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Petulant PUMAs?

vastleft's picture

At Jesus' place, Austin Cline seems to doubt that PUMAs have legitimate concerns or grievances about Obama.

To what extent are former Hillary supporters who threaten to vote for John McCain... standing on principle?


If you don't want to vote for Barack Obama because you sincerely think he would be a poor president for some reason, then even if you're mistaken your position may still be principled and reasonable. If you don't want to vote for Barack Obama — and worse yet want to vote for John McCain — simply in order to exact some petty revenge against insults real or imagined, then merely being mistaken is the least of your problems. Grow up.

Again, I'm planning to vote for the Democrat in November and hoping others will join me in keeping the GOP away from the levers of power.

No matter what happens in the election, or how self-described PUMAs ultimately vote (or don't vote), it behooves us to clearly and comprehensively document the issues.

No matter what sort of leverage we seek or expect, even if it's "I told you sos" or helping America get on the good side of George Santayana, I think it's smart business to build a concise, cogent, and compelling record.

Is there a particularly awesome summary somewhere that should be a simple answer to those who don't see what all the fuss is about? Something that might give those who say "grow up" a little fast-food for thought?

(h/t, No Blood for Hubris)

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Auntie Meme's picture
Submitted by Auntie Meme on

I think it’s smart business to build a concise, cogent, and compelling record.
I agree, but I'm not sure that it will make any sense to them except in hindsight. All they want to hear is the "wah, wah, wa-a-a-ah" of conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom that says PUMAs are just disappointed old broads who are sad that one of their own didn't get selected. They're not ready to get down to the nuts and bolts of governing, nor do they really have the stamina for it. It's a battle of pie-in-the-sky vs. practicalities.

At a deeper level, the profound rift comes from the clash between Democrats who have paid their dues through long-term political activism and those who are new to the process. I'm not speaking of the candidates, per se, but of their supporters. Clinton supporters are not owed the candidacy. They are, however, owed a voice that resonates through the policies of the nominee and his organization. The Obama campaign deserves an 18-million voice yowl of protest. Unless their campaign makes substantial changes of tone and substance and strives toward truly hearing and acting on the concerns of those 18 million, the PUMA protest will take the form of not only not supporting Prince Charming, but of actively working against him.

To sum up:
a) We're harshing their mellow and that bums them out.
b) We can outline our case for Clinton until we're blue in the face, but we can't make them hear us.PUMAS are perceived as bitter little ol ladies.The meme is propagated far and wide by both "progressive" bloggers and the SCMSM. And we know that women over 40 at some point become invisible. Proven fact--I can no longer see myself in the mirror.
c) Worse yet, we can't make them care.

Submitted by gob on

as someone said. I apologize for not remembering who or where. Look at what he said:

Aside from all of the ridiculous attacks she and her surrogates made against Obama, though, one thing really stands out: her suggestion that John McCain was more qualified to be president than Obama. It's one thing to argue to Democratic voters that she is the better choice, but quite another to even imply that the Republican candidate would be a better choice — that's something that should be left to "independents" like Joe Lieberman, and it was the log that broke the camel's back for me. Now, you might argue that it wasn't really so bad or that however bad it was, not voting for her would be potentially worse. You'd have a point.

However, one thing which you could not argue is that I was taking things personally or just being petulant. It would be a stand taken on principle — the principle that such a candidate isn't fit to be president.

This, by a person whose writing I used to read regularly. This person will never see what I saw as exactly the same sorts of reasons to reject Obama:

The race-card-throwing, sexist attack by Jesse Jackson Jr. on the occasion of Clinton's "tears".

The willful misinterpretation of Bill Clinton's "fairy tale" remark as racist.

The truly vile, willful, and hate-mongering shopping to the press of the misinterpretation of Clinton's RFK reference.

It seems clear to me that these things show a very serious character problem that may indicate "unfitness" for the presidency. But apparently these incidents look quite different to Austin than they do to me. Either that, or he doesn't mind hate-mongering, false charges of racism, and sexist stereotyping.

(This is by no means my whole case against Obama, but simply one facet of it, that I bring up because it parallels his point about Clinton.)

Auntie Meme's picture
Submitted by Auntie Meme on

Perhaps the only way to get them to sit up and notice is to go Code Pink on their ass.

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

that will change their minds. Auntie Meme outlines the problem at the end of her comment. They aren't listening, and won't listen, because so many of them have never believed that there were any legitimate reasons to vote for Clinton.

I've decided that this is the thing that bothers me most about the OFB: they see their support for Obama as a sign of their own moral superiority. Therefore, voting for or supporting any other candidate (but especially Clinton) is prima facie evidence of a character flaw. It's a matter of faith for them--their moral superiority and the inferior characters of the rest of us--so there will be no "food for thought" that will ever change their minds.

Submitted by cg.eye on

and I'm beginning to think you're using the repetition of your request as a measurement of PUMA's resolve on this site.

Cutting and pasting from the past two months' worth of posts from Lambert alone would do, but asking us to repeat those arguments in a "concise, cogent and compelling record" over and over again, is, basically, not listening to us. I can take that from a troll, but I choose not to take that from you. You should know better.

As for the General, well, I was one of his partisans, back in the way back, and when he last begged for cash a couple of months ago, I chipped in. With Cline's post, and the General's calling in comments all PUMAs sockpuppets, he's told me he doesn't need me, and I no longer need to read him. Both assume all PUMAs support McCain, and they assume no one will go off script, in Denver.

The General's a fierce warrior, like Mike Malloy, but I know better to pet an attack dog who's turned on me. That is their nature; I should know better. It's best I go my own way, without their help.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... I'm an honest person who's completely transparent in my aims and that it will be empowering to those who seek leverage to have handy a definitive short-list statement of well-documented concerns and grievances. If I had more time, I'd compile it myself, but it's a major undertaking that I simply can't get to right now, so I hoped we could pull it together collectively, or someone could point out the nearest equivalent to it that exists today.

But your theory is good, too!

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Barack Obama is UNSUITED to be President

1) completely lacking in the background and experience necessary to be president

a) less than 2 years national political experience before he decided to run
b) no executive experience (i.e. he's never run anything but his mounth)
c) is egregiously untested in 'crisis'/hard decision situations (and what we've seen of him does not inspire confidence)
d) campaign was based not on policies and positions, but on broad, amorphous, content free themes...

2) lacks the character to be president

a) an "opportunist" rather than an pragmatist -- three years ago he acknowledged that he would not be ready for the oval office in 2008.
b) ran an ugly campaign involving false accusations that his opponent was a racist
c) had a hissy fit over the 'distractions' that dominated the Philadelphia debate, and said that issues should be discussed -- but Obama has never demanded that issues be discussed until people started looking into his background.
d) refused to debate Clinton after the PA debate, even though she offered forums where 'issues only' would be discussed
e) while complaining about lack of "issues" discussion, his campaign has consistently urged the media to cover non-issue things related to Clinton like "Bosnian snipers", "tax returns", and "RFK/Assassination"
f) when confronted with constitutencies in states that did not 'get' him, rather than work at gaining their confidence, he treated them as morallly deficient
g) tell women that they need to "get over it" and treats traditional democratic constituencies with contempt -- telling them them they have 'nowhere elese to do"

Submitted by cg.eye on

"The Obama campaign deserves an 18-million voice yowl of protest. Unless their campaign makes substantial changes of tone and substance and strives toward truly hearing and acting on the concerns of those 18 million, the PUMA protest will take the form of not only not supporting Prince Charming, but of actively working against him."

That doesn't mean sucking up to us because he treated Hillary mean; it means actually acting like he gives a damn about the economic and feminist issues we care about. If I am to be condemmed as a bitter old hag, then I might as well be a witch, and demand my powers be respected. Obama has the magic wand to turn me back.... oh, I'm stopping there. *eew.*

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

The point is the same as it has been from the beginning. Obama supporters don't *really* believe that the policy platform issues matter, merely who supports the candidate and the campaign strategy that he will use. Consequently, they don't see what the fuss is all about in exactly who the nominee is and what he campaigned on.

Not seeing this point, there isn't really much they can compromise on, because they aren't compromising on the campaign-strategy front.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

most voters prefer not to be insulted and derided by a candidate, whether they're Muslim, or Gay or working class, or rural,'s about fundamental respect for those Americans whose votes you want--and need.

And most voters absolutely demand that you speak to the issues and problems they most care about and present practical solutions--something Obama still has never done--he has even today not given many millions any tangible reason to vote FOR him, as opposed to AGAINST the GOP--and his lack of resume/past accomplishments don't fill that glaring gap at all either, so it's even more vital.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Didn't you know that the "progressive movement"--enthusiastic and tepid--is defined, not as a principled movement, but as being against something.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Turkana: Issues -- "... To me, politics is, first and foremost, about issues. During the primaries, I saw Clinton supporters as generally more issues-based than were most Obama supporters.

... It's not about you or your anger or your hurt. It's about the future of our planet. It's about that war in Iraq, and the possibility of a war in Iran. It's about taking steps forward on health care and the economy and education and energy policy and everything else, or taking steps backwards, if at all. It's still about the issues. To those that cared about the issues, in the first place. ..."

Turkana acknowledges that millions did vote on issues--for Clinton, and not for the present candidate -- precisely because of the issues--yet the only thing she can say on issues is that the candidate is weak, and that the other guy is worse. And she continues the really common projection thing of believing Obama would move things forward--absent evidence of that.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

this is what i mean--from today, too --

"... Mr. Plouffe indicated that a part of the strategy for Democrats would be to emphasize to this bloc of women voters that Senator McCain’s positions on traditional women’s issues like abortion rights, as well as on the economy, as well as Iraq, would run counter to their views and beliefs. ..."

It's all about why women should vote against McCain, but nothing about what Obama will do FOR women and to solve their needs and protect their rights, or why they should vote FOR him.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

to "persuade" us...they could barely be civil. It was much like Mr. Obama's barely civil comment about them having to be nice.

So now the Professional Obama Bloggers (POB) are criticizing McCain for women? What, in case women haven't noticed McCain's policies that would affect everyone's lives? Exactly how sexist are these guys?

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

You're supposed to vote for him because it's Him. To even consider requiring any sort of political agenda is too vile for words!

I never thought I would find myself agreeing with Rove but he writes we already know: Obama is only in it for himself. If anything, I'd put my money on Obama fighting against the rights of women and girls since those rights are usually at the center of "divisiveness."

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on -- "... The constitutional prohibition against excessive or cruel and unusual punishments mandates that the State’s power to punish “be exercised within the limits of civilized standards.” ..."

and this-- -- "... Obama isn't alone among the candidates in his support of the death penalty. But the others aren't disingenuously re-casting themselves as opponents.

In 2004, for the first time since the 1980's, the Dems, at the insistence of John Kerry, dropped the death penalty from their platform. Will Obama pledge to keep it out? ... "