Monday, June 16, 2008

PUMA: Anti-Progressive, Anti-Democratic, Anti-Hillary

(Cross-posted at MyDD)

The more I hear about the "Just Say No Deal"/"PUMA"/"Stop Obama" coalition, the more perplexed I become. They say they're not aligned with the GOP, but many of them are explicitly out to elect John McBush over Barack Obama this fall. They say they're all out to "change" the Democratic Party after seeing what happened to Hillary Clinton, but they seem to think they can "change" the party by leaving the party. They claim to be standing up for "progressive" principles, yet they are now opposing the one candidate left in the Presidential Race who will work for the progressive cause when elected President.

So how exactly do we make sense of "PUMA"? Follow me down below to find out...

Ever since January, The Confluence has been a must-read for me. Back when it was a pro-Hillary blog, I loved to escape to this refuge from the nastiness present at major progressive blogs like Daily Kos. But over time, I've noticed a subtle change at this and other soon-to-be "PUMA" sites like No Quarter. Over time, my once favorite blogs became less pro-Hillary and more anti-Obama. And now, these sites have become just as nasty in their anti-Obama zeal as Kos was anti-Hillary.

But hold on, it isn't just the nastiness of "PUMA" that disturbs me. It's their self-defeating effort to "preserve progressive values". I mean, haven't we all complained about the ugly, misogynistic treatment given to Hillary by the media elite? So why should we now cheer on the ugly, misogynistic treatment now given to Michelle Obama? Haven't we all admired Hillary's hard work for universal health care, children's issues, women's rights, world peace, and so much more? So why should we now throw support to someone who opposes nearly everything that Hillary has fought so hard for?

Aren't there better ways for Hillary Clinton Democrats to channel the anger from the primaries? After all if we don't like what the DNC is doing, we can reform it. If we don't like what happened to Hillary, we can change the system to ensure no good Democratic woman suffers what Hillary has suffered through. If we want to promote Hillary's causes, we can elect a Democratic President & Democratic Congress to make sure we see progress on these causes. I just can't understand the "logic" of PUMA in focusing all their attention on stopping Obama and helping (directly or indirectly) John McBush.

Hillary isn't helped if we elect McBush. PUMA's efforts now will come back to bite them later. It will come back to bite them when President McBush kills universal health care, does nothing to make the economy work for working people, obliterates our Constitutional rights, destroys our civil rights, keeps our troops in the quagmire in Iraq, does nothing to actually make this nation more secure, ignores the climate crisis, and keeps this nation on the wrong track. Is this what Hillary would want us to do? Make this guy our next President?

I sympathize with all of those who are still hurting from Hillary's decision to step out of the race. I was crying as well. But when I really thought about it, I realized why she did it. Hillary cares about this nation more than her own personal ambitions, so she's supporting Barack Obama for President in order to make our dreams into reality.

So really, these "PUMA" folks need to stop and think before they carry on. What would Hillary really want us to do to support the causes close to her heart? What should we do as Democrats to strengthen our party? What should we do as progressives to ensure our nation moves forward? The answer for me is clear. And if "PUMA" actually still thinks what they're doing is pro-Hillary, pro-Democratic, and pro-progressive, then I think they're sorely mistaken.

{And btw, please join me in fighting the smears! :-) }


Diane said...

Well said. While I understand that many supporters of Hillary are still smarting, I think it is the right wing that is playing this up, and creating the perception that DEMOCRATIC women who supported Hillary will now vote for McCain.

Most people really aren't willing to cut off their nose to spite their face, and any Democrat voting for McCain would be doing just that.

bobby said...

its not about Hillary Clinton. It is about what is right and what is wrong. The DNC and the Obama campaign have become what we most disliked about republicans. They have engaged in smear campaigns, rigged elections, and dirty politics. Continue to sit on your high horse and make elitist remarks like we have become nasty, or bitter, or "smarting" as your troglodyte commenter put it. We are not the right wing. we are angry voters who have been ignored, disrepescted and trashed by the likes of you. We have conviction and principles and we will not sell out in the name of "unity". I have been a very far left, progressive democrat for over 20 years and there is nothing more sacred in a democracy than clear, transparent, FAIR elections. If you sell out on that you're just as bad, if not worse than the bush republicans. So go on, keep insulting us, call us republicans. We are determined that OUR party does not become a mirror image of the republican party. We are not leaving the party, we are fighting to take it back, and the only way to kill the beast is to cut off the head. If Obama wins our voices will be silenced forever. four years of mccain is worth saving the party we have always loved. Pelosi, Dean, Obama, Kerry...these are people you want in charge of the party? We all rejoiced in 06 when the Dems took back congress, but what good did it do? we're still in Iraq, the economy is in the toilet, and impeachment is "off the table". Do you really believe this "change" bullshit? That's what they we're selling in 06 and we bought it hook line and sinker. Where did it get us? NOWHERE! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. We are pissed off that dumbasses like you are walking our party down the primrose path to disaster. You, my friends are a bunch of sellouts. And instead of addressing the concerns of a very LARGE segment of your party, you demonize us and tell us we're no longer wanted. Then you turn around and get "perplexed" as to why we won't vote for the empty suit. We are not going anywhere, so keep on fretting. We can take the heat to. We've taken it from Republicans like you. It's a shame that now members of our own party are acting just like them. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Very well said Bobby!

The people who are "perplexed" at Hillary supporters, and other Dems who will not tow the line for Obama, must have been asleep the entire campaign.

How could they miss comments like this?

New York State Senator Bill Perkins used quite explicit racial stereotyping in a speech aimed at discouraging his constituents from voting for Clinton by saying, Harlem "is not Bill Clinton's backyard or his plantation. Underscore, plantation."

Is THAT racist? Who's playing the race card there? That was on February 4th...Oh wait, a SENATOR made this comment, but yet the media never reported it.

You know what? THE SAME MEDIA who allowed Shrub to get away with his horrible policies, are now allowing obama to sham us all.

The media picked up "fairy tale" and applied it to Obama's campaign, when in fact it applied to Obama's stance on the Iraq War (which he very plainly admits he wasn't "privy" to all the information, and wasn't even ABLE to vote), the press hinted it was race driven, and OBAMA picked up on it, and called the comment "unfortunate" instead of setting the record straight adding it to his "leaked" memo about "racially sensitive" comments by the Clintons.


I will NEVER vote for a candidate who USED RACE VERY PLAINLY to gain votes.


It's not about Clinton anymore, don't you people get that?

If they wanted true progressive power, they would have chosen the woman who single-handedly tried to reinvent the healthcare system in 1993 for God's sake...

THAT'S change you can believe in.

Not a guy routing millions from taxpayers to slumlords.


Student Guy said...

Hey atd,

I have something posted you might want to cross post here, it is my view of the role Sen. Clinton should play in the future (and talks about her appeal to a group that has been republican for a while).


atdnext said...

Bobby & Josh-

I understand that the media treatment of Hillary was downright horrendous. Again, I'm a Hillary supporter! I've been protesting the media bias as much as you have. But again, how will electing John McBush do ANYTHING to help Hillary or fight sexism?

I hate to nag, but what's the appeal of a man who opposes women's reproductive rights, women's rights in general, civil rights for all people, and judges who support the Constitution instead of undermine it? Was Barack Obama's campaign perfect? No. But will he be a MUCH better President than John McBush? I'm VERY sure about that.

Diane & Student Guy-

Thanks! And btw, SG, be careful what you wish for. I'm sending you a special email right now. I hope you accept my offer. :-)

Student Guy said...


Checked it out and done, I'll be refining it and posting it in a bit.

atdnext said...

Student Guy-

Thanks, and welcome aboard! Please make yourself at home here. :-)

Anonymous said...

Bobby & Josh--

I share your anger and frustration about this primary. I don't think it was necessarily undemocratic, but a lot of terrible things were said about the Clintons. For me the decision to vote for Obama was painful, but easy. I just cannot support McCain. I can't do anything that might help him get elected. He will take this country in the absolute wrong direction.

I have a lot of doubts about Obama, but I believe that he shares my values and he work to move them forward.

I respect your position, but I just don't think the best way to reform the party is to take down Obama. Let's face it. The stories have already been written. If he loses, it's Hillary's fault. The Clinton's will be further marginalized. My leader, Hillary, has endorsed Obama, so I am following her lead.

OC Democrat said...

I agree, Psychodrew. It was a tough decision for me as well. I supported Hillary from the moment she announced, and my support for her only strengthened as the media bashed her and villainized her.

But now that she's out of the race, I've had to make a really tough decision. I had many doubts about Obama. But if he's ultimately good enough for Hillary, I guess he's good enough for me.

And besides, McCain creeps me out. I'm old enough now to be an AARP member, yet even I think McCain's a crotchety old buzzard who would make a lousy Commander in Chief.

Nomobama said...

It is not a lie to say that I am somewhat dismayed at how easily some people have switched their allegiance from Hillary to Obama, especially after the nasty, derisive campaign waged by Obama's surrogates against the Clinton legacy.

Many Democrats are concerned about a Republican victory in the upcoming general election, which is understandable after eight years of poor leadership.

What I have a problem with is that the nominating process was seemingly unfair. The DNC, which one would expect to have at least some semblance of neutrality, did not. It has become apparent to me that the DNC and other party leaders favored Obama over Hillary, and that Hillary was forced to engage Obama in a way that effectively weakened her. The DNC had the capability to confront the sexism, and the false charges of race baiting that dogged the Clintons. I feel that Obama was groomed as the preferred Democratic candidate by the Democratic party leadership.

For this, I will never support the DNC, which means I will never support their candidate. My vote for their candidate would indicate that I approved of what happened during the election process. I wish that the DNC be purged of this clique of Obamists, and the only way to do so would be to oppose Barack Obama. His defeat will ensure that there will be a necessary shake up in the Democratic party leadership. John McCain's election to the presidency of the United States is the ONLY way to accomplish this. The DNC will answer to the Democratic rank and file, and any future party leadership will know that there is a limit to the amount of skullduggery that we will accept. They have stepped over the line this time, and they will have to answer for it.

John McCain is obviously not the person that I would have preferred as president. I hope that Hillary Clinton steps forward and runs as an independent. My vote will be cast for her with much relief. Otherwise, John McCain will get my vote because he is the lesser of two evils.

Any Clinton supporter who is currently supporting Barack Obama, does so with their blinders on. Hillary may have requested that we support Obama, but please understand that this was done to help ensure her very survival in a party whose current leadership would sanction her if she didn't. Her endorsement was done for political reasons only. I feel no allegiance to her request, although I understand the reasons for it.

In summary, what better way to express disdain for the DNC than to oppose their candidate. I can put up with four years of John McCain, who I believe is NOT another George Bush. On the other hand, to me, Barack Obama is the Democratic version of George Bush, and I want no part of that.

Anonymous said...

Nomobama, I respectfully disagree. I don't think that Hillary would ever say anything that she doesn't mean.

If you want to help Hillary, you should support Obama. If he loses, she will be blamed for it.

I don't have blinders on. I'm voting for Obama because he has a (D) next to his name. We had a battle for the nomination. He won. I am supporting the winner. No blinders here.

Anonymous said...

Obama will say what ever he has to in order to become President. You cannot believe it or trust it. It doesn't matter that Obama has a D next to his name. He is a Marxist socialist. He used the Chicago Machine and now he is using the DNC.

Hillary got my money. Now McCain will get it, along with my vote.

Anonymous said...

Libby, I don't agree with your decision, but I respect your right to vote your conscience. In my opinion, a McCain presidency would represent everything Hillary has fought against so hard. He scares me.

JSN said...

Kinda late to be posting on this thread, but it is important.

I was an Edwards supporter out of the box, so I got to be relatively agnostic on Hillary vs. Barack.

I didn't see much difference in the campaigns themselves, but certainly I know the MSM (troglydytes like Russert, Matthews, etc.) were far tougher on Hillary than Barack, at least until the Reverend Wright affair. Doesn't everyone remember how that was beaten into our heads, day after day, for almost two weeks, even though the story originally broke in April 2006. one year before the television news latched onto it?

I knew a punk/anarchist in college. He said the real way to get a Marxist revolution was to vote Republican... to increase disaffection among the workers increase their need for solidarity.

McCain and Clinton might have "experience" but, after a few decades, so did Stalin. Stalin didn't vote for the Iraq War, which has absolutely killed more than a million Iraqis, but two other people I can name, did.

If you vote for McCain, it is because you don't care about any of the policies, or the issues, and I have no idea why anyone lets you vote.

Anonymous said...

In defense of experience, do you remember the first two years of Bill Clinton's presidency? It was chaotic. He needed on the job training. He became a great president, but he had to become a great president. Hillary would have been able to hit the ground running, but Obama is going to take longer to settle into the job.

bebe said...

Wake up Clinton supporters - PUMA is the Republican's dream. I am sad Clinton is not Pres nominee, nor VP... very very saddened, but I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot and vote for McCain who does NOT support women's issues, national healthcare, many other issues, which she would support. If you can't vote for Clinton, vote for who Clinton would vote for: Obama... there are other ways to protest - when the next competent woman is candidate, try again... yes, next year, I hope it will happen!

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