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PUMA Cocktail Party: The Year of the Cat

Hey there PUMAs, tonight we kick off the new cocktail party. For thse of you new to The Confluence, the Clinton Cocktail Parties are an old tradition. But now that we are PUMAs, we need to put a little space between us and Hillary. She needs to do what she needs to do and we need to take on the DNC. But for those of you who want to help her out so she doesn’t have to humiliate herself in the name of Shmoonity anymore, I have a suggestion. But before i get to that, I’d like to say a few words of praise for Hillary.

A couple of months ago, about the time that the Not Going to Take it Anymore/BITCH video came out, I wrote a snippet about how Hillary didn’t start out to win the WH for women but that whether she liked it or not, she was now carrying the weight of half of the US population around on her back. She assumed a burden for us. It became her responsibility to carry that ball as far down the field as she could on behalf of all American women. And, my Goddess, Conflucians, did she ever. She poured her heart, soul and fortune into it for us. Have we or will we ever see the like again in our lifetimes? I will always be eternally grateful for everything Hillary has done for me and my daughters.

And my friends, we owe it to her to cut short the dog and pony show that the DNC and the OBama campaign is putting her through in order to persuade his donors to help her pay off her campaign debt. Hillary put more than $10 million of her own money into her campaign. She considers that an investment. But there is still more than $10 million in outstanding debt to her vendors. We can thank the Big Boyz for suppressing some of the donors on her behalf. Let’s get even, PUMAs.

Here’s the plan: If 10% of Hillary’s 18 million voters donated $2 each, she’d be debt free in very short order. But let’s say that 1.8 million people don’t read blogs. Let’s say that only half of that have friends and relatives that read blogs. Heck, let’s make it 500,000. If 500,000 of us contribute $20 each, she will be debt free before the end of the week. But let’s say that even that number is too high, let’s make it, 300,000, the approximate number of popular votes that she beat Obama by. If there are 300,000 voters who read blogs or know someone who reads blogs and can recruit them, all they need to do is donate about $35 to Hillary’s campaign to make sure she never has to sit next to Obama on his campaign plane. For a little more than $1 in a 30 day month, you can free a wonderful presidential leader from having to put up with Obama’s droning ahhhhs and ummmmms during interminable campaign speeches. You can save her from his juvenile and arrogant behavior. you can put her in much better company.

Just think of it: $35 dollars, less than a tank of gas, is all it would take if 300,000 of us donated to pay off her debt and free her from the indebted servitude to Obama and Donna effing Brazile. Contribute here.

Welcome to the PUMA cocktail party! This is the time of the week where we take a load off and put our latest kill away to finish later. The bar is to the left of the door. Our favorite bartender Rico has signed on for the duration of the PUMA movement. Rico has flair and is a Clintonista through and through. We’re so glad to see him back. Tonight, his special drink is a Hep Cat but you can order anything your heart desires.

Our entertainment this evening is an oldie but goodie. Al Stewart had a string of hits in the late seventies and early eighties. I’d love to track down his version of The Road Goes to Riyahd on iTunes but so far, I can’t find it. But here is the one song I always associate with him, an edgy, mysterious, pensive song about a woman “in a silk dress running like a watercolor in the rain”. Enjoy!

PUMAs, we love to talk here. It’s that kind of party. But trigger words are best left for other blogs so please consider leaving them with our lovely checkroom attendant, Florence. The waiters will be circulating with mushrooms stuffed with crab, chicken sate with peanut sauce and golden potato slices with cilantro chutney. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Saturday: Ed, you’re making this too easy

Bostonboomer forwarded the following announcement to me:

By Governor Edward G. Rendell

Click here to join Hound

We have formed HOUND (Hillary-Obama-United-Not-Divided) in response to the creation of PUMA (party unity, my ass — or its cleaned up moniker, People United Means Action).

PUMA advocated that Hillary Clinton supporters do not vote for Barack Obama just for the sake of party unity. Even though we in HOUND are loyal Democrats, we agree that no one should cast a vote for President because of a desire to achieve party unity. We believe Sen. Clinton supporters should vote for Sen. Obama because, as Hillary herself said so forcefully and poignantly in her great speech a few Saturdays ago, the best way to achieve the changes she has fought so hard to bring to America, and on which she based her campaign, is to support Sen. Obama, whose policies are almost identical to hers.

The Clinton-Obama plans on health care, the economy, energy, education and on ending the war in Iraq represent the core values that made us all Democrats – values and positions that are light years apart from the conservative policies enunciated by Sen. McCain (e.g., voting against S-CHIP, voting against raising CAF standards, voting against equal pay for women, voting for increased tax credits for big oil and against extending the credit for the production of renewable energy, expanding an increase in the Bush tax cuts, promoting a war without end in Iraq, etc.) If you care about these things, and we believe PUMA members do, then you must support Sen. Obama.

No one worked harder than I did for Hillary and I believe no one could admire her and what she represents more that I do. But we must get over our disappointment and, as Hillary said, not waste time looking back and thinking about what might have been. Our country’s challenges must be addressed immediately, not four years from now. Our beloved country simply cannot afford four more years of Republican do-nothing-for-people government. PUMA members risk just that – it could be a Ralph Nader 2000 redux. Don’t let that happen. Close your eyes and think about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton standing together united at a ceremony for the bill signing of legislation that guarantees every American affordable, effective healthcare.

One last point – HOUND is not anti-PUMA. We agree with many of your grievances. For example, we, too, believe that the Democratic Party’s nominating process is unfair and undemocratic. We must change the policy where some votes are more important than others and some areas receive more delegates than their number of voters would justify – it violates the spirit of “one person, one vote.” We must eliminate caucuses that are inherently undemocratic and disenfranchise seniors (no absentee voting for those who can’t go to the polls), shift workers and our military. Forcing people to declare their preference in public also violates another cherished principle that undermines our democracy.

So, we are asking all PUMA members to curb your disappointment, mute your anger and frustration and join HOUND to help change America. While the PUMA may be more swift and athletic, the HOUND is smarter and more perceptive.

Nice try, Ed, but HOUND sounds an awful lot like Yellow Dog Democrats and that’s exactly what we are not. To be fair, you make a lot of good points. The caucuses *are* un-democratic. And I will admit that you were loyal to Hillary to the very end. Even now, we understand the nature of your loyalty. Hillary’s and your identities are inextricably wed to the Democratic party until death do you part. There is a lot to admire in that and the allusion to you not being “high class” is just part of the song and not to be taken seriously. No one has shown more class than Hillary and the stalwarts who stood by her.

But here is what you seem to not understand from the voters’ point of view. First, many of us are *not* planning to vote for John McCain. But if John McCain happens to win by default, we will not have a guilt trip laid on *US* for all the floods, famines and earthquakes that follow. The delegates, superdelegates and party leaders had a choice.

You would have us vote for Obama because Hillary asked us to. But, Ed, we are (or were) Democrats. We are not Republicans. If is not in our nature to fall into line when our consciences are on the line. We did it for Dukakis, Mondale, Kerry (we actually *liked* Gore) but we can’t do it for Obama. And you unintentionally allude to all the reasons why Obama is an exception in your letter. We have good reason to suspect that he is not for S-CHIP, CAF standards, equal pay for women, reproductive rights, universal healthcare, the Green Economy or ending the war in Iraq. For the last item, as well as preventing our country from falling into an economic disaster caused by financial “instruments” and the high cost of oil, we do not think he is ready or capable of assuming the office of president of the United States. Nothing in his debate appearances or comedic and disrespectful monologues at rally events (Brush the dirt off your shoulder much, Ed? I know YOU would never do it, so why should our nominee?) give us confidence in his abilities. He has deliberately kept his policies as vague as possible as a campaign strategy in order to lure the independent, libertarian and disaffected moderate Republican voters while at the same time slamming working class, Appalachians and the small town voters in your own state.

And let me tell you about those voters, Ed, the ones I spoke with on the phone, hundreds and hundreds of them. They were stung by the accusations of racism that were hurled at them because they didn’t think Obama was ready. That hurt them to the core of their beings. It attacked their character. No Democratic candidate in my lifetime has ever treated the voters so disgracefully.

You may have noticed I haven’t brought up the subject of sexism yet. The media and others have mischaracterized the PUMA movement as a reaction to it from the post-meonpausal set. But our protest is based on the fact that our party (or former party) did not choose the best *person* for the job. Many of us were early on very intrigued by Senator Obama. But once we got beyond the fact that he is very smart, we saw that there was no wisdom that went along with it. At the same time, we saw that his campaign operatives took a slash and burn attitude to the Democratic party that was in existence. His hooligans chased off or forced off women from the bigger more influential online outlets, yours truly included. I was thrown off DailyKos in January. That’s why I’m here. That’s why a lot of us have found ourselves on the outside of the party looking in at an ever shrinking voter constituency. Systematically, Senator Obama’s hooligans have made women, working class, Appalachians, latinos, gays, native Americans, Asians, Muslim Americans and the elderly personas non grata. Obama sought to recreate the party in a different image, one that didn’t include the poor, the dependent, the entitled to social security, the unpopular.

Is this new Democratic party the one you want me and the other PUMAs to rally around? No, Ed. No. The biggest mistake Clinton made during the primary season was not that she didn’t win the caucuses. The biggest mistake was that she was too nice to Obama and failed to pin him down. She failed to make him solidify out of all of the ethereal smoke he consisted of. He kept himself and his policies nebulous and indistinct so that his young, pretentious and more conservative voters could project whatever politician they wanted on to him. Forcing him to take a stand on something, *anything* would have broken off a chunk of those deluded voters. But one thing the PUMAs can say for sure is that he doesn’t resemble any Democrat we’ve ever seen nor does he adhere to any of our most cherished core Democratic principles. If he had, he couldn’t have attracted so many people not of our party in a year when the vast majority of voters didn’t want a Republican lite candidate anyway. Obama has actually squandered an opportunity. The voters were more than ready to accept a strong Democrat and we are giving them, what, exactly?

Either we all go forward together or the party deserves to lose in November. Either Senator Obama connects with the base or he loses them in November. Either the party power elite listens to the voters or it deserves to lose in November. We would be stupid if we demanded any less. We do not subscribe to the old saying, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” but apparenly Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Senator Obama do.

Here’s what we want: We want a fair, open and transparent convention in Denver. We want Florida and Michigan’s delegates to be restored to full strength. We want Obama to give up his Michigan delegates. After all, he keeps insisting that he never wanted his name on the ballot in the first place. So, we should honor his wishes: no ballot position, no delegates. After all, if Hillary can’t make the same argument about all of the voters who couldn’t get to the caucuses in spite of their intent to vote for her, Obama shouldn’t get freebies from Michigan by having the RBC honoring the imaginary voters who failed to turn up during a record breaking turnout for the Michigan primary in January.

Jeez, Ed, and you guys call *us* stupid. Logic has been completely missing from this campaign season. By February 5, 2008, Hillary had won MI, FL, NV, NH, CA, NY, NJ, MA, AZ, TN, AR and a handlful of other little states. In any other year, Obama would have thrown in the towel and gone home. In 1980, Ted Kennedy won a big slice of these very same states and with a 600 delegate deficit, he *still* created havoc at the convention. But this year, we couldn’t even honor the states that moved up their primaries so that they could make a difference? Like my state, NJ? We are going to a convention where the candidate who has won the biggest Democratic prizes and swing states has been almost completely shut out and you are asking us to accept this, get over our disappointment, anger and frustration? Fine. We’re over it. But we still insist, no demand, that our votes count for something. I want the millions that my state spent on a primary in lieu of spending even one dime on gifted and talented education to be honored. The party owes us that much.

And if it goes against their beautiful theories and plans for party unity (shmoonity), if it ends up with a win for a person who they apparently loathe, along with all of that honorable candidate’s 18 million voters, well, too bad. They will not get party unity until they honor the voters, Ed.

Pumas are watchful and patient. And when the time is right, they strike. There is still time to achieve unity. There are two months before the convention. But if the voters aren’t honored by then, we strike.

For different perspectives, check out myiq2xu’s version at Klownhaus and Reclusive Leftist’s most excellent post on Leverage.

And what has got to be one of the funniest comments I have read since MABlue declared that Donna Brazile had provoked in him negative feelings towards the South American country, Karolina NYC presents this comparison of the day in the life of a Dog vs a Cat.