Dead Enders and Picking on Poor Ol’ BarrackPosted: August 15, 2008
Puma has been receiving a lot of media attention recently. Some of the most interesting came yesterday when the MSM tried to determine the role of PUMA in seeing that Hillary Clinton’s name was properly placed in a roll call vote from the floor of DNC convention.
Every one was buzzing about the AP article yesterday as well as the appearance of Will Bower and Darraugh Murphy on MSNBC. What really got to me yesterday was one comment by Anderson Cooper to Candi Crowly late last night. Candy and Anderson were analyzing the impact of the Hillary Floor vote which the Obama campaign tried to twist into, well ‘it was always our intention’ and ‘we were okay with this all along’ moment. David Gergen on the same program said that the decision made it look like Obama could be bullied into anything. Anderson and Candy began to use the term ‘dead-enders’. I guess I was some what used to this word after having been compared to Japanese soldiers holding up in remote places after World War 2 earlier. However, Anderson did the term one better. He side joked to Candy about the last time they were using the term dead-ender. I’m not exactly sure what all he was intending to imply, but being compared to Sunni insurgents and the infamous Donald Rumsfeld/Dick Cheney neocon excuse for why Iraq just wouldn’t settle down and be happy after being invaded was an interesting metaphor. It took me aback.
Yesterday’s AP article was perhaps the first time the press really started looking at PUMA as something more than a group of disgruntled Hillary dead-enders.
Obama needs Clinton’s supporters to beat Republican John McCain. Polls show that he has won over most of them. But some simply don’t like Obama or still feel Clinton was treated unfairly during the primaries.
These groups are not affiliated with Clinton, who has endorsed Obama and campaigned for him. Representatives from the Clinton and Obama campaigns said they are working to unify the party because Obama will champion issues important to Clinton supporters, such as reforming health care, improving the economy and ending the war in Iraq.
“Senator Clinton understands and appreciates that there are supporters who remain passionate, but she has repeatedly urged her supporters to vote for Senator Obama,” Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said.
Within the PUMA movement itself there are a variety of differing opinions on where to go from here. This is because PUMA is somewhat bigger than Hillary at this point. It’s not just our support of Clinton and her treatment, but the cavalier way the DNC has tossed aside the one-man-one vote principle, adopted wholesale the Obama Agenda by disallowing and ruling off limits certain topics in the platform drafting process, allowed the caucus process to be pirated, and set up weights on election results that so obviously put an unqualified lightweight on a fast track. I don’ think we’re so much dead-enders for Hillary, but dead-enders for the Democratic Process and the American value of dissent.
I was listening to Proud Military Mom describe her frustration with the platform committee on River Daughter’s Internet show. She said many tried to discuss a future democratic party that relies on primaries and not caucuses because of their un-democratic outcomes and obvious openness to fraud. All discussions, she reported, were ruled out of order. She said the committee was there basically to rubberstamp the Obama agenda which had been part and parcel of this latest Obama book deal. Now the profits from this book deal are supposed to go to charity. One has to wonder if some of the charities will be Father Pfleger and Reverend Wright’s payment for staying out of the limelight until Barrack has convinced every one that his 20 years in learning to be black in that community was not the transformational process he bragged about in his book. After all, as the product of Ivy league schools (legacy and affirmative action points given) and an elite Hawaiian prep school, we all know exactly how he suffered a ‘black like me’ existence.
This gets me back to the dead-ender label. If you actually read PUMA blogs and follow those most active in forming the PUMA agenda, the focus is rapidly switching to Barrack’s shortcomings and the DNC subversion of the process. I think most of us are well-aware that Hillary’s been forced into sack cloth and ashes. Even CNN reported this week that she’s the FIRST EVER person defeated in the primary to actually support, campaign for, and travel with the presumed winner of the primary prior to the convention. Let’s not forget, Barrack pulled off a relatively insignificant lead in delegates. Let us also not forget, the delegate lead was based on some whacky formulation where Rhode Island wound up counting more than Pennsylvania and states, like Texas with its Two step, granted more electoral representation to relatively few voters attending caucuses than thousands and thousands more that turned up for primaries.
These PLUS the overwhelmingly bad treatment by the press for Hillary with the insipid silence of the DNC led to PUMA. Most PUMAs want to remain democratic. We are not a republican movement. We want the values of the Democratic Party. However, we will not sell out to people that set up rules that basically violate those values, and then be subjected to extortion with threats of Republican pre-occupation of misogyny and gay-baiting. The Democratic Party has not stood up for women and gay rights in an honest way for years. They have no right to black mail us now with further erosion of our rights when they have consistently backed away from fights with republicans on these very issues. Fights they could have easily won.
I hope the press continues its current fascination with the PUMA movement. I hope the PUMA movement continues to show that it’s not about being a Hillary dead-ender. It’s the DEMOCRACY stupid!!! Maybe, in that way, Anderson Cooper is correct. We are an insurgency fighting for our survival in country invaded by a party system interested in self-preservation and disinterested in doing what’s right.