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Over the mountains of the moon

 dulac_eldorado

Edgar Allan Poe:

Gaily bedight, a gallant knight, in sunshine and in shadow,had journeyed long, singing a song, in search of Eldorado.
But he grew old, this knight so bold, and o’er his heart a shadow,fell as he found, no spot of ground, that looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength, failed him at length, he met a pilgrim shadow;”shadow,” said he, “where can it be, this land of Eldorado?”
“Over the mountains of the moon, down the valley of the shadow,ride, boldly ride,” the shade replied, “if you seek for Eldorado!”

I can identify with the knight in that poem, because I feel like I grew old during the 2008 Deathmarch Campaign, and now we are looking at years more effort.  I know what you’re thinking, the Petulant Clown is being a little f*cking ray of sunshine again, but stay with me a minute, okay?

I didn’t go to college right after high school because I already knew everything.  But by my early-thirties I had forgotten so much I went back to school.  I was closing in on my Bachelor’s degree a few years later and was trying to decide what I would do next.  I had always dreamed of becoming a lawyer but I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend several more years hitting the books. 

Then I saw a column by the late Ann Landers in which a woman asked for advice because she wanted to go back to school to become a lawyer but was unsure if she should because it would take seven years to complete and by then she would be 40 years old.  Ann Landers replied “How old will you be in seven years if you don’t go to law school?”

There will be another election in two years and we’ll be voting for President again in four years.  That’s gonna happen whether we like it or not, and in the meantime the issues we care about aren’t going away.  We can hide our heads in the sand or we can keep trying to make a difference.  I don’t like hiding my head in the sand because it leaves my ass exposed, so I’m going with Plan B.

But what, you ask, is Plan B?  That’s a very good question, and I wish I knew the answer.  Well, I do know the answer but it’s not very helpful.  The answer is “It depends.”  It depends on us and it depends on you.  When I say “us” I mean the PUMA coaltion acting collectively, and when I say “you” I mean each member of PUMA acting individually.

If the PUMA coalition is going to continue to exist in a meaningful way, we have to decide who and what we are and where we are going.  Once we figure that out, we can start planning how to get there.  But those questions depend on what each of us individually is willing and able to do.  PUMA has never been a “top-down” organization with someone at the top telling us what to think and do, it’s a true grassroots movement.

Most of us are or were Democrats, and Democrats have never been strong on organization or unity.  That’s both a strength and a weakness.  PUMA and the Democratic party are both coalitions of people with diverse interests.  The key to a successful coalition is the various groups working together to achieve each other’s goals.  The GOP in recent decades has been far more homogenous and represents the single largest voting bloc (white males) so it can only be opposed by the combined efforts of smaller blocs. 

The protests over the passage of Prop H8 highlight the failure of the old Democratic coalition.  The LGBT community is outraged that the African American community appears to have violated the impled covenant that bound the coalition together by voting against gay marriage in California.  I think the anger at the Mormon church for their part in the Prop H8 campaign is misplaced because they were never part of the coaltion.  I think they were wrong to oppose gay marriage, but all they did was exercise their Constitutional rights and they have the right to be wrong.  But the LBGT community supported the Civil Rights movement and many of them voted to elect Barack Obama and they were entitled to expect the support of African Americans because they are (or were) part of the same coalition.

PUMA is made up primarily of former members of the old Democratic coalition (most notably women and LGBTs) who were cast aside by the party.  Because of years of unswerving loyalty to the Democratic party they were taken for granted and ignored instead of being rewarded and pandered to by the people they helped elect.  That is why I believe PUMA should, at least in the near future, try to form a unified bloc that is capable of determining the outcome of elections.

Building a majority coalition would take many years to accomplish even if it were successful, and most 3rd parties never get beyond  low-single digit support and end up being perennial protest voters.  However, in a close election an uncommitted voting bloc that represented even 2-3% of the voters would be highly prized and sought after.  I don’t know about you but I would like to see both parties bidding for my vote rather than one party taking me for granted.

PUMA could act as a union of voters rather than a political party.  Instead of fielding candidates we could commit to voting as a unified bloc in state and national elections.  No donating to or campaigning for candidates, just for issues that we support.  Let’s refuse to commit until the last minute and see who makes the best offer for our votes.  What have we got to lose?

Depending on the state they live in PUMAs could register and vote in either party’s primaries not to cause mischief but with the goal of reaching the general election with the best possible options.  When you cast your ballot in 2012, would you rather have Sarah Palin vs. Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama as your choices?  I would much rather have to choose between “good” and “better” rather than “bad” and “worse.”  Additionally, we could vote strategically in downticket races with the post-partisan goal of getting better leaders overall.  Party Unity My Ass.

Now that’s my idea.  Feel free to disagree, just be polite.  If you have a better idea, I’m all ears, and even if the consensus is I’m wrong and that we should do something else I’m not going to pout and run away because there is one thing I am absolutely, positively sure about.  There have been some people lately, here and elsewhere, proclaiming that we NEED to do this, or we NEED to focus on that, and getting angry or hurt when others disagree.  Most of those people NEED to shut the f*ck up!  The only thing we NEED to do is stick together, because People United Means Action.

If there is an issue you care about, focus your attention on it.  If there is a job you you think needs doing, then do it.  There are many things we could and/or should do.  Pick one (or two, three, whatever) and get busy.  Hillary says, “Bloom where you are planted.”  Every PUMA can lead – all you need is a vision and the desire to make it real.

If you lead, others will follow.

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126 Responses

  1. The Haves and The Have Nots
    [audio src="http://podcast.thisamericanlife.org/podcast/368.mp3" /]

    …..

    This one is a good listen from this American Life. Thanks RD…
    Goes beautifully with myiq2xu’s post.

    ‘Stand in His Shadow’…that is a must listen too.

  2. Wonderful, myiq2xu. Your writing just gets better and better. I love the idea of a voting bloc and agree that a third party is not realistic or a good use of our time and energy. It could be a loose coalition too.

    I don’t agree with all the puma groups, but I ended up voting for John McCain anyway, as the lesser of two evils and as a protest in a state where my vote would make no difference anyway.

    Even though Obama won, I still feel empowered because I’m not alone. I joined with like-minded people all over the country in a resistance effort. I still believe that we have made a difference and that will be come more evident as Obama continues to disappoint the various factions that supported him.

  3. Way OT, but Miriam Makeba died last night. 😦

  4. Flip-flop anyone?

    “As a candidate, Mr. Obama said the CIA’s interrogation program should adhere to the same rules that apply to the military, which would prohibit the use of techniques such as waterboarding. He has also said the program should be investigated.
    Upon review, Mr. Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.

    Advisers caution that few decisions will be made until the team gets a better picture of how the Bush administration actually goes about gathering intelligence, including covert programs, and there could be a greater shift after a full review.”

  5. I expect authoritarian Obama to hang onto the torture option. Let’s hope he doesn’t apply it to U.S. citizens.

  6. I would like to repost my comment on the earlier thread because I want to see if others have ideas on what we can do about it.
    ———————
    RD, what I would like going forward is to take all that happened to Hillary (and Palin) and start to plan seriously for a woman candidate on the national ticket in the next two or three election cycles. If they can groom and prop up an American Idol like Obama, we can do better. I don’t want to write letters, petitions, or phone calls; that is not enough. We instead identify talent and then aggressively pursue to put them on the ticket and make them successful. If either party does not see the hunger in women for breaking that glass ceiling, they are fools. I think the time is ripe for us to act to get one of our own to succeed. No more of the 60s gender neutral, I want us to be gender-centric and push a talented woman to succeed into the highest office.

  7. I saw Miriam Makeba in an open-air concert back in 1979 at the Zepplinplatz in Munich.

  8. Depending on the state they live in PUMAs could register and vote in either party’s primaries not to cause mischief but with the goal of reaching the general election with the best possible options.

    Since my state has a closed primary I’m thinking I will stay registered as a Dem until 2010 so I can have a voice in picking the Dem senate candidate, then switch to GOP after so I can vote in the GOP presidential primary (since the Dems will run BO for a 2nd term).

    How can we recruit Independent and GOP women to join the PUMA voting bloc?

  9. votermom:

    We can reregister as needed to vote in primaries. If the Dem primary is uncontested register to vote on the GOP side.

    But that’s not always an option – my Congressman ran unopposed in both.

    As for recruiting, I haven’t thought that far ahead, but let’s not restrict ourselves to women, I’m already outnumbered around here.

  10. votermom,

    For one thing, we keep this blog going. We are already pretty visible and lots of lurkers check in her to see what we are saying. It’s really amazing what RD has accomplished. I intend to focus my attention here for now. I’d also like to start having local meetups around the country. There are lots of us in New England. People have already been getting together in lots of places.

  11. Mr. Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.

    Will he personally supervise waterboarding the bitter gun-clinging non-obots to make sure the experience is transcendent?

  12. votermom,

    You and I think alike! I posted the same thing as you again!

  13. I agree with you. We need to be a large enough group to swing an election, which this election we were not. Not only do we need to focus on becoming unified, we also have to focus on growing the group. I also believe that we can multi-task as long as the goals of each of our tasks are compatible with each other. I can be a PUMA and work to to elect more people who believe in real democracy – one person, one vote, all counted fairly, people of all colors and both sexes supported for office. I can also join the New Agenda and help with their education project to make human history include the struggles, the sacrifices, and the victories of women to begin to combat sexism and misogyny from the kindergarten on up. I think one of the keys to success is to keep PUMA focused on what it stands for, and let its members diversify their interests by joining multiple groups instead trying to have PUMA do it all. And we have to lose the “Democrats in Exile” label and invite like-minded Republicans to join as well.

  14. let’s not restrict ourselves to women, I’m already outnumbered around here

    IQ, you are worth 1000 fauxgressive dudez.

    BB, I agree, RD has created a great place for us here.

  15. BB, our minds are so great!

  16. BB: count this nutmegger in.

  17. For right now, form a block and swing elections. Absolutely. You’ve got my vote for that. I’m done with thinking that any political party cares a damn for anything except how much the voters can beat them up. So let’s start hitting.

    We need lists of people and issues to vote for, everything from school board on up. That’s a big job, but let’s do it as a PUMA wiki where all registered users can add information to the discussions, which are then vetted and summarized into non-editable pages PUMA people. I’ll volunteer for that right now. (Contact via the website. email is non-functional to avoid the scrapers.)

    For the long term, I also think we need to follow Reclusive Leftist’s idea about starting young. (http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/2008/11/09/teaching-womens-history/) Women’s history in kindergarten. Banners of heroic women on city streets celebrating the accomplishments of everyone who’s been ignored. Hildegard von Bingen, Rosalyn Franklin, Lynn Margulis, Malalai Joya, and so on through hundreds.

  18. Depending on your state and your voting district, your options will be different.

    You may want to focus on voting downticket, or on ballot propositions.

    Some PUMAs may want to vote GOP because they are in a solid red state and they want to support moderate GOPers. Others may want to vote GOP to get rid of bad Dems.

    Everyone needs to ask themselves how they can make a difference where they are. But I think we should forget about blindly supporting any one party or candidate.

    “What have you done for me lately?” should be one of our mottos

  19. (Gaa. I cannot do anything right without a “preview” button. That should be “summarized into non-editable pages *by* PUMA people.”)

    And another name just off the top of my head: Mukhtar Mai (aka Mukhtaran Bibi).

  20. The Republican Party is actively reaching out and recruiting.
    They know they’re in trouble.

    I just got a call from the eighty year old head of the local party.
    This is the 3rd time she has contacted me to discuss last week’s election and to remind me to come to the next meeting.

    She talked about how many of the party members are elderly.
    Party leaders are aware that they must reach out to younger people and more moderate voters. She used the word ‘American” a lot.

    I’ll probably attend the meeting, even though my town is filled with the stereotypical Farmer Brown Repubs that stockpile weapons and bash the Clintons.
    If a feel a screaming pro-choice bleeding heart liberal rant coming on I’ll slip out a side door…I can do this…

  21. We could do endorsements or we could do is set up information sites about various candidates and propositions without necessarily endorsing anyone.

    But if we do endorsements they should reflect a consensus of the members and not what the leaders think (NARAL) or a freepered online vote (MoveOn)

  22. I am in a solid red state, but I am with you and will give the movement as much time as is needed.

  23. myiq
    your avatar may be a bit off-putting to newbies..

  24. catarina:

    It’s better than my real picture

  25. PUMA needs a seat at the table. We may not represent a party per se but a movement that demands competence and ability to support candidates who represent the common good.

    I am in favor of the 30% solution but I am not eager to blindly support a candidate “regardless” simply based on gender. Voting for a Marcia Blackwell or Jean Schmidt simply because they are women goes against my grain. They represent all that I resist.

    We should put our talents and resources into candidates who represent us and this is not wholly dependable upon gender, r@ce, religion. It must only be supported by those who run because they have no other desire than to stand for the people and to uphold the constitution. Too many serving now were more than willing to divert those policies in favor of political expediency.

    And electing another slate of career politicians is not something I care to see repeated. It is exactly those same careerists who have led us to where we are today.

    Country first.

  26. Actually, it’s my dream to lead the zombie, deranged lunatic and serial killer faction of PUMA

  27. I love this post myiq.

  28. catarina:

    It’s better than my real picture
    ______________________

    not what angie told me..

  29. Actually, it’s my dream to lead the zombie, deranged lunatic and serial killer faction of PUMA.

    Then it is my desire to carry the garlic and a stake in my purse at any meeting you arrange. And God only knows what will be served in the form of “refreshments”.

  30. catarina — I don’t know what myiq looks like — I love him for his mind, charm & wit, not his physical attributes.

  31. I’m in a purple state (they called it for Obama but only canvassed the provisional ballots, didn’t actually count them, so I won’t give him credit) and I’ll do whatever it takes to get some sane people in office.

    http://julies9164.wordpress.com/

  32. If we say we will vote Dem or 3rd party only then the GOP will simply ignore us.

    If our votes are up for grabs they have an incentive to pander to us.

  33. “I love him for his mind, charm & wit, not his physical attributes.”

    Angie obviously has low standards, which is a quality I find attractive in a woman.

    Essential even

  34. morning your favorite fuzzy veteran is up and heading to his friends bistro for a slice of heaven called the three cheezes pannini….

    I have one question…actually I have several….

    Where is Obama on repealing DADT….DOMA….?

    Where is Obama’s team on passing ENDA?

    Where are the excited discussions on Equal Pay?

    Allof these were big parts of Obama’s outreach to the LGBT and Womans Community…but what do we here about these?

    {{{{crickets}}}}

    I for one will not allow Mr Houdini use his slight of hand to replace a faux concern for the economy to backtrack on these issues….or more likely sweep them under the rug.

    These laws would cost the government nothing they woud not swell the federal budget deficit. In the case of DADT it would save the pentagon the hundreds of millions of dollars it spends investigating and removing LGBT persons from the military.

    Equal pay would force commerce and industry to raise the salaries of women in the work force to be equal to the salaries of men doing the same job. It would put money in the pockets of women, many heading single parent households, that could be used for spending.

    Passing ENDA and repealing DOMA are just the right thing to do and would be a nice olive brance to a community that came out for the Democrats after the abuse we suffered on election with prop 8 and amend # 2.

    sorry I am back and I need some good issues to hold Obama’s feet to the fire with. Afternoon All!

  35. myiq – agreed. Great post, as usual.

  36. Obama just pain sucks I really hope that the O-bots get what they paid for and change to boot!

    As I said “…On Tuesday November 4th a candidate was elected that bought lady liberty and America for $ 700 million dollars and he got them both cheap!”

  37. I have to go beg for money – TTFN

  38. From a post at Pumapac by Murphy:

    “Democratic Party Reform. This is our most challenging job. Boy oh boy are we up against it in this department. The DONC is now firmly ensconced and the media is SWOONING, so it will take time to build leverage for this. The only entrenched power with the means and the motivation to help us is the Republican Party, and um, no thanks. SO, it’s up to us. This effort will build more slowly as the dust settles and we seek out and find allies.”

    And from PJ here:

    “I am in favor of the 30% solution but I am not eager to blindly support a candidate “regardless” simply based on gender. Voting for a Marcia Blackwell or Jean Schmidt simply because they are women goes against my grain. They represent all that I resist.”

    Both of these PUMAs are entitled to feel this way, but limiting our membership and the people we support to Democrats will make our job much harder. Looking for common ground with people who may disagree with some of our ideas would give us a broader coalition and a much better chance at success. Like Bill Clinton’s “candidate X and candidate Y” scenario.

    I’m no longer a Democrat in Exile because I’m no longer a Democrat. It has been a freeing experience. I find I have a lot in common with Republican women like Olympia Snowe, for example. More than with someone like Claire McCaskill. If the PUMAs remain a faction of the Democratic Party, I would probably read PUMA blogs occasionally, but I doubt I’d ever go on a “PUMA prowl” or associate myself with the group politically. I’m looking for a more inclusive experience, and one with a better chance at success. Maybe I’m alone, but I think not.

  39. Yes, I agree with samanthasmom – and myiq (great post!).

    We should refuse affiliation with any Party from now on. That is the only way we can gain numbers and power to hold our leaders accountable.

    Both Parties are now hopelessly corrupt at the top. There is no hope for reform from within when corporations are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to force their candidate of choice down our throats. We need to be independent, and to stay away from the structure of Parties, lest they corrupt us as well.

    We will see something coming soon (this week or early next week) that will help organize our grassroots movement under an umbrella. Once that happens, I think we will see the benefits of this approach.

  40. Voting block is a good idea. I am also in favor of supporting women as often as possible. No one gets a free ride, but I will favor women over men whenever I can.

    myiq,

    So basically are you saying the Obama is in favor of rendition?

  41. And I will refuse to vote for any candidate, no matter who he/she is who refuses to honor the separation of church and state. I am not in favor of casting my vote for anyone who says their candidacy is based on “God’s will”.

    For once, can we just get back on electing someone who has only the goodwill of the nation at heart rather than some simpering religious dogma that has not served any of us well?

    I sound like I am creating a Christmas Wish List but I am sick to death of all this holier than thou crap that seems to ooze so freely from the mouths of people whose only aim is to pander to bigotry in the form of religion. Enough!

  42. We have to have an agenda, besides griping and bitching about everything that took place.

    I agree with Pat Johnson to a certain extent, but I refuse to vote for anyone again just because there is a D beside their name. Pro-choice will also never be a litmus test for me either. I feel like I have been held hostage by both parties on a woman’s right to choose for too damn long.

  43. Pat for pres
    Enough! indeed
    the religious stuff doesn’t belong.

  44. samamnthasmom, I’m with you. Sisterhood runs deeper than party, for me.
    Let’s help good GOP women get elected in red states and ask conservative pumas to help us elect good Dem women in blue states.
    30% solution means more women from all parties need our support.

  45. PJ – I am so tired of the religious right having control over everything too. Obama owes a huge amount of his support to the black churches.

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

  46. Agree with Pat again. Damn Pat, is there anything we don’t agree upon?

  47. What the Obamanation refuses to see with civil marriage is:

    Civil Marriage is not about what two people do on their knees in church; but what two people do in a courthouse-where justice is supposed to be blind and the scales she holds are suposed to be balanced.

    Can I be much clearer than that!

  48. great and well-timed post, myiq.

    the post-election “break” is over-back to work.

    My personal plan is to spy on the local Repubs and recruit the disgruntled moderates to the PUMA movement.

  49. I watched certain clerics over the weekend on their knees thanking God for bringing us Obama. The same thing occurred when Bush stole office.

    What this says is that going forward criticism of The One will not be tolerated because somehow, somewhere, God had decreed this to be and therefore we should not argue the results.

    Give me an effen break! And no disrespect to Sarah Palin, but she too is talking about “consulting” God before she makes her decision as to whether she should run in 2012.
    When it comes down to these platitudes, a meaningful dialogue becomes obscure.

    How in God’s name do we argue with God!

  50. I also refuse to support another candidate that does not recognize GLBT rights. No one in the government has the right to delve into someone’s sex life or in my case, lack thereof.

  51. pat and bostonboomer

    Martha Coakley interested in a US Senate run??

  52. By Aaron Klein
    © 2008 WorldNetDaily

    Barack Obama speaks to media during trip to Israel in July

    JERUSALEM – Hamas held a meeting in the Gaza Strip several months ago with aides to President-elect Barack Obama, but the terror group was asked to keep the contacts secret until after last week’s elections, according to a senior Hamas official.
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80730

  53. ok kim but then you have to hold their feet to the fire on choice too, k?

    if everyone bails on choice we’re fuc*ed!

  54. I just don’t see Roe v. Wade ever being overturned. Politicians use of it, IMHO, has been nothing more than blackmail on both sides.

  55. I plan to remind the Obots when they say…

    “this isnt the Obama I thought I knew”

    Hey you should have been clued that in all the depictions of justice she appears as a woman blindfolded and holding balanced scales in her hand. Do not tell me you ever thought that Obama was justice! God/des we could of had Hillary!

  56. Give me an effen break! And no disrespect to Sarah Palin, but she too is talking about “consulting” God before she makes her decision as to whether she should run in 2012.
    When it comes down to these platitudes, a meaningful dialogue becomes obscure.
    _____________________________________________

    Pat, that comment about consulting GOD weirded me out a little.
    Is she pandering to the right wing fundy-raisers or does she seriously think she has a line to The Big Guy?

  57. catarina: She has my vote! I like Martha, tough, savvy, poised, and smart. All in one package.

    If she goes for it, I’m there.

  58. Anytime I hear anyone thank God for a politician, I know that I need to vote against that politician. The most horrible acts have been jusitified throught out history as doing the work of God. What a load of cr@p. If your church wants a politician, I can guaranty that it will not be in your best interest to vote for him or her.

    Going back to Catholic School, I was raised with render unto God what is God’s and Ceasar what is Ceasar’s. I always took this to mean that there should be separation of Church and State.

  59. Good discussion–I would like to see a non-partisan group, designed to identify and support good women candidates, regardless of party.

  60. Kim I used to think that too-that it was a non-issue.

    But with all the religious ass-kissing we’ve seen by the DNC doesn’t scare anyone it should.

    The party is moving right, not left, on social issues.
    Obama thinks women should discuss their reproductive choices with their pastors.

    We in the choice trenches will have to fight again. I feel it coming.

  61. I can understand pro-life. I don’t support it, but see that abotion does have an effect on the lives of others. However, what effect, as a straight person, does granting the wishes of a couple who love each other and want to be married, have on me?

  62. Pat I like Martha too and she fought Deval Patrick like a dog for Hillary.
    But I’ve heard her go on some socially conservative rants that really put me off.
    I’d probably have to vote for her in the end but I’ve really come to respect Jeff Beatty. It will be a tough call.

  63. I have to defend Palin. Even though Palin refers to God in the campaign, she has a record in Alaska and she didn’t mix religion with govt there. In fact she vetoed anti-gay legislation because it was unconstitutional.
    I personally don’t think she refers to God differently than how FDR or Truman used to. She’s more like a throwback than a religious nut.

  64. Religion has far too much importance in elections. And yes,she did say that she would indeed “consult God” when the time comes. I think her religious beliefs are sincere but I shy away from people like her and Huckabee who actually believe that God’s will dominates their lives.

    Look at Bush. A born again who has allowed his mind to be taken over by the tunnel vision that guides his actions. Going to war was God’s will in his version of events. This type of thinking has led us to where we are today. Fighting an enemy who also believes that killing us and wiping us off the face of the earth is also God’s mandate.

    This type of thinking from both sides needs to be taken seriously since they all see us in a never ending battle to honor God’s will. Very, very dangerous.

  65. Pat Juhnson-I argue with God/des all the time my nightly prayers are worst than anything he recieved from Abraham Job or Moses….or David or any of the patriarchs…

    What fundamentalist christians have forgotten in theold testament was that the book is filled with arguments between mand and God/des.

    Seems the only thing these folks do remember from the old testament is that passage from Leviticus:

    ” a man shall not lay with mankind as with womankind it is an abomination.”

    when six or seven verses later God/des says that eating shrimp is an “abomination” befor god too!

    selective reading has been the problem with religion all along.

  66. last comment on “how obama stole it ” .. needs clean up ..

    11th, 2008 at 12:43 pm Said:

  67. See link below. The Republican’s are looking to rebuild their party and are ready to listen. I’m NOT a closet Republican (this was the first time I ever voted R). But if they become more moderate I may be interested. God forbid, they swing back to the far right. Then I’ll have no good choices in 2012.

    http://themoderatevoice.com/politics/conservatism/24277/rnc-launches-new-website-republicans-for-a-reason/

  68. Kim
    a friend of mine stopped me in my tracks the other day. All the years I’ve worked for choice I never heard it framed this way.
    She said, “but the pro-life people already have their rights! they have the right NOT to have an abortion if they don’t want one!”
    I was flabbergasted.

    And it applies to the gay marriage issue too.
    People who can already do they want yet are committed to taking a right away from another group. WTF?

    And it all goes back to the entanglement of church and state.

  69. stxabuela – Check it out:

    The New Agenda

  70. britgirls come with me to spy 😉

  71. War, I have cried three times today already. I think the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan takes on a whole new meaning when you have someone over there. Watching the Veteran’s Day ceremonies has been really hard.

  72. TheRealKim,

    I try to see the pro-life side of reproductive rights, but I usually fail. I see reproductive rights tied to our right to privacy. Obama has been in favor of eroding our privacy rights already. Thanks to “good Democrats” we have entered that slippery slope regarding privacy rights which in turn are also reproductive rights. I think that entire pro-life argument misses the mark concerning privacy.

    I see marriage and all of its incarnations as privacy rights also. If you bar gay marriage you are eroding your right to privacy also.

  73. ohhh {{{kim}}}
    how is your baby doing?

  74. Kim: I hear you. We are in a place that we should never have entered. We have all those politicians who blindly stood behind Bush, along with those learned military leaders who knew better and said nothing, to thank for this carnage.

    I can only surmise your grief but know that I share your thoughts.

  75. catarina … I’m interested to see what kind of feedback they’re getting. I’m going to have a peek.

  76. Thanks for the link to the New Agenda, madamab. I just bookmarked it.

  77. Catarina I have always thought that choice goes both ways, the right to have an abortion or to have a child. I never say I am pro-abortion, because I am not. I am for a woman’s right to decide and in the political arena, I really believe that it is used as a way to pull certain demogaphics one way or another. What will be used without Roe to coerce us into chosing a candidate? Gay marriage? Doesn’t affect as many people as Roe. I think Roe has become a non-issue and even if it is overturned, it will be left to the states.

  78. I’m open to almost anything already discussed. That’s why most of us have been life long Democrats to begin with. Or were life long Democrats, as I am now Ind.

    But in my heart of hearts we must STOP misogyny in all its forms first. Or we won’t have very many future women who would willingly put themselves through this. Let alone what it is teaching our daughters and granddaughters.

  79. My cub is fine, thank you. But seeing those mothers that have lost their children, just never touched me the way it did today. The war has now entered my living room and it is not welcome there.

  80. Kim
    I heard there are blogs for moms with sons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  81. Damn it, I want it all. I want a politician like Hillary. I want assistance to those that are homeless. I want kids who want to go to college to be able to afford it. I want ERA passed. I want GLBT to have the same rights as others. I want Roe v. Wade left alone. I don’t want torture. I want global warming addressed. Did I leave anything out?

  82. Pat said “How in God’s name do we argue with God!”

    Heh! There was nothing I loved more than arguing with my Religious Studies teacher in Catholic school. But you can’t win an argument with someone who has teh FAITH. That’s why the whole hopey/changey mindset was so creepy. They didn’t need a reason … they had FAITH in hope … and change. Bleeugh!

  83. I have my family and his son nearby, so I have a great support system. I am afraid if I went to those blogs, I would cry all day every day.

  84. TheRealKim, on November 11th, 2008 at 1:05 pm Said:
    Damn it, I want it all. I want a politician like Hillary. I want assistance to those that are homeless. I want kids who want to go to college to be able to afford it. I want ERA passed. I want GLBT to have the same rights as others. I want Roe v. Wade left alone. I don’t want torture. I want global warming addressed. Did I leave anything out?
    ____________

    D*mn it – why are you straight.

  85. Kim, me too!

  86. Sure, PJ! It’s a great site.

    {{{Kim}}}

    God d*mn these f*cking @ssholes who lied us into this war.

  87. kim
    a pony?

  88. kim
    i would cry if you weren’t here!

  89. myiq: great post! It is imperative that we take the coalition that we’ve built, broaden it, and wield that power. There are disaffected voters in both parties, but beyond that there are disaffected citizens who don’t vote because they see the process as a sham, and they are right; it is a sham.

    Representative democracy is a colossal failure. We need to shift to a participatory model where ordinary citizens have vested interest in the process, and direct control of their elected officials. Perhaps it is time to take a serious look at Congressional term limits as well.

    The problem is vast, but solving it starts by getting ourselves organized, creating a platform, and expanding the coalition.

  90. No, I do not want a pony. How about green eggs and ham.

    Lisa Dawn-huh?

  91. myiq and madamab

    do either of you have any sort of organizational vision for this “voting bloc”?

    If so please post 😛

  92. Oh, get rid of the electoral college and caucuses.

  93. I’m looking at the GOP platform.

    http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/

    They’re contradicting themselves. They want to ensure equal rights for all but at the same time want to preserve traditional marriage.

  94. Upon review, Mr. Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.

    With “much greater oversight”? What this would mean is, trust the Wise and Powerful Obama to do the right thing, not any stinking law or regulation. We will be a nation not of laws, but of The One.

    More change He can deceive with.

  95. britgirls: I too am a product of 12 years Catholic school. Anyone who questioned was immediately labeled as a blasphemer. Dissent has no place in religious beliefs. The same holds true in politics and follow that mindset.

  96. catarina – I don’t, but others do – and it’s being rolled out soon.

  97. shtuey, I can read your blog now. Thanks.

  98. Great new post upthread by shtuey!

  99. Pat, my Catholic school experience was so heavy handed. They made us watch a video “The Silent Scream” that showed an abortion being carried out (David Collins in the front row fainted clean away and was carried out by a bunch of weeping school girls). Then they circulated a petition to lower the legal abortion time frame to 12 weeks.

    They couldn’t have done more to make me hate organized religion. But thanks to them I’m now an atheist. Very freeing!

  100. britgirls: Amazing isn’t it that after years and years of indoctrination we were able to step back and allow commonsense to come into play.

    I remember when I was younger being invited to a bridal shower given on behalf of a friend who was Catholic but marrying a divorced man. Another friend chose not to attend because her priest had told her to do so would guarantee her a place in hell for sanctioning someone marrying outside the religion. So she chose to lose a friend over some idiotic, misguided piece of claptrap being dished out by some old harpy.

    I chose to go to both the shower and the wedding and I never looked back.

  101. Sorry I’m late, but I want to say that I agree with samantha’s mom and madamab. I don’t think we should limit it to Democrats.

    I’ve learned a lesson this year. Many Republicans are very nice people who care about this country as much as we do. I actually knew this from real life people but I never talked about politics with them because I didn’t want a fight. From now on I plan to talk to Republicans when I encounter them and listen to what they have to say.

  102. “PUMA is made up primarily of former members of the old Democratic coalition (most notably women and LGBTs) who were cast aside by the party.”

    True, but we welcome our heterosexual brothers who share our concerns, as well.

    myiq2xu, the plan sounds great. If we can make our individual donations through a PUMA site, we might also make more of a splash.

    djmm

  103. well had a formage a’ trios panini and it was almost as good as …..well almost!

  104. Pat I have 3 brothers who have at least one divorce under their belt all have finally found the woman that God/des had intended for them….

    I dont care what the Old men in dresses with the smoking purses say….they are all worthy of god/des’s salvation what ever the catholic church says….

    oh dont let my mom read this:

    “…Old men in dresses with the smoking purses…”

    not a very nice thing to call the RC Patriarchary

  105. catarina, on November 11th, 2008 at 11:49 am Said:
    The Republican Party is actively reaching out and recruiting.
    They know they’re in trouble.
    ——————————————————-
    There have been interesting articles on the Republican infighting. Such as: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/opinion/11brooks.html?ref=opinion The old branch of the far-right is expected to come out on top (for now).

    People on blogs are writing about the change to come in the Repub Party and don’t realize they are merely proposing a new marketing campaign for old ideas. A talking head on Fox says they need to be more inclusive while Hannuuty celebrates the parties rejection of moderates.

    So do they realize they are in trouble and need to change? Sometimes I hear a whisper that says yes, but then I read this rant:

    [[Under constant political pressure, which went almost unresisted by conservatives, a lot of lousy mortgages that would never be repaid were handed out to Jim Jerk and his drinking buddies and all the ex-wives and single mothers with whom Jim and his pals have littered the nation.]]

    If this guy just called people white trash and single mothers and their children litter, I say it’s the ‘same old, same old’ and they are just looking for new packaging for the same trite messages such as ‘traditional marriage’

    As far as the topic: I would have trouble voting as a group as I would never support a candidate like Palin that is too far to the right for me. I am going to keep looking for moderates on both sides and supporting individual candidates. I was surprised to find a group called Republicans for Choice was organized. Go figure.

  106. Oops, forgot the article for the rant…. in case anyone was wondering if the Repubs are really going to change….

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/791jsebl.asp?pg=1

  107. walden

    the Repubs in my town are the poster children for that stuff.
    We’re talking Clinton bashing, Jeezus, and “them gays”

    but there truly are moderates out there-I met many while working for McCain.
    I’m hoping they’ll join our movement.
    they don’t like Obama and their party doesn’t quite know what to do with them.

  108. Take a moment to mourn the passing of South African singer Miriam Makeba.

    Maybe even google one of her performances, like her trademark “Click Song” or the energetic “Pata, Pata”.

  109. Waldenpond;

    I don’t think it’s right to judge a whole Party by individual rants.

    Pumas were pilloried that way lately, and it wasn’t right then either.

    When judging a candidate from an independent standpoint, surely it would be better to judge them by their actions, rather than by their professed political ideology.
    Personally I appreciated Palin for her stand against Pork.

  110. Fantastic ideas in this thread. Glad it is up top on the home page. I will refer back to it a lot.

  111. Myiq wrote:

    “But the LBGT community supported the Civil Rights movement and many of them voted to elect Barack Obama and they were entitled to expect the support of African Americans because they are (or were) part of the same coalition.”

    ******
    This is one of the big elephants in the room for sure.

    Sadly, once again the LGBT community is not likely to receive anything but promises from the new administration.

    PUMA!

  112. The parallels between Obama’s followers and Hillary’s supporters are many.
    1) Obama displays an open distaste for the very people who follow him, yet it deepens the bond.
    2) Hillary displays an obvious disregard for the very people who have supported her, yet it deepens the bond.
    3) If facts are presented to shed light on the negative behavior of either; eyes, ears and minds are abruptly closed.
    4) Both groups profess to bi-partisanship while harboring an ill-concealed contempt for Republicans.
    5) Attempts by these same Republicans to point out that the long history of the Democrats to stifle minority (blacks, Hispanics, women…) achievement still exists today, are met with staunch denial, despite the facts.
    6) On the one hand, each group will continue to blame others for the ‘suppression, oppression, and indignities’ bestowed upon them; and on the other hand, they will continue to support the ‘Democratic Ideals’ that oppress, suppress and bestow those indignities.

    Go figure.

  113. RChris,

    You obviously are not familiar with this blog if you think we disrespect Republicans or worship Hillary and don’t recognize that she surrendered. Thanks for the lecture. Now run along unless you actually have something new and useful to contribute. We are busy.

  114. votermom, on November 11th, 2008 at 11:28 am Said:

    How can we recruit Independent and GOP women to join the PUMA voting bloc?
    ______________________________________

    votermom: there are lots of us former-Democrats-now-Independent PUMAs out there. It might be helpful for people to understand the voting laws in each state. For example, here in California, this is what I found out:

    New Rules for Voting in the Party Primaries:
    There are six parties fielding candidates in this election. Voters who are registered as “Decline to State” and are unaffiliated with any political party should be aware of the participation rules adopted by parties for the June 3rd election.

    * The Democratic, Republican and American Independent parties will permit “Decline to State” voters to participate in their primary elections.
    * “Decline to State” voters who want to vote in a partisan primary must request a partisan ballot by mail or at the polls.
    * California voters who wish to cast ballots in the Libertarian, Green or Peace & Freedom parties’ primaries must be registered to vote with those parties.

    If anyone thinks it’s worthwhile, I’ll research the voting laws of each state and post it…..wherever you think it should be posted!

  115. BB:

    You are far more polite than me. I would have told RIChris that he is obviously and egregiously ignorant. I am a former (and hopefully future) Hillary supporter and I both defended and voted for the GOP ticket.

  116. Thanks, Myiq – I made this suggestion yesterday on another thread -twice but each time it disappered into the ethers – so I’m glad to see it hear and support exactly what you posted! 🙂

  117. I for one am beginning by telling anyone that voted for bo, that the facility that bo has chosen to use to house the inmates of gitmo will be in their neighborhood town city state etc . 😈 😛

  118. votermom I’m a former Dem now independent and there are many of us here.

  119. What I took away from this last election was voting for character and experience over issues. I didn’t agree with Palin on much as far as the issues went, but I thought she had integrity and truly lived life as herself. When she was asked where she stood on something, she knew; she didn’t have to make up something on the spot based on the audience. In 2006, my strategy was anit-incumbent–if you had this job before, you’re not getting it again unless you did something stellar. (Most didn’t.)

    I would like our bloc to be some combination of both of those strategies: voting for the whole person vs. the party and voting out anyone who’s just riding us.

  120. Laurie, on November 11th, 2008 at 3:00 pm Said:
    Waldenpond;

    I don’t think it’s right to judge a whole Party by individual rants.
    ====================================
    I hope I’m not judging. I am looking for a political home and am center right on some issues. I am waiting for the Repub party to be more inclusive as I am center right on some issues.
    ========================================
    You also wrote: Personally I appreciated Palin for her stand against Pork……

    Myself? I found Palin’s record to be wishy-washy. She doesn’t appear to have a record of net cuts. She cut others but funded her interests and had no impact on pork (actually looks like some increases). Her funding approval for her church – others felt had violated church-state separation. She got rid of Ketchican bridge but still supports the Knik-Arm bridge another bridge to nowhere. She just doesn’t have the record yet to support the claim of pork cutter but she has lots of time to build it.

  121. I believe in coalition politics. I think we should advocate rather than raise money. A voting bloc that can’t be bought, as Shirley Chisholm said, “I’m unbought and unbossed.” We should assess our strengths and our weaknesses. Hierarchies and accountability to a party would spell doom. We need to catch all the energies accumulating in small kitchens and livingrooms before they dissipate. I believe that Adrienne Rich had it right, all it takes is three women of like minds sitting in a room together to create a revolution. We need to hear each other’s voices, continue to promote and develop blogradio until we’re all hovering around the techno-campfire calling in, staying actively involved. In this culture it’s all too easy to lose the thread of our convictions. Quick thoughts before dinner.

  122. I firmly believe that some sort of formal organizations needs to be developed, but it should be inclusive and not exclude any group of voters. It should have national leaders as well as state and city chapters, and it should be funded. There are many very intelligent people on this blog as well as the other blogs and it should not lack for leadership. Most PUMA’S were or are presently Democrats and we should remain as remain as such, but not wed ourselves to any one candidate, but endorse and vote as one for that candidate. If that candidate does not receive that PUMA endorsement then we cast our ballot against that person. It can not be a one issue organization and the candidate should be judged on their overall record vs the opponents record. In Close races the PUMA vote could determine the out come and with that would come respect for the PUMA votes.

  123. How is it that african americans are the sole reason that prop 8 failed? listening to you people you would think that they are the only voting group that apposed it, and the only group to blame. What about the hispanic vote that voted yes and the whtie vote? And what about all of the african americans that did NOT vote for it. Maybe they deserve some credit. Hows that for a novel idea on this site.

  124. I really like the idea of a being a voting bloc.

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