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Can a PUMA vote for Obama? Why or why not?

It seems to me that by the plain meaning of the acronym -- Party United My Ass -- the answer is Yes.

After all, I could hope for and even encourage the breakup of the Democratic Party while still voting for Obama as the lesser of two evils, could I not?

Or is voting against Obama the essence of PUMA-dom?

NOTE I like the "ROI" frame in comments at TalkLeft. What's your ROI from the Democrats?

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FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

that is, NOT voting for him, voting for McCain or voting for 3rd party are all part of PUMA.

To vote for Obama is to vote in support of all that PUMA is against: the hostile takeover of the Democratic party, the shameful cabal of the DNC, the misogyny in general, and the disgraceful treatment of HRC. Obama's nomination is the end product of all that.

If you vote for Obama, that's what you're voting for and no amount of rationalization will change that. A tepid vote is the same as an enthusiastic one.

IF you've already decided to vote for Obama, you've already taken yourself out of the battle. Obama and the current Dem leadership win. You get nothing and you've just helped the eviction of certain demographics out of the Democratic party.

Voting Obama (as lesser of 2 evils or whatever, truly, it makes no difference) does not make you a tepid voter or neutral observer, it makes you part of the takeover.

It also means that by publicly declaring your vote for Obama, you've made the work of the resistance harder because you've become a data point for the "they'll fall in line because they have nowhere else to go" crowd. Again, for them, it does not matter whether your support is tepid or enthusiastic. They only want your vote and you gave it to them for nothing. You've helped consolidate the power of Obama and the DNC over the party.

Tepid support is support nonetheless.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

voting isn't til November anyway--you're actually United with him --and all that they've done to make him the candidate -- if you've already said you'll vote for him no matter what.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

I would, however, add that its not voting for Obama per se that is the problem...

Its making the public declaration that you are voting for Obama.

Regardless of how much you protest, a public declaration of support for Obama represents, at minimum, an acquiescence to the complete corruption of the Democratic Party, and acceptance of incompetence and venality in the Oval Office.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the preemptive pledging of your vote to him --that's what the problem is.

You're telling them all that what they did is ok, and that Obama is a good choice and that you can safely be ignored/dismissed as he moves even further right and pays attention to others instead of to us and our (wholly Democratic) issues.

You've given them permission to take you for granted--which is not good, issuewise.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

That's simply not true.

I'm telling the truth, that Obama is the shittiest candidate I ever expect to vote for.

I'm telling them -- over and over again -- what they did was not OK and that he is not a good choice.

Your "leverage" argument is a fair one, just not one that suits my #1 agenda of getting the GOP out of office and my personal prime directive, which is honesty. I've made my decision, for better or worse, and I'm being honest about it. Obama may destroy my party and my country, but he won't make a liar out of me.

I prefer not to be misrepresented, as well. So, please don't conflate my failure to pursue "leverage" your way with saying that "what they did is ok, and that Obama is a good choice." I'm saying that what they did is shitty and Obama is -- amazingly -- a barely better choice than John Fucking McCain.

Submitted by gob on

who is listening? Who cares what you or I might tell them? My vote is all I have, and even that is one whisper drowned in millions of others.

I printed out the first six pages of the "What it Takes" post-plus-comments, stuffed them into the Obama campaign's prepaid envelope, and dropped it into the mailbox yesterday. Thirty seconds of satisfaction, sure, but so what?

Submitted by lambert on

Seriously, I hope more peopel do this. It's great. Why not?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Point of clarification.

The DNC, by law, holds in trust the full authority of the Democratic Party; there is no meaningful distinction. Obama, as the "presumptive" nominee, is by conventional practice - and now by common consent of the entire DNC and thus the entire Democratic Party including Hillary Clinton - the putative head of the Party. There is no functional distinction between the Democratic Party, the DNC and Barack Obama; they are one entity.

Everyone else calling themselves a Democrat is just a hanger-on.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I think folks can agree on the goal, reforming the Democratic Party, and disagree about the best way to get there. Does an Obama victory reward bad actors and ensure 20 more years of FISA capitulations? Is McCain too bad to vote any other way? Will Obama be such a discredit that he'll destroy progressivism for 20 years? Will McCain destroy the federal bench and agencies for the next 20 years?

All of this requires looking into your crystal ball and being able to accurately see the future, which none of us can do. I think instead of arguing over who to vote for, we should instead be looking at what we agree on and trying to figure out how to make that happen in the event Obama wins or in the event McCain wins. I think there will be opportunities under either scenario, but we have to be ready. If we spend all our energy fighting each other over who to cast a vote for, then we'll still be bickering four years from now.

This country is verging on economic disaster. We have an unpopular war in Iraq. We have a failing war in Afghanistan. We have a deficit spiraling out of control. We have gas prices going up with no end in sight. A mortgage crisis that hasn't necessarily peaked.

It's ridiculous to think everything is going to be great regardless of who wins in November. It's going to get ugly because things are bad and that's not going to change overnight. And so regardless of who wins in November, the "leadership" is going to have problems, I predict because people are going to continue to be unhappy.

At this point, what needs to be done is to build a strong movement interested in taking back the party and restoring Constitutional Government, which are related and overlap, but not exclusive. Simply voting - regardless of which way - isn't enough. These people never learn when the lose. They never change when they win.

So, what PUMAs or whatever the hell you call 'em need to think is Shock Doctrine. Why leave it only to the bad guys?

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I thought the whole point is that people won't vote for Obama simply out of "party unity". That does not mean one cannot have other reasons to vote for Obama. But the big push by Party leaders seems to be based solely on "party unity" or anti-McCain. Neither line of argument will work, IMO.

Some will be scared of McCain and vote for Obama. Some will never be able to get over the way the nomination was handled and see a vote for Obama as an acceptance of everything that went on. Obama and his strongest supporters don't seem willing to address the electoral concerns because it will weaken Obama's candidacy in the short term even though it will strengthen it in the long term. To me that seems like how an Obama administration will be handled. Not very promising if you ask me.

Submitted by lambert on

"And he told me to fuck off".

(To be fair, and I am being fair, the "reply" is the prolix press release also quoted by WKJM, over in the FISA thread. Thanks for the heads-up, FrenchDoc.)

You know, even I am surprised by the sheer volume of material received by the Department of Schadenfreude on this one. It's like Christmas came early!

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

in the comments over at FDL... unless the Obamabots have not swarmed the thread yet.

BTW, FDL is one of the few A-list blogs that did not go completely ape-shit during the primary.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

--like he did this time? like he did last time? while he's campaigning in all 57/48/etc states? like he's ever ever done?

He's more full of shit than Dubya--don't sell us this as a "compromise", Mr. "Constitutional Law Professor".

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Krugman pointed that out the other day when Naomi Klein called Obama out on his economic advisor. People weren't deceived by anyone other than themselves.

With Obama, it's not just that he has little experience and ran to the right of Hillary Clinton on domestic issues. It's also that despite this everyone treated him as some sort of progressive, grassroots savior.

At least with Hillary I was getting someone with experience in government and sharp political skills as well as someone who was a bit more progressive on domestic issues. With Obama I don't get even that rather anemic list of benefits and I get to put a country that's falling apart into the hands of a person who has no real experience that would prepare him to handle it.

One of the reasons why I think I can't get over my anger at the Democratic Party is that on some basic level I think it's irresponsible of them to hand the mess that this country is in over to such an inexperienced politician.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

do we get to say "we told you so and you called us racist and bitter!"?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

those of us who never bought his bs all along knew it was lies, and were savaged for it--Edwards and Clinton (both better candidates in every way) were beyond savaged for it.

It's Rovian, and standard GOP procedure-- Attack others for stuff you are doing yourself.

Submitted by lambert on

Never.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

I plan on making myself really obnoxious to every Obama voter I know by telling them that "We told you do and you called us racist and bitter" (WTYSAYCURAB)... heck, I'm sure I can make it a series. This is only the first of a long series of betrayals.

Submitted by lambert on

Unless you believe they just won't change it whenever the latest line changes. (I mean, that's why they told us to look at it, I would think.)

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

cal1942's picture
Submitted by cal1942 on

Right now and we'll have the opportunity over and over again as time goes by.

cal1942's picture
Submitted by cal1942 on

Bravo.

The greater of two evils is letting the bastards get away with it.

Leave the top of the ticket blank.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Republican v. Republican-lite.

This time i seriously see it as Republican v. Republican. And this time the actual Republican isn't the one who's peeing on us while telling us it's raining--but the one who's supposed to be the good guy.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Because whether they like it or not, they are now in all those HIllary supporters' shoes. We've been told not to ask for anything for our vote. Guess what? They're going to be told the same thing. Fall in line.

Jcl's picture
Submitted by Jcl on

bringiton wrote:

Everyone else calling themselves a Democrat is just a hanger-on.

It is point-blank absurd to suggest that we the voters and the volunteers are the parasitic hangers-on. We are the democracy in the Democratic party. Without us they are NOTHING.

They don't "own" the party because the party is the people. What they own is an empty shell of an apparatus, worth nothing in and of itself. I could go right now and file some papers and that would be what the DNC is without the voters making the DNC into something real.

Let's see how much power they have if we don't vote for them, hmm? They have power only because we give it to them.

We are the ones who have donated our time and our money and that gives us a claim - and a right to punish those who steal from us with their fraudulent promises. They are not doing us some sort of favor by letting us vote in their party. They are not doing us some sort of favor by letting us vote for our President.

They were supposed to represent our interests. When was the last time they stood up for us?

This can be fast and painful or it can be slow and lingering, but one way or another - this party isn't going to reform until it has to. And it won't have to as long as there are enough people willing to feed the parasites.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Don't believe so. If you can find where I have said that about Democratic voters or activists, please link to it. Otherwise, please refrain from throwing out strawmen. Waste of time putting them out, waste of time having to refute them.

JCL: We are the democracy in the Democratic party.
There is no democracy in the Democratic Party (or the Republican or the Green or any of them). None is required, and none is intended. If you believe so, you are suffering under a delusion.

They don’t “own” the party because the party is the people.
The Party is an independent legal entity, constituently composed of the attendees at the quadrennial Convention and resting in trust with the DNC for the rest of the time. “The people” have no standing. They are encouraged to think of themselves as belonging, and many fall for that pitch. It just isn’t true.

Let’s see how much power they have if we don’t vote for them, hmm? They have power only because we give it to them.
Very good. Exactly correct. Now what, Jcl? Gotta take the next step; what will it be?

We are the ones who have donated our time and our money and that gives us a claim...
And Donna Brazile falls down laughing. Claim away, see what it gets you.

...- and a right to punish those who steal from us with their fraudulent promises.
If you can figure out how.

They are not doing us some sort of favor by letting us vote in their party.
Actually, they are; they have no legal requirement to do so. Nor are you required to participate. When you participate, you do so at you own risk. They owe you nothing in return.

They are not doing us some sort of favor by letting us vote for our President.
This confuses the Party process, a private matter determining the Party’s candidate for the presidency, with the constitutional process of electing the president. They are not the same, although one of them certainly influences the choices available in the other. Persisting in confusing the two will not help sort out the particulars, nor will it make evident what needs to happen to effect change in either one.

They were supposed to represent our interests. When was the last time they stood up for us?
When was the last time they were forced to? IIRC, 1955-1965. Since then, not so much.

This can be fast and painful or it can be slow and lingering,...
Such an optimist! It can, and likely will, be both. That seems to be the pattern; slow and lingering painful periods punctuated by fast and intensely painful changes which create new problems, leading to another slow and lingering painful period ad infinitum. It is a process; it does not have an ending.

...but one way or another - this party isn’t going to reform until it has to.
True.

And it won’t have to as long as there are enough people willing to feed the parasites.
True.

So what’s the plan, Jcl? (And while you’re formulating that, please take care to not make things worse. Bad as the current Democrats are, the Republicans are more so in every particular.) I look forward to reading about what you propose to do.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

If losing alone caused the Democratic Party to reform, we'd be into our dozenth reformation in the last 30 years.

That's one of the things that needs to be reformed. No matter how badly you fuck up or how weak you are or how much you lose, there's still a place for you at the head of the Democratic Party table. Which is what people like Brazile count on. Hell, just look at Daschle. He was such a bad minority leader, he lost even his own seat. It's not going to keep him from playing a prominent role in any Obama Administration or within the party.

I think there are a lot of reasons why the party elite hate the Clintons. But one of them, I suspect, is that when they are in the room, it reminds everyone of what losers so many of the rest of the party elite are.

Jcl's picture
Submitted by Jcl on

bringiton wrote:

There is no democracy in the Democratic Party (or the Republican or the Green or any of them). None is required, and none is intended. If you believe so, you are suffering under a delusion.

Hey, I'm not the one suffering the delusion. There are forms of power that don't involve trust or legitimacy, but unless the Democratic party has an army hidden around somewhere, it only has the kind of power that comes from actually earning support.

Now that the party has made it clear that it wants votes but doesn't intend to do anything at all to actually offer anything in trade, we shall see whether loyal supporters continue to donate time, money, and votes.

And, gee, maybe if we all stop going to work, our bosses will continue to pay us anyway. Just cuz.

When the people stop believing in an entity that, by sacrificing democracy, has also sacrificed its legitimacy, the big business donors will have no reason to donate, either. Why give money to an entity with no influence, that nobody listens to?

This is how third parties get their chance.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Not disagreeing that political parties are ineffectual unless they have a following, or an army. The issue I took above, and I'm sticking with it, is the notion that there is anything approaching democracy involved in the way the well-known parties operate.

Participating as a contributor at the lay level, walking precincts, working phone banks, writing letters, putting signs on the front lawn, going to rallies, thugging at a caucus, primary voting and all the rest of the activities available to the average Party adherent are not acts of democracy. The party structure ensures that the power of a presidential nominee selection is concentrated in the hands of at most 750 or so people, lead by a dominant cadre of no more than 25; every one else affiliated with the parties is either an enabler of that concentration of power, or a follower.

Such democracy as we do enjoy in the presidential process occurs separately from the party nomination process, in a fashion limited by the undemocratic nature of the political parties themselves.

Parties that fail to adapt to the needs of the populace, and that don’t have an army to enforce their will, eventually as you say decline and wither. This process is more along the lines of social Darwinism than anything else, albeit moderated by the surrounding democratic processes.

Jcl's picture
Submitted by Jcl on

...I don't think there is a darned thing you or I can do about it.

The Democratic party has lost its commitment to representing our interests. So supporting them anyway IMO is not a solution. It is just prolonging the inevitable.

I don't know what is going to happen. I do know that after 8 years of Bush means we badly need Democrats - but the Democrats are not fighting. We can try to make them fight but how will supporting them when they're not fighting do that? What will that do? That is precisely what got us into this mess.

I would rather have a forty per cent Congress of real fightin' guys on our side, than a President and a sixty per cent Congress of these wimps and their "oh I wouldn't want to upset the Republicans..."

inna's picture
Submitted by inna on

The Hard Choice (Obama and the Fall Into Tyranny):
Paul Craig Roberts on Obama and the 2008 election:
http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts06162...

("as bad as Obama is", "to reelect [the Republican] party is to murder liberty in America.")

personally, i'm glad i have a luxury of living in a deep-blue state and thus not having to vote for Obama (otherwise, i WOULD vote for him, without hesitation). i recently became a registered Independent and i'm likely to vote third party, simply to indicate my unsatisfaction with the direction the Democratic party is taking and with the two-party system in general.

as for McCain... i would rather have a lobotomy (as Vastleft says) than vote for him. ~

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on

for McCain -- and Palin is even worse, what with her Talibangelical followers praying to God for their ticket to be elected, and for McCain to then drop dead.

But you know, t hat's just me.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Than Obama's.

Wake me when you see a McCain/Palin brochure like this:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2...

When they say that faith-based groups will "help set our national agenda":
http://www.correntewire.com/obamas_ameri...

And so on:
http://correntewire.com/barack_still_put...

And so forth:
http://correntewire.com/why_was_there_on...

The good news is that Obama offers hope, a special possibility:
http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2008/08/b...

Now, I'm revolted at the prospect of McCain winning, but I honestly don't know which is more dangerous: a batshit insane authoritarian or a desperate accommodator drunk on hubris....

Submitted by lambert on

.. well, that's just politics or in crude form "he's lying."

We're in a fine mess when we have to assume our candidate's lying, and that we know what he really means, to cast our vote.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.