise we can trust, they must give us a nominee we can trust. Obama ain’t it, and if he is the nominee we will not support him, and will actively oppose him.

And either way, if they want our votes 2 or 4 years from now they will have to pay for them again. They will have to pay for our votes every election, and can never rest on their laurels. “What have you done for me lately?” is a question every incumbent Democrat better be able to answer satisfactorily.

There is a tacit admission in every appeal for “party loyalty” that the party has failed us. If we were satisfied with the performance of the Democratic party and the presumptuous nominee, PUMA would not exist.  “Party loyalty” is merely a promise to pay later, a request for credit. 

Never again should we profess loyalty to any political party or candidate. Our only loyalty should be to ourselves, to each other, and to our principles. But we should demand loyalty from politicians and parties, and we should expect them to prove it, over and over. We should not give politicians or parties the benefit of the doubt on the votes they make or the people they associate with and accept money and gifts from.

Our nomination and election process is completely FUBAR’d, including both the party rules as well as the law. We should have one uniform set of laws, regulations and rules, and both party nominations and the general election should be determined by popular vote. We also need comprehensive campaign finance reform including the requirement that television networks and stations set aside a certain amount of time for candidates to use free or at minimal cost.

Barack Obama must be defeated. Preferably at the convention with the assistance of the super delegates, but if necessary in November with the assistance of John McCain. And we must root out the cancer that infects our party leadership. Barack Obama is the visible manifestation of the illness, but it’s roots run much deeper.

That’s why we should think of John McCain as chemotherapy for our party. When a cancer patient undergoes chemo, his or her doctor prescribes a drug cocktail that will make the patient very ill, but will hopefully kill the cancer. Allowing the GOP to control the White House is bitter medicine, but necessary to restore the moral health of the Democratic party.

Obama trolls like to falsely accuse PUMAs of being “McCain supporters.” That accusation is false because PUMA’s don’t look forward to a McCain administration, but they consider Obama the evil of two lessers. If Obama wins in November it will take years for the Democratic party to recover.

Our country is currently in a situation that historians refer to in technical terms as “deep shit.” The economy, the environment, and the war in Iraq are each a major crisis, and yet they are only part of problem the next President will face. The solutions won’t be easy or quick.

But before we can deal with the problems facing this country we need to put our own house in order. That means we need to either clean-out the corruption in the Democratic party or we need to build a viable third party. Reforming the Democratic party would be easier and quicker, because rank-and-file Democrats are not corrupt, but in order to do that we must first discredit and disempower Obama and his supporters in the party leadership. Losing the election would be a repudiation of his campaign tactics as well as his supporters behavior, but would not harm the party nearly as much as a failed presidency would.

So let us put our votes up for sale. The minimum bid is a qualified nominee for President. Bidding will remain open until November 4, 2008.