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Eeny-Meeny, Chile Beany, the Spirits are about to Speak!

It was two months ago when I wrote the first couple of posts on the PUMA movement.  In one of those posts, I wrote about how they were going to frame us:

Like adolescents, they insist on making their own decisions and yet expect us to get them out of a jam later. They hate us because of who we are and yet they need us in order for them to get what they want. And the superdelegates are the too permissive parents who are giving in to them because they can’t handle the screaming and guilt trips that will follow if they don’t.

This is where we come in, PUMAs. We will fill the role that the superdelegates have abrogated. It is our job to say “no”. We do not want to lose in 2008. We do not want another four years of Republican rule. We want 4 years of intelligence, competence and courage in a time of what will surely be a very critical time in our nation’s history. Terrorism is still out there. There are two wars going on. Our military is stretched so thinly that our national security is compromised. We have an energy crisis and many families are hurting. Our financial institutions got themselves over their heads. And there is a serious environmental catastrophe at hand in global warming.

Now is not the time to put a love object in office, a weakling who will be entirely dependent on his power elite enablers. Or worse, he may be a dissembler who has barely disguised his contempt for the voters.

There will be a lot of calls for “Unity!”. But let us acknowledge what this really is. “Unity” is a weapon that the party is going to use against us. It is the emotional blackmail of the teenager. “If you don’t let me have my way, it will be all YOUR fault if something bad happens!” “If you don’t get in line, it will be YOUR fault if we lose.”

Of course, the old political blogosphere, especially the Big Orange Cheeto, has been foaming at the mouth for about a month now about how we are going to lose the election for Obama and it will be all our fault if McCain wins.  We now have the pundits making this same case.  Listen to Diane Mantavoulos and Susan Estrich debating the matter on To The Point today (Click on the Hillary tab at the bottom).  As Susan spins it, our movement is going to end up electing McCain and it’s better to give a show of quiet unity at the convention, no matter what.  She waxes nostalgic about how she was a young’un in 1980 when she worked to get Ted Kennedy the nomination.  “Ahh, yes, those were the days.  We were all babes in the woods and had no idea what we were doing” stuff.

Please, Susan.  Kennedy had about 600 delegates tops.  He was so far behind Carter it wasn’t funny.  There was no possibility of overturning the will of so many *pledged* delegates.  You weren’t suffering from youthful inexperience.  You were suffering from stupidity.

This convention is a completely different animal.  Hillary is well within striking distance, the superdelegates are going to decide it regardless of the nominee and once the credentials committee gets around to acting on Obama’s letter asking for MI and FL to be restored to full strength, he won’t have enough delegates to be the presumptive nominee anymore.  (I suspect the Credentials Committee will meet at around 11:55pm on the day before the convention so he can ride this baby all the way to the end and make Hillary look like an usurper if she unsuspends her campaign.  Yeah, we’ve got your number, Axelrod.)

What Susan seems to be missing, but what she oddly catches onto just before the segment ends, is that you can not fake unity.  You can put Hillary’s delegates on mute.  You can threaten and intimidate them until they are afraid of their own shadows,  You can lie to them so they have no idea if they are supposed to vote for Hillary or Obama or Julius Caesar.  It can certainly be made to *look* like 3400 pledged delegates voted in unison for The One while they all held hands and sang “I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”  But the voters don’t give a flying f%&*  When you have 36,300,000 million voters in your party and you choose to ignore a little more than half of them, all you end up with is frustration, not unity.  You take away the voters right to influence at the convention.  Remember “self-determination”?  Yeah, we used to broadcast all around the world urging citizens of other countries to insist on it and accept no substitutes.  But in this country, in this election year, it is perfectly OK to squelch the self-determination of half of your party for a predetermined outcome.  That may be a very satisfying short term goal.  Sort of like an orgasm with 75,000 of your closest friends in a football stadium.  But when it’s over, the party is going to find that it screwed over the wrong people.

Hey, if the DNC and Obama and all his supporters want to go this route and bully, swagger, cheat, steal and suppress the party because they simply must have their way, well, there isn’t much we can do to stop them.  THAT is the superdelegates’ job.  If the superdelegates just go along to get along and nominate a guy who is over his head and unelectable, that’s their fault when he loses.  We tried to talk some sense into them.

We are just voters who wanted to nominate the best person for the job.  We may be shut out now, but come November 4th, we are going to have a chance to exercise our constitutional rights and tell the DNC exactly how we feel about being given a choice between a rock and a hard place.

Enjoy the afterglow while it lasts, guys.


You can find more on the subject at US News and World Report in an article by Bonnie Erbe: Barack Obama Needs to Carefully Handle Hillary Clinton’s Supporters.

More radio!  Check out Diane M. on Clintons4McCain Radio, on now!  (Disclaimer: Friends don’t let friends vote Republican so you’d better make Damn sure Hillary’s on that ballot.)

Addendum:  I’m taking over for Sheri Tag on NO WE WON’T on Wednesday night and in preparation, I thought I’d try a segment of a show.  I’m calling it Conflucians Say.  It’s premiering tonight at 11:00pm EST for an hour.  This is just a test.  Let’s see if we can get this baby up and running.  (Hope I don’t fall asleep first.)

Welcome to Barackracy! A Play in One Exclusive Act.

Note: Thanks to chatblu at The Confluence for the term “Barackracy,” and for the inspiration for this play.

THE SCENE: Inauguration Day 2009, in the living room of JOE and JANE AMERICA. Comfortable furniture and toys belonging to their 2.5 kids and Labrador Retriever are strewn about. Their couch is facing a television set, which is on the fourth wall. Instead of seeing the screen, the words of the new President, Barack Obama, will be heard.

JOE and JANE AMERICA are seated on the couch, facing the audience.

JOE: Well, Jane, the new President gets inaugurated today. I guess we should hear what he has to say.

JANE (grumpily): Whatever. You know if he hadn’t picked Hillary as his VP, he never would have won.

JOE (sighing): I know, honey, I know. She just destroyed that Cantor guy in the debates. She made everyone feel like at least SOMEONE in the White House would know what they were doing. Oh well – let’s see what we’ve gotten ourselves into. (picks up a remote, points it at the audience and presses the power button)

VOICE OF ANNOUNCER: And now, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, will give his Inaugural Address.

VOICE OF OBAMA: My fellow Barackians, welcome to the first minute of my Presidency. And an incredible minute it’s been for all of us! I’ve already solved global warming, ended both wars, captured Osama bin Laden, destroyed Al Qaeda and fixed the economy. On top of these amazing achievements, racism is no longer a factor in America. Just like my followers always said, simply electing me has done all of these things. Am I awesome, or what?

JOE: What the hell is he talking about?

JANE: He’s lost it!

OBAMA: Since all of our problems are now resolved, you might wonder what I’ll be doing for the rest of my 8-10 years as President. I’m glad you asked! I will be devoting my time to implementing Barackracy. It’s democracy – but better!

JOE: Oh boy. I don’t like the sound of this at all.

OBAMA (with growing enthusiasm): Yes, Barackracy is a vast improvement over our old, uncool system of democracy. Let me tell you why. First thing we’re going to do is, every time Congress makes a law, we’re going to text you about it. That’s right – total transparency in government!

JANE: Hmmm, that doesn’t sound so bad.

OBAMA: And it’ll only cost you a few pennies for each special Congressional text! Proceeds will go directly to fund our Total Information Awareness program, sponsored by AT&T. Barackracy means you know we care, because we’re always listening!

JOE and JANE: D’oh!

Continue reading

Monday: Murphy on Morning Edition today!

Wake up, everybody!  Murphy of PUMAPAC is scheduled to make an appearance on Morning Edition on NPR this morning.  (Or is it Tell Me More with Michel Martin at 7:30 AM today,)  Tune your catchannels to your local NPR station or catch her here.  Audio should be available around 9AM EST. Diane Mantavoulos is scheduled to talk with Susan Estrich and Robert Shapiro at 11:30 AM EST on To The Point on NPR.

More shortly…

Read this passage from the upcoming expose and “analysis” of 200 ill-gotten Clinton campaign memos and tell me which campaign the author is referring to:

He wrote a remarkably prescient memo in March 2007 about the importance of appealing to what he called “the Invisible Americans,” and specifically “WOMEN, LOWER AND MIDDLE CLASS VOTERS”—exactly the groups that helped Clinton beat Obama in key states nearly a year later.

But no one synthesized and acted on the good advice.

If I didn’t know that Mike Allen of The Politico was referring to Mark Penn’s advice to Clinton, which she is supposed to have ignored, I might think Allen was talking about Obama’s campaign.  Is this another attempt to rewrite history?  Is Allen trying to convince us that Clinton didn’t bother to listen to Penn?  Then what the heck was all of that winning all about?

Sometimes, I can’t figure out what it is that the meme generators at The Politico are initiating.  It isn’t always immediately obvious.  Here’s more from the passage:

“The anger and toxic obsessions overwhelmed even the most reserved Beltway wise men,” Green writes. “[H]er advisers couldn’t execute strategy; they routinely attacked and undermined each other, and Clinton never forced a resolution. … [S]he never behaved like a chief executive, and her own staff proved to be her Achilles’ heel.

“What is clear from the internal documents is that Clinton’s loss derived not from any specific decision she made but rather from the preponderance of the many she did not make.”

This is just silly.  She whupped Obama’s ass.  She won CA, NY, NJ, PA, OH, FL, MI, AZ, TX, MA, WV, KY etc, etc.  This was a phenomenally successful campaign.  Hillary figured out what she needed to do and did it very well.  What she could not overcome was the DNC’s withdrawal of FL and MI delegates that deprived her of the critical mass necessary to cruise to an easy victory.

But now we see where The Politico is going with this article.  It is designed to make Hillary look like a weak chief executive.  And in putting this argument out, they completely undermine it.  If Obama is the nominee then there’s nothing to see folks, move along, that’s all she wrote.  Why the hell is it necessary to continue to destroy Clinton’s reputation as a potential Chief Executive? Wouldn’t this article seem to confirm her viability?  D’OH!  Count on a stupid, lower class voter like myself to draw that conclusion.  I will obediently wait for one of my intellectual betters to correct me of this notion.

What I saw during the campaign was a relentless attack on Clinton from the beginning, including an attack on Penn.  Now, I wasn’t crazy about the very top down, controlled, risk averse style of the Clinton campaign that was on display before Iowa.  But I was very impressed by the way the whole operation got its act together after that point.  There probably wasn’t any management style that would have been able to overcome the FL and MI problem.  And the way the delegates were awarded in the caucuses also made Hillary’s path to nomination difficult and steep.  But the reason Obama still seems to need boosters like Mike Allen’s article to snag the nomination is precisely because all the delegate manipulation makes him look like an illegitimate candidate.  The voters of those big states were put on mute in spite of their deliberate efforts to move up their primaries this year so their votes could have impact.  They were deprived of that impact.  There is no correlation between the voters pent up frustration with the outcome and Clinton’s management style.

She doesn’t lead like a typical Chief Executive.   I *suspect* she has a more feminine managerial style: collaborative, consensus building and accomplished through delegation. Sooo, what is the point of this article? That it makes men feel oogie?

It’s like reading tea leaves to look at these 200 emails. *200*! That campaign probably exchanged 200 emails in the course of half an hour. Are we supposed to deduce from these 200 emails that she was a lousy manager and she didn’t listen to her campaign people? This is ridiculous beyond absurd. If anything, it tends to restore Penn’s reputation and makes it look like the attacks on Penn were designed to remove his very good advice from her campaign. I really don’t know. But it never struck me that a guy who won his client MI, FL, CA, NJ, NY, MA, AZ, TN by Feb 5 was a failure. The problem is that none of those states counted when the deck was stacked in favor of the only states that Obama had a prayer of winning- the caucus states. And to try to draw any other conclusion this late in the game is really stretching it.