Sunday, August 3, 2008

Re “Nobody Takes PUMA Seriously but PUMA” at tm

Original Link:

by turndownobama-com

My reply:

My goodness gracious!

First, as to emailing Taylor, on the PUMA sites I frequent (bitterpoliticz, pumapac), we discourage each other from even visiting, much less emailing Taylor!

As for taking us seriously…. I wish I could get the TM archives to work for me, because there are two quotes from off-site, non-political ‘civilians’ you might say, which I’d like to repeat. One was in a Texasdarlin guest post, quoting a non-political lady on her own blog. Another one I posted in Hot Topics, an account of a non-political (or at least non-internet) elderly Jewish man who ranted into someone’s phone.

The lady on Texasdarlin’s blog said something like this: “I’ve put up with those losers the DNC keeps nominating because I thought that was the best they could do. But now they’ve rejected a proven winner, and cheated to do it. So I’m done with the Democrats.”

The old Jewish man made that point but ranted at more length. He said that now the DNC’s deliberate policy was out in the open, he was going to vote GOP to teach the DNC a lesson, as with McGovern in 1972, in hopes of taking the Democratic party away from the Pelosi faction and back to its FDR roots.

The same sort of thing was said over and over in comment strings at TM and at NQ and elsewhere — by people who sounded like they had not been involved or keeping up with internet wonk micro-issues, at least.

Now to harder evidence. A CNN/OpinionResearch poll released Jy 4 found iirc c. 46% of Hillary supporters (ie 9 million) refusing to vote for Obama in November. That was up from iirc c. 35% in early June (ie 7 million), when 4 million said they would stay home and 3 million said they would vote for McCain. (Cites at This fits with exit polls during the primaries: percentages c. 35% of Hillary voters said they would not support Obama in Novembe.

Craig Della Penna did some number crunching that said 4 million subtracted from the Democratic total in November, plus 3 million subtracted from the Dems and added to the GOP … then the totals compared to the totals of 2004 … came out to a GOP landslide for 2008.

Whatever you want to say about the PUMAs (estimated 2.5 million, but hard to count) — that 9 million in the poll of the real world outside the internet does seem perhaps worth taking seriously. Of which we 2.5 million PUMAs are the tip of the iceberg, the people who happen to be internet activists. (Plus visiting GOPs if you like — but are you going to claim Opinion Research’s 9 million were all GOP?)

Now some of us PUMAs around the first of June gave up on the nomination, tore up their DNC cards, registered Ind or GOP, and got busy working for McCain. Others got busy trying to change the DNC’s mind, telling them how many votes they will be losing if they insist on going for Obama instead of Hillary. “A minority of PUMAs later came up with Heidi Li Feldman’s and Marc Rubin’s “The Denver Group” — which to me did seem both quixotic and wishywashy. (Even if the convention were conducted according to the rules, with both candidates given a fair vote — still whatever pressure Pelosi used on the superdelegates in June might be used again, to produce a strong figleaf.) But “The Denver Group” with their newspaper ads, tv and radio coverage, etc does seem to be raising the consciousness of the lower-information public, letting them know that the actual vote happens Aug 25 so there is still time to influence their Supers and others. And showing the public that whatever happened in June was by no means any kind of ‘election’!

So the Denver Group people are a subset of the PUMA coalition. They’re worth supporting, but the rest of us PUMAs are certainly more interested in the bottom line of getting the DNC to support Hillary for President, than on the details of procedure. We’re not going to be brushed off with procedural fig leaves. Hillary or McCain! Hillary ‘08 or Hillary (or some other real Democrat) in 2012.

We PUMAs (and especially the Denver Group people) are giving the DNC a last chance to come round and nominate Hillary; we’re trying to persuade them away from their Obama folly. The rest of the 9 million don’t know that’s possible, so they’ve already given up on the Dems (for this year at least).

The way to defeat McCain in November, is to defeat Obama in August. The way to defeat Obama in August, is to convince the DNC that a large number of us WILL vote for McCain in November if Obama is nominated (either as a ‘lesson’ or because McCain is a better choice than Obama.)

If you want to consider our donations to the Denver Group as evidence of our anti-Obama intent — fine. Please expect that intent to carry through to November.

(And an Obama/Clinton ticket won’t help with most of us hard-core PUMAs; some of us would work even harder against Obama/Clinton because we don’t want to see Hillary tied up in such a position. Granted it might help with some of the 9 million; I hope Obama has taken polls and found it’s not worth trying.)

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