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Sunday: The unParty and The Tipping Point

tippingpointLast week, I proposed that we read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell to figure out how we move our unParty from the PUMA internet endemic to the mainstream.  I hope most of you were able to get your hands on a copy of the book or download a version from audible.

Here’s the place to discuss what you’ve learned.  Does Gladwell’s discoveries on the nature of social epidemics have any resonance with the unParty movement?  Are you a connector, maven or salesman?  What entities played those roles for us after the RBC hearing?  What did they do right/wrong?  What piece of the epidemic is missing?  How do we compensate for it?  Is there a role for the unParty in modern politics?  Will it be a movement, a voting bloc, a separate party?  How do we expand beyond our base of PUMAs?  What does the necessary infrastructure look like and how will be organize to create one?  What working groups should we assemble and in what size?

Ok, go to it!  I am thinking of scheduling a blogtalkradio segment to discuss the way forward and The Tipping Point.  I have more drylocking to do today so I’m not sure when I will have a break to do so but if there is support for it, I’ll set one up for sometime this afternoon.

305 Responses

  1. RD – I think The Tipping Point has some very good organizational ideas – for example, the rule of 150 and the way Gore is run. I would like to see an umbrella organization with a lot of smaller groups focused on enacting specific parts of the PUMA agenda, whatever we decide it to be. Also, it seems that more than one group can tackle a particular issue and the effect will not be diluted.

    Great recommendation, by the way. What a fascinating study of social interactions!

  2. I feel so left out. When this was decided I was laying on a board for my back pain and not a part of the discussion.

    Oh well, I can at least follow along with the commentators.

  3. Some unParty goals emanating from PUMA as I have seen them discussed here:

    Hold them accountable – them = cheaters, liars and misogynists of the primary and GE

    Promote Hillary – still the best (not as widely held as some other goals)

    Fight sexism

    Reform Democratic Primary

    Create a database of PUMA information

  4. madamab said: “………an umbrella organization with a lot of smaller groups focused on enacting specific parts of the PUMA agenda, whatever we decide it to be.”


    Have some of these groups already formed?

  5. 1. I agree with madamab, on November 23rd, 2008 at 10:35 am
    2. A radio segment on the general topic of The Tipping Point would be interesting – and RD, drop me a line if you’d like a thought or two about how one might design such a segment.
    3. OT, and I’m sorry, but I could use tiny smidgeon of help. A post I submitted last night to Real Clear Politics has 8 votes – 2 more and it remains active on that site for 7 days. If you can would pop over to http://readerarticles.realclearpolitics.com/?period=all and find in page this title: “Don’t agonize. Organize.” – Send a Woman to the White House
    The link will take you to my post – if you think it worth keeping up at RCP perhaps you could add a vote?

    (I’m trying to keep RCP a bit focused on women’s issues and not get entirely dominated by the more usual stuff …)

  6. Pat Johnson, on November 23rd, 2008 at 10:40 am

    What’s up with your back, Pat Johnson?

  7. Heidi: I just voted for your blog which will make it a 9 at least.

    I raked 12 bags of leaves last weekend and threw my back out. Spent most of the week popping Motrin and laying on a board. Hard to sit, stand, or lay down most of the time. Missed out on this call to arms but am following along. I hate being left out!!!

    Catching up on my blog reading as I go along but I can’t sit too long as it irritates my lower back. Sorry to say, it is my own fault.

  8. Thanks for the vote Pat J. – Ten have come in now so that’s not a big deal now.

    My mother had a back that went out sometimes and so does my husband – I know how painful and uncomfortable the condition an be. Do you have a handheld with a web browser? That could make it easier to lie on a board and follow along. You are not going to be left out, anyway, but this could help.

  9. RD, I read very little non-fiction. I have become quite lazy and read primarily mysteries with female protagonists – excellent entertainment. I’m very grateful that you stimulated me to read this book. My suggestion for our next book discussion is to set a time for the discussion.

  10. Heidi: No, I don’t but admittedly I was not in much of a mood to read or comment.

  11. purplefinn – Yes, some of the groups have already formed. The New Agenda, PUMA Pac, Heidi Li’s Denver Group folks, Together4Us…I think they can easily be mobilized and focused as part of a more generalized agenda.

    The great thing is that we have so many people who are ready for action. We just need to get them going.

  12. Pat J – instead of reading “The Tipping Point” this week, I highly recommend “Treat Your Own Back” by Robin McKenzie. It’s a $10 paperback and was given to me by my physical therapist. It gives step by step instructions on how to relieve the pain, what exercises to do to strengthen your back, and how to react quickly when you overdo to compensate and keep the pain away. It’s in the drawer of my nightstand always. I have been 10 years pain-free since my last bout with sciatica. When I feel that telltale tingle down my leg (Does Chris Matthews have sciatica?), I know how to react immediately to put things right again.

  13. madamab: Hear, hear!!

    samanthasmom: Thanks for the tip. I do have a recurrent back problem when every few years it acts up and I end up rather immobilized.

  14. PJ – The only thing that helped my back problem (swollen disk, sciatica) was acupuncture. I had two months of physical therapy, which was painful and ineffective. Then, I had three sessions of acupuncture and was absolutely fine. No recurrence since then!

  15. madamab: I hope it never gets to that point. This is just serious back strain from raking and bending. I have had this just from bending over and picking up the morning paper at times. Also, getting in or out of a car. Had it for years off and on. A drag to say the least.

  16. pat: I don’t usually have back trouble but when I travelled overseas once, I had your symptoms the day after and once after that from kickboxing. It was almost impossible to move without agony but some things *did* help.
    1.) aspirin. Nothing else worked for me. It truly is the wonder drug.
    2.) one of those beanbag microwave thingies. Heat one up, wrap it around your back. Ahhhhh
    3.) cat stretches. Get down on your hands and knees. Arch your back, hold for 10 seconds, then flatten your back for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times It sounds painful but it’s not as bad as you think. Besides, you need to keep moving and this will help.

  17. OT – Heidi, I went to vote but then realized I wasn’t registered – I’m waiting for a confimation of my registration and then will vote.

    Madam – you’re right we have a lot of people in the breach waiting for action so we need to give them something to do or we will begin loosing them.

    I bought Gladwell’s book back in 2000 when it first came out as I was a Director, Business Development for an international firm then and found it helpful in understanding the big picture for my team – I learned that being a Connector with a good dose of Salesman was what really made me so good at what I did – but we need all three on our team if we are to succeed.

    So, my recommendation is:

    Let’s get on with it!!!

  18. I only scanned the book review on Wikipedia, see here:
    and the summary as linked at the bottom of that page.

    Off the top of my head, I see PUMA as the Connector
    RD,Murphy, and others as the Salesman
    (I like to think I may be a Maven)

    The Stickiness factor- anger, over the misogyny and election fraud
    And the Context as the election season, unfortunately as we get further away
    from that, it’s easier to set it aside. Life does intrude.

    The 150 group dynamic is also interesting- worth keeping in mind.
    And now I await the rest of you to analyze how this movement can
    use this information on the way forward.

  19. riverdaughter: I have been taking Motrin which does alleviate the pain which was recommended by my son in law, the pharmacist.

    However, I am going now to do those exercises as my back is starting to ache from sitting here this morning. Sounds like this might ease it a little more. But I am doing better than last Sunday when this all started. I was walking like Tim Conway there for awhile.

  20. Heidi Li,

    I’ll cross post your article over at our new forum http://www.hillarysvillage.net.

    We’ll get those votes up for ya!

  21. Pat Johnson, my back problem were solved years ago after I saw an orthopedic surgeon . (That’s someone who does bones including sports injuries.) This guy also sees players in a local major sports team. A nurse friend who works in that hospital told me about seeing the players come in under assumed names–so utilize your nurse friends for references.) The doc got me the right medication and sent me to physical therapy.

    The most important part here is the physical therapist and getting referred to a good one. I still do the lower back stabilization exercises when I feel a twinge of the old problem start to come back.

    I was medicating myself with Motrin too, but the over the counter dosages are for pain, not for inflammation. You need a higher dosage to reduce the swelling. If a joint is swelling it pulls in the injured area even more and causes more injury, in a worsening cycle. The PT will also know how to use heat and cold and maybe massage pressure to stop the muscle spasm and break the cycle.

  22. RD- I like the concept of a sort of PUMA AFL-CIO. Many groups can come together under the principles of co-belligerents and accomplish much while retaining their own identities. It can work.

  23. SadStateofAffairs: thank you.
    I want more of “our” sort of posts up at RCP with lots of votes. I’ve sometimes posted some Conflucan pieces. Anybody who is registered can submit an article by anybody. If part of being a tipping mechanism or leveraging a tipping point involves being a presence, RCP is a good place to start.

  24. Pat when I haven’t been able to get to my acupuncturist I’ve used those Thermacare thingies on my back and they’ve helped enormously.
    Motrin’s done nothing for me nor has Alleve, Advil helps a bit but Excedrin seems to be the best when it comes to drugs if I get to that point. Don’t like taking ’em if I don’t have to.

  25. PatJ: Theraputic dosage of Motrin is 600-800mg/8hrs, but this can upset your stomach and provoke renal problems, so you don’t want to take it for very long in these dosages. Also, apply cold to injuries for the first 24 hours, warm thereafter to relax muscle spasms. Use heating pads only on low, never diresctly on your skin, and do not sleep on them,.

  26. chatblu, on November 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 am Said:

    A union of unions.
    A version of federation – and federalism.

  27. Joanelle, on November 23rd, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Thank you.

  28. Heidi Li, on November 23rd, 2008 at 11:49 am Said:
    chatblu, on November 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 am Said:

    …A version of federation – and federalism

    Ah, huh!!! Now we’re cookin’

  29. Heidi Li- Yes, exactly. A confederation of sorts, mutually symbiotic, common goal oriented.

  30. For those Mavens out there, I’ve created a “Maven Haven” at http://www.PUMApedia.org Come register and all that information you’ve collected will have a home and everyone else will have a centralized location to find out about PUMA.

  31. In my professional work, I study federalism and federalism(s). Even in writing about SWWH groups, I was thinking about in terms of a way to begin to form the nubs of local federations of one kind.

  32. I have been coming off a rough couple of weeks, so I couldn’t read Tipping Point, but I will get a copy over T-Day weekend.

  33. From reading the posts and the comments at various PUMA blogs, I think we have a substantial number of connectors, salespeople, and mavens. The fiasco that was our recent election has provided us with context. I think the major obstacle to progress will be the “stickiness” factor. One of the obstacles to our message becoming “sticky” is that we haven’t defined it clearly. When the PUMA movement began, we were all united on one goal – to defeat Obama. We didn’t reach that goal, and we now have two problems that fell out from that. One is that our organization is perceived as being ineffective, and the other is that we have no common goal. There are PUMA and PUMA-related groups whose goals are to reform the Democratic Party, but not all members of JSND groups are Democrats nor were they ever. There are PUMA groups whose primary target goal appears to be to change the way the media operates. Then there is the rise of a new wave of feminism. Although none of those goals are mutually exclusive, people will have varying degrees of commitment to each of them, and I think there may be more goals than those. I believe our primary initial focus needs to be on “Who are we?” Until we have that defined clearly, I think we will flounder.

  34. Another good book is Made to Stick by the bothers Heath – it’s about insuring that your ideas/products not only sell but become the in thing i.e. Coke, Kleenex, etc.

  35. samanthasmom: Even harder to define is the form of the new feminism. Is it an outgrowth of dissatisfied second wave feminists such as myself? In that case, secomnd wave feminism has split into minimally two distinct subgroups. Third wave feminists, represented by my daughter, bear little resemblance to any femninism of my recall. Therefore, rather than a fourth wave of feminism, perhaps we are closer to second wave, subgroup (a) and (b)?

  36. I read The Tipping Point a number of years back.

    Honestly, I wasn’t much impressed with his analysis. I think he tries to argue for categories and principles that don’t seem to hold up very well, or at least can hardly be said to be credibly established by his examples.

    What does make the book interesting are a number of the interesting facts and anecdotes he uses to build up his case. Those can be used to derive one’s own theories and speculations about the sort of issues he raises — and one’s own thoughts along these lines are at least as likely to be right as anything Gladwell proposes.

  37. We should redefine what it means

  38. I read the book. Good read. I agree with samanthasmom. Who are we? I moderate PUMA forum, and I have to tell you, I don’t agree with most of the posters there. That was not the case when it began in last June. I am not sure that the active posters now are PUMAs, or that they even know the origins of the PUMA movement. The need for clarity on this is important, imho. I was a life-long Democrat, and just because I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Obama, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still have the former Democrat postions on the issues. I guess what it comes down to is I am wholeheartedly a Clinton Democrat. After reading the book, I also consider myself a Maven. And a feminist. I just have no party affiliations, which leaves me feeling a bit homeless at the present time. That was something I always had until this year. So, it comes back to ~ Who are we? What do we want? How do we get it?

  39. chatblu,
    I’m a second wave feminist, too, and I have a daughter and a daughter-in-law who would fit into a third wave demographic although I secretly question whether the third wave actually ever happened. I think one of the challenges for groups like the New Agenda will be to make us into a coalition of women who share common goals. We may split into sub-groups socially when this thing takes off, but we have to be careful that we are working toward the same purpose.

  40. Hi RD & Co.

    I wasn’t able to get the book yet, busy, but I wanted to see what all of you are planning. You know, I just don’t think we have ever experienced an election like this one. We haven’t. My tv is on — the news — and I just heard “the advisor” speak. Great. Now, they are talking with huffypoo at a roundtable. Ugh. Grotesque.

    I have ZERO faith in these guys. And I really worry about Hillary in this milieu. Too creepy.

    I liked what miq2xu had about Hillary below. Good. But, that finger is etched –you can’t take any of that back — ever. We are never going to forget it — those of us who supported her —

    You get the sense that the whole place is going to tank and tank –more and more. These people? They stutter over the Uh’s —

    WTF is huffy doing on there? Seriously.


  41. Taking on to some really good points raised by Samanthasmom… (we were first Nobama…)
    At this point, I am quite aware that our “system” is a stacked deck. I am thoroughly annoyed with how things are decided and shoved down our throats. I now detest the MSM and fear their power. I am grief-stricken with the state of feminism (yes, I’d believed the rumors of our progress). And I’m not looking forward to the next 4 (maybe 8) years.
    I want a complete reform of our election process, starting with the gerrymandered districts all the way up to roll call votes at primaries, and ensuring honest elections in November. I want corporations out of the government and something that rivals the power that the corporate media has. I want every citizen in this country to be visible and respected.
    I read the book a few years back and at that time determined that I was a maven.
    I am not sure how to achieve stickiness. It seems to just happen. This blog alone has gotten almost 4.5 million hits since its inception. I think that qualifies for some form of stickiness.
    I agree with the framing thought…we all know something stinks but many are unable to name the odor. It needs to be articulated–in short messages with lots of data behind them.

  42. We must have Hillary replaced by a WOMAN from New York State. This is a clear, immediate goal for us.

    It is not acceptable to use the elevation of Hillary to SOS as a way to reduce the representation of women in the Senate.

    Can we all agree to this point of pressure on Gov. Patterson – and not take NO for an answer?

  43. Just read this delicious comment from Joan Didion:

    The week after the election, in a talk at the New York Public Library, Ms. Didion lamented that the United States in the era of Barack Obama had become an “irony-free zone,” a vast Kool-Aid tank where “naïveté, translated into ‘hope,’ was now in” and where “innocence, even when it looked like ignorance, was now prized.”

    Yes, irony is certainly dead among those who most imagine they embody it: the KoolKidz of the Obama class.

  44. More from the article I linked to:

    Still, there is little doubt that these are challenging times for the professionally arch. Gilbert Gottfried, widely credited with being the first standup comic to tell a 9/11 joke (he complained 18 days after the attacks that he couldn’t get a direct flight to California because “they said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first”), noted that his gun-shy colleagues, afraid of spoiling the love fest or being accused of racism, “continue to do Sarah Palin insults, and that really struck me as odd.”


    Roger Rosenblatt, the former Time columnist who wrote that Sept. 11 might at least “spell the end of the age of irony,” said that while irony had its place and time, this was not it.

    “Irony,” Mr. Rosenblatt said, “is a diminishing act — the incongruity between what’s expected and what occurs makes us smile at the distance. But there are some events that occur, like 9/11, and perhaps Obama, though I didn’t think of him in this context, that are so big that they almost imply an obligation not to diminish it by clever comparisons.”

  45. I agree with samantha’s mom that we haven’t yet decided as a group who we are, what we stand for, and what our goals are. We have had some discussions here, and they often break down because so many of us have widely divergent interests and goals.

    For example, I see PUMA as growing out of the disappointment we all had when we saw our home blogs turning into dens of misogyny and Clinton hatred. Then when we realized on May 31 that the process had been fixed all along, PUMA was born. At this point, I don’t know that we have the ability to reform the Democratic Party from within. I like the idea of forming an advocacy group that attempts to influence both parties. For me, our primary goal should be increasing the power and influence of women in politics and government. But other people here have strenuously objected to the idea that PUMA has anything to do with women’s issues at all. I have found that confusing.

    I do think we need to hammer out goals. We can’t do that without leadership. I think it is important, and purplefinn wrote, to set a time in advance for discussions such as this. I think you need to be available when we have such a serious discussion, RD, and perhaps we could make sure that other leaders of the movement such as Heidi Li and Murphy are here too.

    I was finally able to get the book yesterday, and haven’t read it yet. I am familiar with many of the psychological studies used by Gladwell, and I have heard that he tends to pick and choose from study results in order to support his premises. That may not invalidate the ideas in the book. But Milgram’s notion that prominent people are needed to make an idea or product go viral has been disproved by recent scientific studies. That could be good news for us, since we are a true grassroots movement.

  46. Typically for back injuries, no more than 3 days of bed rest is recommended.

    You want to stretch, as Riverdaughter said. In addition, stretch your ABDOMEN. Do the stretch where you lay on your stomach, and lift your upper torso with your arms, thereby, arching your stomach.

    Leg and butt stretches also help since all of the muscles and tendons in the region interact in a push-me-pull-you way.

    Of course, always do the stretching when you’re warm, after a hot shower or whatever.

    And once the back is all better, the best preventative is a strong “core” (abdomen and back). Ab exercises are probably the most likely start in getting a strong core.

    I’m no doctor, just suffered from back pain for years. Been to physiatrists, physical therapists, nobody seemed to understand how to help, so I had to help myself. I’ve been doing ab exercises religiously for 3 months and a good share of the back pain is now gone.

  47. Just to remark on the quote from this idiot Rosenblatt at Time, just consider what he is saying.

    Somehow, the election of Obama is so major an event, of such consequential and grand proportions, that we cannot say anything that might belittle it by suggesting it is overblown.

    And these cretins in the media wonder why we think they are abject in their slavishness to Obama, and why we believe they have no credibility as objective journalists?

  48. Athena,

    I definitely agree, and I understand some women are leading contenders for Hillary’s seat.

  49. Athena: I agree too.
    BB: Would you care to share your list of those women?
    Frankly: you left out my favorite quoet from the article:

    the conservative humorist P. J. O’Rourke, reported from his New Hampshire office on Wednesday that he was finishing a piece for The Weekly Standard with the working title, “Is It Too Soon to Start Talking About the Failed Obama Presidency Just Because He Isn’t President Yet?”

  50. I was driving home from work last nite and listening to a tommy edwards cd .
    One of his songs was” Its not the end of everything.”
    That title made me think with all the bad in this election cycle there was a lot of good too.

    lack of crediablity of msn
    Stealing of votes and election fraud
    The total lack of respect for the Clintons
    backtrack being selected

    the mask being ripped away from the dem party
    the awakening of many voters
    people coming together to start to fix the country
    and bring it back to the great country it was and could be again.
    look how many here are trying to find ways to work together for something higher than all of us.
    We have a ” just cause” and the will to work for it.
    Thats not all bad.



  51. I offer a few rough thoughts on the general theme of tippng points. Though I did not read the book I’m familiar with its ideas.

    PUMA has “stickiness” obviously judging by the speed the phrase was discussed /mentioned in the media. True PUMAs did not achieve the goal of defeating O but did create a thorn in the side of politic as usual. That has big value.

    Branding the message needs to be short, easy to grasp. “Nobama” worked because it was so simple and direct.

    We ought avoid the stuffy academic words such as misogyny, parity. Keep the intellectual tone for the supporting facts and research. For marketing to the masses focus on the positive goals — treat girls and women fairly, insure fair voting, call out media bias.

    The epidemic is missing money and exposure.

    “Salespeople” must constantly iterate the message. Every speech, media appearance, interview include the short, simple message.

    “Mavens” must diligently collect and organize the supporting information. Easily accessible facts and figures are ammunition. Statements backed by solid research and data separate us from the tin-foil hats 😉

    “Connectors” are the antithesis of “get in their faces” social interaction. Rather by finding common ground and bridging the (mostly exaggerated) ideological divides we can swell the movement’s ranks. Concentrate on broad coalitions for example citizens want fair elections, parents want fair treatment for their daughters.

    I am a “salesperson” I have no fear of talking to one person or thousands if my information is accurate and my intent is sincere.

  52. I feel privileged to be in company of such great PUMAs.

    Yes, I think we need to set up a data base with PUMAs information, we’ll keep informed through e-mail, blog-radio, even by text messaging on certain occasions if necessary.

    In my view, our umbrella group my be more effective as an Independent one, we will be able to not only demand accountability from but also support good plans or policies of either (Democratic or Republican) party.
    My concern about utilizing our time and financial resources into “reforming” the Democratic Party is that the “reform” voice may fall in deaf ears in the DP, since they have realized, as we have witnessed, that if they move certain groups to action and fatten the right people’s pockets or campaign funds, just about any outcome or voting result, as twisted or fraudulent as it may be, can be achieved.
    I am not ignoring the fact that certain aspects of the political process, such as the caucuses, need to be reformed, for this
    particular way of electing a primary candidate can be rigged in so many ways, it is, or has become, totally undemocratic,

    On the issue of mysoginy, we will have to work in tandem, our levels of influence may be varied, but I will back a steady, informed plan to fight mysoginy at local level and at national level such as in the MSM and in Government. As a voting block we can have more influence and ability to exert pressure on our Representatives and Senators not only when a bill related to women is up for their voting, but making sure women’s issues are brought to the floor for voting.

    From reading these blogs I see we have extremely well qualified PUMAs with experience and skill in a variety of fields, including law, finance, science, political science; people with organizational skills and, in general, people with common sense and with love of Country and Democracy, who can, and, I think, are willing to work towards making this group’s accomplishments effective, meaminful and lasting.

    One more thing , and I’ll get out of your hair.
    To have financial support and viability, we need to establish a
    clear system of accounting clarity, so people will know where the funds are going and what are they being used for. Forming a Board, maybe?
    Now, acknowledging the current economic strains, and that prudence is dictating our Dollar spending/ allocating decisions, I want to present this picture to raise funds for our
    “war/campaign” chest:

    1 Million PUMAs at $1000.00 each= $1,000,000,000
    ($1 Billion U.S. Dollars)

    500,000 PUMAs at $2000.00 each=$1 Billion.

    You can divide it into any other number of groups of people and dollars to reach the same $1 Billion mark.

    We can work at fundraising the second $1000.00 contribution.
    And, as it has been done before, a $5, $10 or $25 dollars contribution will be welcomed gratefully, as we will work together towards a common goal.

    If we start the fundraising, I’ll have my $1000.00 contribution ready. This cause is very important to me and am willing to
    make tangible efforts to make it happen.

    Thanks PUMA blogs for having provided places of refuge when we were feeling down after Sen. Clinton was out of the race, and, now for trying to make possible a platform from which to launch efforts to keeping this Country truly the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.


  53. Sophie,

    I’m not from NY, so I don’t know names except for the one RD mentioned above, Carolyn Maloney. However, someone from NY posted the names of some women candidates who would likely be under consideration. Perhaps madamab would know.

  54. daiseymae, on November 23rd, 2008 at 12:30 pm Said

    I am in real sympathy with daiseymae’s remarks.
    Here’s the challenge: defining some core features of being a “Clinton Democratic” that have nothing to do with either of the Clintons’ specific career ambitions and nothing to do with directly opposing Barack Obama. We are out of election mode where it makes sense to channel one’s worldview through specific persons.

    I am NOT saying that it isn’t part of being a Clinton Democrat to support the empowerment of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am saying that the reason for the support of HRC is not because she is HRC (or not just that) but because of what HRC represents.

    Ok, jumping out again – I’m working today.

  55. FITZ — thanks so much for creating PUMAPEDIA! Yippee! I’m running over right now to register.

  56. Media bias finally getting some play in the press:

    Media bias was more intense in the 2008 election than in any other national campaign in recent history, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin said Friday at the Politico/USC conference on the 2008 election.
    “It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war,” Halperin said at a panel of media analysts. “It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

    He went on to mention the coverage of Cindy McCain in the NY Times as compared to the articles on Michelle Obama. It IS disgusting – the press helped push Bush’s war; the press helped put Obama in the WH. If they are that powerful, they could put in a Hitler.

  57. Yike! I stopped comments. OT. Apologize.

  58. Sophie the names I’ve heard are Cuomo, Velasquez, Gillibrand and Higgins. But I’m in NJ, if I were from NY I’d write to the Governor in a heartbeat to let him know that we expect that a woman will be replaced by a woman

    I think any of you who are on this site from NY could let your governor know that it is the concerted opinion of those women in the State that he understand our expectations.

  59. of those Velasquez and Gillibrand are women and I believe are being seriously considered but I’m sure there is a push from the boys to grab the seat.

  60. OT -How does one send an email to the potpurri blog? …sorry, probably missing the contact link.

  61. Hey all – I will do what I can to make sure Gov. Paterson replaces HRC with a woman. I think it’s a cause we can all get behind!

    My picks are Maloney and Gillibrand. They are both liberal and big HRC supporters.

  62. Would love to see Maloney there – but I’m not in NY – go Madam – go!!!

  63. Joanelle –


    I’ll let you all know what happens…

  64. I too found the rule of 150 interesting. I didn’t really get if I was a maven or a connector, or a salesman. I think most of us have the capacity to be all fo these things to a certain extent. I thought the case study with Bratton pretty interesting too. Then they lost me when they started throwing in labels like liberal and conservative.

  65. zIt isn’t totally off topic JMAC. The media are the salesman of the tipping point. There even was a study mentioned in there with Peter Jennings and facial expressions and how it affected viewers.

  66. samanthasmom@1225: Agreed that we are subgroups with a common purpose, ergo, co-belligerents. Each group does not have to have 100% agreement in oredr to work toward a common goal. SOD: I agree that the thrid wave of feminism may have failed to launch. Many barriers had been lowered for these women, and they have yet to chafe at those that remain. The second wave appears to have split into two groups, one which continues to chafe at mysoginy and the other which appears to enable the mysoginy. Go figure.

  67. Either Maloney or Gillibrand would be great!!! I prefer Maloney, because she has paid her dues. She is also a great women’s rights advocate as we all know.

  68. I think our first baby step would be to be a voting block.

  69. CWaltz: Spot on. We do have common values and goals.

  70. I think that the problem is that there is this idea that if a woman has different core beliefs then you then somehow it is okay to attack and malign her charecter. We need to get better at making sure people understand that a pro woman stance doesn’t mean that each woman must have the very same cookie cutter view of the world. I can disagree with Sarah Palin on abortion and still believe she has a woman’s perspective and the best interests of women at heart.

    I can agree with Gloria Steinem on choice and be absolutely appalled at her vicious attack of Sarah Palin.

  71. In order to put an end to caucuses, we would have to work within the Dem party. The decisions that led to conditions we abhorred in the primary season had been made over the last two years, from local party executive committee meetings, to state, to national. The only way to reverse what the party hierarchy now sees as a winning strategy would be for PUMAs to get active in local politics, get elected to exec committees, have input into state & national party policies…


    Since most of us now feel separated from the Party and very disgusted with the “ol’ boy networks,” as well as the Party Leader being the President (who favors the caucus system, thanyouverymuch), how can we expect to have any input on that issue? Your standard-issue registered Dem has NO say unless they are active committee members.

  72. That’s an interesting point Sherry NC. I have to wonder how many of us even want the label Democrat anymore and if that is the case how would you enact reform on the primary process as independants?

  73. CWaltz –
    But a voting block with what purpose? I am no longer a Democrat, and I have no interest in returning. I will remain an unaffiliated voter from here on in. I live in a state where I can still vote in the primaries so I have little to lose. If the members of PUMA are reluctant to support a Republican candidate, which many of them seem to be, I would have little interest in becoming part of the voting block. If I only get to choose among the Democrats, then it’s too limiting. It would also push other groups like the New Agenda, which is being scrupulously bi-partisan out of the coalition. I’m not saying that PUMA shouldn’t be a Democratic organization. I’m just saying that it would exclude some of us if it, and I would like to know that upfront.

  74. CWaltz: It may be easier to effect change as Indys. We are beholden to nothing but principle.

  75. Which states have open primaries and which ones have closed ones? I know mine is closed. If we choose to remain independants we may end up limited in our choices. In my state the GOP chose Gilmore even though Davis probably would have made a better go of it. Why? Davis isn’t ultra conservative like Gilmore and the ultra conservatives have all but driven out the moderate faction of the GOP.

  76. In trying to move forward to figure out what we want, I can’t help thinking that what I wanted was for Hillary to be President. I still want that, as unlikely as it is at this point. I am still *really* pissed at the way that was taken away from her, from me, from us, from the country. The process is so miserable and so entrenched.

    SherryNC raised some good ideas, but how many PUMAs live in caucus states?

  77. CWaltz: My state is also closed, but perhaps that would be a good starting point. How do we do a ballot initiative to open primaries? As a Floridian, I have noted that it doesn’t matter how I vote in a Democratic primary, so I switched to Independent without a second thought.

  78. I think that this may be where we get into subgroups Sam’s mom. Some here are here solely due to misogyny. Some are here because they believe strongly in the principle of democracy. It would be interesting to see a breakdown on who here supports the 30% solution.

    I don’t think that you are accurate when you say that they won’t support a Republican. Most people here want a candidate that they feel is closest to them in ideology. It just so happens that in word, the Democrats are more ideologically compatable. If the GOP were to put up a candidate that supported gay rights and that felt that women need to have a voice and one that supported democracy in principle as well as in word, I have no doubt they’d get votes from this group. That said, the GOPs record is just as, if not more deplorable then the Dems.

  79. OT: There’s a diary at the Big Cheetoh. Here’s the gist of it:
    Coleman is now challenging ballots that were clearly marked for McCain for president and Franken for Senate–because anybody who voted McCain HAD to have meant to vote for Coleman!!!
    I guess Coleman (or the MSM or the members of the big cheetoh) never heard of PUMAs and never read one of the many voting strategy posts here. Otherwise they’d know how easy (and common) it could be for people to split their vote.
    I know I did!

  80. I was thinking of the “stickiness” of the PUMA movement on Monday when Boston Legal had an episode about PUMA’s. We weren’t called out by name but featured a character who was obviously PUMA. Turns out she (notice they made the character female) was a Clinton supporter who became a McCain voter. David E. Kelley used his show to call PUMAs uninformed and stupid. I also noticed that they didn’t air this episode until after the election.

  81. Sophie

    It’s almost the same argument made by Obama nation as to why he deserved 50% of Michigan’s vote even though combined anyone but Hillary only got 35%. To be fair to Coleman, the Cheetos started it with their trying to “guess” the intent of voters who voted for Obama that didn’t vote for Senate.

  82. I could care less if Boston Legal thinks I am stupid. I think Hollywood has overinflated egos.

  83. Velasquez is a good choice too. We need more hispanic voices and she is a good one!

  84. My state, NC, had closed primaries until THIS year. 👿
    I seriously doubt that Obama would’ve taken NC – certainly not by as much – if the primary had been closed, as it used to be.

    There are pros & cons to both open & closed. The Party encouraged open for this cycle.

    I’m still technically registered Dem but not for long. I have zero interest in working for the party any longer, like most of us here. And there’s the rub. The caucus/primary decision is made by the State party. Indies can have no impact on that decision.

    I’m only bringing this up because some have said they want the UNparty to work to eradicate caucuses and I don’t see how we can accomplish that from outside.

    Personally, I aim to work for the 30% (or 50%!) Solution. That is where my heart and head now lead me.

  85. I think open is better in the long run Sherry because it allows everyone to have a voice in the process early on. Yes, people will vote in the primary for strategic purposes but they are still taking part in the process.

  86. David E. Kelley and his friends can misrepresent my views and call me stupid. It’s just that we’ve had enough of an impact for Kelley to want to spend an hour of prime television time just to call us stupid.

  87. Kelley’s in for a rude awakening. I ain’t going anywhere. This cycle was just the beginning. They may have won the battle, i intend to win the war.

  88. Cwaltz –
    I no longer believe that the Democrats are more compatible to me in ideology other than in paying me lip service. If the Republicans are equally deplorable as the Democrats on women’s issues, then I want the full range of candidates available to me to support based on their personal qualifications irrespective of their party affiliation. While many PUMAs wanted to “just say no deal” to Obama, fully knowing that if Obama was not elected, MacCain would be president, but at the same time said that they could not vote for a Republican, it was a clear case of cognitive dissonance. Just peruse the archives here, and you’ll see it. I know that the PUMA movement is not going to die if I choose not to remain in it. I just don’t believe that I’m the only out here who doesn’t know what we stand for anymore. I think PUMA has become like Obama. Each of us is mapping our own agenda on to the organization. It’s become a blank slate, too.

  89. Boston legal is back? I loooove Boston Legal.

    But they’re becoming anti-Puma? I may have to reconsider this.

  90. Boston Legal has been in the tank for Obama all season, They even had arch conservative Denny Crane cross over to vote for Obama. Shirley moved to her second home in Colorado to vote so that her vote for Obama would have more impact. This is my husband’s favorite show or I would have blocked it months ago.

  91. It hasn’t even been a month Sam’s mom. The process of where to go is going to take some time. I know that some of us feel like this is taking forever but the truth is that we barely have finished the cycle. Right now riverdaughter is atempting to start the discussion.

  92. My husband likes Boston Legal and watches it from time to time. I don’t watch it though. Haven’t before and certainly do not see the need to start. I’m just not that into inane.

  93. Another good book is Who Moved My Cheese

  94. I don’t expect that the decision about where PUMA should be going is going to happen overnight. I just think it’s premature to worry about “The Tipping Point” and how to get our message to stick when we don’t appear to have a message yet.

  95. I’m seeing an AP report that Judas Richardson is being tapped to be Commerce Secretary. His consolation prize, I guess.

  96. LibOne, on November 23rd, 2008 at 4:09 pm Said:
    I was thinking of the “stickiness” of the PUMA movement on Monday when Boston Legal had an episode about PUMA’s. We weren’t called out by name but featured a character who was obviously PUMA. Turns out she (notice they made the character female) was a Clinton supporter who became a McCain voter. David E. Kelley used his show to call PUMAs uninformed and stupid. I also noticed that they didn’t air this episode until after the election.

    That show was annoying but mainly because the characters were so stereotyped and the storyline was boring. They weren’t criticizing her for being a McCain supporter (they made that VERY clear because the man who fired her for supporting McCain was a McCain supporter). They were criticizing her for supporting McCain because of Palin and her reason for supporting Palin, in the show, was that she was “spunky”. Unfortunately that is how the media has depicted former Clinton supporters who went on to support McCain since June, as stupid and only supporting McCain because of his running mates genitalia.

    The show is tired and this is its last season, the characters have all gotten terribly old and fat and even with a good plot it’s depressing to watch so don’t watch.

  97. If I were a better, I’d say we stand for the 30% solution. I think though that the movement may be wondering if that is enough or if they can encompass other ideas.

    The evangelicals have 3 to 4 planks. This site in particular has discussed modeling the movement based on the evangelical model. I think right now there is work on what those other planks should be.

  98. Article on yahoo. Appparently change means clinton administration 2.0. Oh the irony. I’d point this out to the cheetos but I know that most of them have become certifiable experts on rationalization.

  99. MH,

    Loved that book. Got the teen version for my 16 year old.

  100. Sam’s mom,

    Our homework had less to do with stickiness and more to do with whether we were maven, connector, or salesmen.

  101. Sophie @4:05 pm – that is sady amusing. They are applying BZero WORM…… “They” know what the voters really meant. Which party can reach the bottom first?

    Wow, when I think of how I voted – if someone tried to WORM my ballot – their head would explode. I’m an Indy now. I want to be a part of a voter bloc that supports intregity and principles in candidates.
    I still have my Dem issues – my core values.

  102. Cwaltz : and we could have saved them about $600,000,000 if they’d nominated Hill! 🙂

  103. If we’re working for the 30% solution, and I can get behind that fully, then we have to acknowledge that we are no longer a sub-set of the Democratic Party. The 30% solution will require that we get behind competent women, no matter what their party affiliation or personal ideology is. To be fully engaged in the reform of the Democratic Party would require that we remain or become active members of the party. If we also fully support Republican women, we would diminish the group’s effectiveness within the party. One plank would conflict with the other.

  104. I will admit at the outset that I have had zero time to dedicate to the book as I have been deeply involved in writing and analysis around the related problem so this comment is going to have no context to the book at all, other than how my own thoughts on the subject coincidentally fall in place.

    Here are my thoughts on how we move forward in expanding beyond PUMAs borders. There are issues that are important to us as PUMAs. One obviously is attacking sexism and misogyny in our political institutions and the media. That is going to have to be put on hold at the outset (I will get to that, don’t freak out) In my discussions over the past week with non-PUMAs (read disgruntled Republicans/conservatives/center-right voters) there is common ground.

    In order to build a coalition, an expanded voting block beyond PUMA, you must first target who you are setting that coalition up against.

    With PUMA it was the DNC, who destroyed democratic procedure to anoint the One. Right here it is important that we acknowledge a reality: Senator Clinton was not denied the nomination because she is a woman. Repeat, Senator Clinton was not denied the nomination because she is a woman. She was denied the nomination because she was not a fresh-faced, charismatic, African American, which is what Donna Brazile, and Leah Daughtry wanted. Pampers got the part because, like Greg Brady getting the role of Johnny Bravo, he fit the suit. Howard Dean went along because he saw Pampers as left winger like himself, and because of his desire to exorcise the Clintons from the Democrat Party. This has nothing to do with HRC being a woman. Sexist attacks were employed, and allowed, because they knew it was an effective weapon to accomplish their goal.

    PUMA is not going to be successful expanding as an UN-party as a feminist movement. It will have success expanding as a pro-Democracy movement. The percentage of the electorate that is currently unaffiliated is 30%. The voters in this group fall all across the political spectrum, but if you scratch the surface what you will most likely find is a dissatisfaction with partisan politics. That must be the common ground on which we build. It is partisanship in government that is crippling our democracy. The common ground is that we want our government to be beholden to the Constitution, to the will of the people. We are tired of fraudulent elections. We are tired of elected officials giving their allegiance to party first. Hence the common PUMA slogan; principle before party.

    Both political parties are demonstrably corrupt. Instead of trying to convince partisan Democrats of this, which is a complete waste of time (I base this on the many Democrat women I know, feminists, that were outraged at Pampers’ sexist attacks but who volunteered, and worked for his campaign in the general election because he is the Democrat), we should be embracing those who feel like we do, that the parties are corrupt, and that their power needs to be broken. Partisans are partisans. If we build an independent movement and then go back and say, “Hey pissed off Dems come over here,” we’ll have more success. People will be more willing to jump ship if they feel there is somewhere to land. That’s just human nature.

    If 50% of the electorate disaffiliates from their parties then both sides must come to us. They will be forced to ideologically disarm. Both parties use issues like gay marriage, reproductive rights, etc as a wedge to keep voters in line. Instead of convincing partisans that the party needs to be fixed we need to seek out the pissed off party members to leave and join us in exile. We must also find the millions who do not register and do not vote because they feel government and voting is a joke. We’re talking about a non-partisan, populist, government reform movement. That is what will bring people together. Then we can break down barriers.

    The common ground is breaking the power of the parties and forcing government to serve us. Once we have that we can embrace the goals of ending sexism. We will find allies in this coalition. We can educate as we go. We will have to work to diffuse the ideological wedges like abortion, gay marriage, etc that both parties have used to keep us divided. It can be done. It must be done. If not, I promise you that as sure as the sun rises and politicians lie, nothing will change. I’ve been doing this since I was seven. The same problems have been killing our democracy for years.

    As far as feminism goes…it has already been redefined by HRC in Beijing, Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights. The struggle for equality is the same whether you are a woman, a child, of color, gay, indigenous, whatever. The fight is the same. We either fight together, or we continue to flounder alone. This is a coalition that we must build as well, and build it worldwide. We all want to be treated with dignity, with respect. We all want to be free from the threat of oppression. We all want to be able to walk the street at night without fear. Human freedom is the same. It’s Join or Die time once again. Remember the post I wrote on Dr. King? This is what he was talking about. This is why, to me, Hillary carries the torch of King’s legacy. It’s about HUMAN RIGHTS. If we want equality we must fight together.

    Any coalition we build must be bi-partisan, and must be about abandoning the parties as a means of breaking their control over the agenda. Once we do that we have a platform for fighting sexism, and advancing equality for all. Most importantly, PUMAs are going to have to understand that we are not going to be the exclusive leaders. We are going to have to build a leadership structure that is inclusive. Egos will have to be checked at the door. Start getting used to the idea that PUMA will be part of the coalition, not the umbrella under which it is formed.

    I am not saying we should abandon the cause of women’s rights. We should never let up. But the un-party cannot be solely about that. Partisanship on both sides is the poison. The coalition must be broad, breach party, social, gender, and class lines. We are not the only people fed up with the way our government is functioning.


  105. Cwaltz-

    From RD’s post
    “What piece of the epidemic is missing?” I think it’s the message that’s missing. I think it’s fun to think about whether you’re a connector, a maven, or a salesperson, but I’m not worried that the PUMAs will not have some of each in our midst.

  106. I think we acknowledged that we weren’t a subset a while ago.

    Most people here believe the Democratic party abandoned them when they abandoned the priciples they espoused in order to win.

    I’d say our core is independant at this point.

  107. Shtuey said: The common ground is breaking the power of the parties and forcing government to serve us.

    I agree – if we are to meet the 30% objective it can’t be partisan.

  108. sam’s mom

    Do you think it was the message that was missing during the election cycle?

    Right now, riverdaughter is trying to figure out what we do post Obama. Our message during the campaign cycle was largely a referendum on Obama. Now, we need to get past him and work to ensure that the tactics that were used this cycle don’t get utilized again and don’t end up repeating the process in 2012.

  109. CWaltz
    What railroad does your husband work for?



  110. Helenk

    Norfolk Southern. Freight Service

  111. Joanelle, exactly. I believe in swelling the number of women in elected office, but if they are just going to be partisan hacks, then what’s the point. Remember the “Women for Change” who stabbed HRC in the back and embraced the Hope and Misogyny candidate? We set ourselves up for betrayal if we don’t end the partisanship.

    Disaffiliation from both sides helps get us there.

  112. Shtuey

    Obviously the goal wasn’t to exorcise the Clinton’s from the party, if that was the case we wouldn’t be seeing Clinton 2.0.

    That said, I am past Clinton, Obama, and the DNC and second guessing what their intent is or isn’t. I am past political affiliation.

  113. Cwaltz-

    I don’t agree that we acknowledged that we were no longer part of the Democratic Party. See posts and comments by Heidi Li. See the tab at the top of RD’s page that still says “Invitation to Democrats in Exile”. The PUMA movement is bigger than the Confluence. Check out the PUMApac blog – “Puma PAC, People United Means Action, is the Voice of the Voters in the Democratic Party. ” This needs to be clarified still.

  114. CWaltz; I think we are seeing Clinton 2.0 because Pampers doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. He’s like the Coyote who finally caught the roadrunner and now doesn’t know what to do.

  115. Here’s what I took away this cycle.

    Neither party truly represents me. Both suck.

    Both parties are willing to utilize minorites to score political points. Many of those minorities will be used in the hopes of obtaining crumbs.

    Both parties are willing to cheat to win. Sure they’ll send soldiers to die for “democracy” but at the end of the day neither party supports it in deed if it means they think they will lose.

  116. I read The Tipping Point a couple of years ago and from the dark recesses of my scotch-ridden brain my take was it was an exercise in explaining the social phenomenon epitomized by slinkies, pet rocks, the hula hoop and the Ipod. In other words, it was a reality in search of a theory in search of data points.

    Not to take anything away from Gladwell, it is well-written and the product of some crack anecdotal research. When I first read his article in The New Yorker I was hooked by his writing and I have also read Blink (more interesting if you are into the mysteries of the brain). Gladwell does what so many have done — take an answer and try and work back the solution.

    IMHO, you can tout the benefits of castor oil, but it will never be the mixer of choice. More than anything, the enduring answers of choice must be imbued with ethos, pathos and logos or emotional, logical and ethical appeal, the traditional Aristotelian formula of persuasion. If the answer does and it bests a common challenge, it will spread like Gladwell suggests.

    One overriding criticism that I have with Gladwell and many of the books of this genre is “good management is recast and mischaracterized as leadership.” As Gladwell does, take Rudy Giuliani as an example. Rudy Giuliani is not a natural leader, but he is a world class manager. Gladwell falls into this trap probably because of his proximity to Giuliani’s own incessant crowing. Perhaps it is human nature, but for someone to take something so honorable and rare as being a “world class manager” and try and recast it as something else is one of the most pitiable of human foilables, but I digress.

    My take on The Tipping Point is that we Pumas are what we have been waiting for. The Puma movement is the social phenomenon described by Gladwell. The proof is the counter in the side panel — over 4,350,000 hits on one of various Puma related sites in less than a year — starting from nothing. The Puma movement sprang from nowhere like mushrooms after a spring shower.

    Where does it go from here? I submit that whatever avenue is undertaken that it must be measured by ethos, pathos, and logos and if it measures up, the rest will take care of itself — the ultimate Gladwell “stickiness.” I guess this sounds pretty simple, but in actuality, I think it is.

    In short, you can’t map a course without a destination — give me the destination imbued with logical, emotional and ethical appeal and the journey will map itself. Just as with life, the “journey is the destination.”

  117. You can’t exorcise people and have the bulk of them in the adminstration.

    Personally, I think the only thing the DNC was interested in was winning. They were less concerned with the “details”. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and they have to deal with those pesky “details”.

  118. I like the idea of working for open primaries first.
    When i became an independent I did not lose my citizenship and voting rights.
    How about a slogan of
    There might be two major parties but there are other parties and their people have a definIte right and duty to choose who should run for a major office in this country.

    c Waltz
    good railroad.
    Isn’t railroad life interesting and confusing to people who do not live it.



  119. Prolix –

    agreed, but I feel like we’re’ trying to get on the train without knowing where the tracks are headed just yet, and I think coming to a consensus about the destination may be the most difficult part of the journey.

  120. Without real elections, everyone is powerless. So, that’s the first priority.
    meanwhile, more campaign promises bite the dust

  121. Sam’s Mom,

    Agreed, I was merely offerring a measuring stick to judge potential destinations. If we don’t have a system of common measurement, nothing will ever fit.

  122. I think you’d have to define interesting Helenk.

    My husband has a great job and great benefits. That said, he is on call 24/7 365 days a year. There are days he is stuck in hotels because of his job and other days where after he gets off a train for 12 hours, he sits for another 3 waiting for them to get back to his car to come home. sometimes it is all he can do to stuff a meal in his face, get a shower in and crash before they are calling him in 10 hours to take another train. That said, we are grateful. He isn’t getting shot at. He isn’t gone for 6 to 12 months at a stretch. It’s a step up for us.

  123. Shtuey,

    I think you are wrong!! Clinton’s gender played a huge role in the DNC’s rejection of her. Yes the misogyny played a big role in her defeat, but don’t underestemate the prejudice against women that played into the primary selection behind the scenes. It’s odd to me when men say this, even good men who support women’s rights. If gender bias wasn’t the reason or a big part of it, why do women only make up 17% of the Gov’t, while being 51% of the population. Yes, it was her gender and one can’t really in good faith conclude otherwise.

    Clinton was a fresh face that represents change for 51% of us. Unfortunately, those in power felt that it was too much change!! Sharing power with women is a much bigger shift than promoting AA men. Women are such a large under class compared to AA males, that to allow women equality in power sharing, men would have to give-up significantly more power than that tendered in order to induct AA males into the “boys club”. Promoting AA males is a lot less threatening.

  124. CWaltz
    For years i was the person that called the house and said no homelife today a train is waiting.
    But i also was on call and sometimes if there was no relief for my desk I was there another 8 hours.
    It took years for my children to finally understand that I did not always choose to work these hours and days.
    T and E personal are special people and a lifeline for this country and should be respected.
    Most people do not see the sacrifices made and only see a decent wage.



  125. Shluey,

    It was KendallJ addressing your comments, not Serch the web on Snap.com. Don’t know how that title came up!

  126. search the web

    Be heartened, “change” was just a catch phrase. I daresay his adminstration will look much different than Clinton’s would have. The real losers this cycle were minorites, who were utilized along with catch phrases to achieve a win.

  127. Helen

    We were both military. We were pretty versed in sacrifice when he took the job. As I said, this is a step up for us. right now, he is making what we both made combined and he doesn’t have to get shot at or be deployed to some third world country for months at a time. I don’t have to juggle a job and children. We feel quite blessed.

  128. Riverdaughter,

    One thing this movement falls short on is inclusion. Even the talkblockradio shows seem to answer selective calls of the same people over and over again. Other new comers who wait on the phone to have their calls picked up, often sit the whole hour on the phone, while week after week the same people’s calls are answered. It has become a small selective group who are allowed to participate in the conversation. Its noticable, and its pushing good people away who have a great deal to offer.

  129. I have to go out to a party, buy I have skimmed the notes here and there is so much great stuff. I want to reform the DNC, but I know that others are finished with them forever. I understand that position (sometimes after listening to Pelosi , I’m with ya.) That is why a umbrella organization is our best bet. It could be a “League of Concerned Voters” Remember when the League of Women Voters used to hold the debates? Why can’t be do the same type thing: we can send out questionnaires to all candidates, work to sponsor a debate, work as primary standards (that both parties could adopt). That way I could make sure that the DNC paid attention to us and my RNC PUMAs could work w/in that system. We can not make the new PUMA everything to everybody. I say focus of election fairness (which would include media’s role, etc. )

  130. Shtuey,

    I wrote a comment about this previously, and I’m not sure you read it. I disagree with a lot of what you have said in that previous thread and in your comment above.

    First, I don’t know or care whether the DNC rejected Hillary *because* she is a women. Even the people in the DNC who engineered this travesty may not know, because prejudice is often unconscious and it is even expressed unconsciously. You will never convince me that Hillary wouldn’t have won if she were a man with the same qualifications. The treatment that Sarah Palin got from the media is evidence enough for me that this would have and will again happen to any women who tries to run for President or Vice President.

    Second, you wrote:

    There are issues that are important to us as PUMAs. One obviously is attacking sexism and misogyny in our political institutions and the media. That is going to have to be put on hold at the outset….

    We women have been hearing this literally for centuries. Our issues are always put on the back burner because there is something more “urgent.” Of course women’s rights are human rights. But unless women’s rights are directly addressed, we won’t get them. If you really believe that “women’s rights are human rights,” then you should embrace the 30% solution.

    The PUMA movement was started by women and is mostly made up of women as far as I know. I believe that we have to start with small goals and work up from there. As someone said above, we could be follow the model taken by the evangelicals. We could have three or four goals to begin with. If I had to suggest three, they would be restoring our constitutional rights, fighting for voter rights in the primaries and regular elections, and pushing for the 30% solution.

    If women are to be put on the back burner in order to attract more members, then PUMA will also lose many of its founding members. Certainly, I couldn’t work with the group if dealing with misogyny is “off the table.”

  131. CWaltz,

    Its KendallJ, not Search the Web on snap. But anyway I agree with you! But at the and of the day, my comments hold true!! The inclusion of women is a much bigger shift in power and many are deeply threatened by the prospect. Some of them don’t even realize it on a conscious level.

  132. Honora,

    That makes a lot of sense–an umbrella organization is pretty much what we developed into during the campaign anyway. Hope you have fun at the party!

  133. From the wiki summary:

    “In this chapter, Gladwell concludes with an account of the type of solution that reflects an understanding of the concept of the tipping point: A nurse seeking an effective, low-cost way to raise breast cancer awareness among African-American women shunned traditional routes and enlisted the help of hairstylists. In this environment, she reasoned, most people are relaxed and receptive to new information in a way that most education efforts can’t duplicate. ”

    Seriously, we should start in the hair salons! And get Ellen and even Oprah (now that her guy is in) interested in the 30% solution. Is there a way we can get ideas to those two shows?

    Whatever we decide to do, I am sure most of our hairdressers are in (at least all that I have had – either gay men or progressive women).

    One small idea from the book summary that I liked.

    Ellen and Oprah COULD be part of the tipping point.

    I also agree with HeidiLi regarding keeping women’s topics front and center wherever we can on general political blogs like RCP. What about politico?

  134. BB
    If we have open primaries there is a better chance of women being elected to office.
    More voices would be heard and more people included in making the choice.
    That is my reason for going for that first.



  135. If there’s a maven out there who is into statistics, it would be interesting to see if the states with open primaries have more women in office.

  136. Fitz is a Maven. Fitz? Can you help with Samanthasmom’s question?

  137. bostonboomer, at 5:58 pm Said:

    “If I had to suggest three, they would be restoring our constitutional rights, fighting for voter rights in the primaries and regular elections, and pushing for the 30% solution.”


  138. You go Bostonboomer!

    My comments to shluey were similar in content.

    With regard to inclusion, I called in a couple of weeks ago into the radio show and as usual my calls were not picked up! But when Shluey called, his call was answered and I sat there and listened to Riverdaughter and the other women on the call defer to him and gave him the floor for the remainder of the radio show. Shluey seems like a good guy and I have nothing against him, but what I noticed is that the women on the show all of a sudden deffered to him and allowed him to take front and center. They handed him the leadership role almost instinctively. My point is that we women do it to ourselves. We too have to value our importance.

    I remember Hillary Clinton commenting in an interview how difficult it is for a woman to declare herself to be the best at something. It comes from that self hate place that is ingrained in us for being women. What I took from Hillary’s comment was just that. We aren’t allowed to think of ourselves as being the best, so to buck the paradigm is a greater challenge.

  139. Kendall: That was Shtuey’s first visit as an author and I think we were trying to be welcoming and give him a chance to get his feet wet …

  140. dakinkat,

    I know that he had just written a post here on the conluence, but still the bahavior was obvious. Look, I don’t care. Its a small issue, but we women have to be aware of our own internalized self doubts.

  141. i guess i didn’t feel that I was doing that …but i’ll give it some consideration

  142. CWaltz, on November 23rd, 2008 at 3:32 pm Said:
    I think our first baby step would be to be a voting block.

    Someone was talking about that a few days ago, perhaps Murphy at pumapac.org. She started a thread focused on a voting bloc and how it was structured, using a ‘Christian voters’ bloc as model. It might have been ‘Christian Coalition’ or such?

  143. shtuey, on November 23rd, 2008 at 4:53 pm Said:

    Right here it is important that we acknowledge a reality: Senator Clinton was not denied the nomination because she is a woman. Repeat, Senator Clinton was not denied the nomination because she is a woman. She was denied the nomination because she was not a fresh-faced, charismatic, African American, which is what Donna Brazile, and Leah Daughtry wanted.
    An analysis of the facts by the the Democratic Party leadership
    showed a shrinking voter base and a low AA turnout.

    They’d also known for a long time that religious groups give piles of money to the Republicans and religious groups were an untapped source of dough for dems…so..
    their strategic nominee was a black guy with church ties-yes.

    Shtuey is right- HRC didn’t fit.
    but would the party leaders have gotten away with what they pulled if HRC was male?
    Would the media have been able to get away with their part in this nightmare if HRC was a guy?
    Would things have ever gotten as ugly and filthy and personal?
    That’s misogyny and it’s sickening and how do we not take that on?

  144. BB said: If I had to suggest three, they would be restoring our constitutional rights, fighting for voter rights in the primaries and regular elections, and pushing for the 30% solution.”

    Kendall: that is not unusual – men tend to use a lot of airtime often to the detriment of the issues – only their position gets heard and people get tire and leave the meeting or the teleconference time is up so the rest of us are left hanging and frustrated. They also tend to repeat something one of the women said earlier and get credit for the thought and the women in the group rarely if ever say – hmmmm, yes, that’s what I said before – and even if she does most people remember the “Jack had a good point at the meeting” 👿

  145. ooops – BB I can get behind your positions

  146. I think that the 30% solution has to be at the top of the agenda. Yes, election reform and restoing constitutional rights are also high on the list. I would include that in our effort to restore constitutional rights, that we push for women’s rights to be included into the constitution.

    For example, the fourteenth amendant does not include women in its equal protection clause. Courts have inferred it in some cases, but the actual language excludes us. Furthermore, because we were intentionally excluded, the level of scrutiny applied to gender discrimination cases is considerably lower then those employed in religion and race discrimination cases. This in part, explanes why women earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar. The plain language of our constitution renders us invisable.

  147. KendallJ,

    Those are good points. I hadn’t realized that some callers are waiting that long to get on the radio show. I don’t even understand how the host can see that someone is calling. I know what you mean about women deferring to men. It often does happen.

    I think we really do need to keep hashing this out on the comments threads here. I assume riverdaughter will read this thread, but it would really help sometime if we could organize a time when RD, Murphy, Heidi LI, and others who have been taking leadership roles could be here to respond to comments.

  148. Joanelle,

    I know exactly what you are saying and it is all true! But I expected more from this group.

  149. PUMA should absolutely stand against sexism and misogyny, but we must be concentrating a lot of energy on fixing the political process by building alliances with disgruntled voters across the spectrum, because until we reform the way government works there isn’t going to be any ear in power to listen to us to help us advance our agenda.

    Let’s look at the 30% solution as an example. Tell me what the point of getting the Congress to be 30% women if they’re going to just be partisan hacks? If we are not actively taking on ending partisanship in government then this problem is going to happen again and again. We have seen how willing partisan women are to forsake women’s rights to advance their party. I for one don’t want to see that happen again.

    Quite frankly I resent anyone implying that what I’ve said means women’s rights need to take a back seat. What I’m saying is that if you make that the only issue, if you make that the most important issue for PUMAs we are going to miss an opportunity that may not happen again.

    I’m not asking anyone to forsake women’s rights. I’m not asking for it to take a back seat. The fight should never stop. But as a political movement there are obstacles in our way. Partisanship in Congress is the biggest. I for one am not going to bang my head against a brick wall like that. I’m going to tear it down.

    I stand by my comment that Hillary wasn’t dismissed because she was a woman. She is not a fresh face. She has been on the scene for more nearly 20 years. To understand the context of my comment on this I suggest reading this: http://www.slate.com/id/2109328/

    This coup started a long time ago and would have targeted anyone, be they male or female that stood in BO’s way. What made the move against Hillary so painful was how willing the media and the party was to use sexism and misogyny against her, and how Democrat women sat on their hands while it happened. Had the number 1 contender against BO been a man the attacks would have taken a different form, but they would have happened.

    As far as my calling in to the show goes, I was just glad that I had an opportunity to speak, and in the remaining minutes our hosts gave me that chance. We are men and women coming together in common cause. If this is a movement for women only someone ought to put that on the sign out front. I thought we were trying to be egalitarian.

  150. Hey Conflucians!

    There will be a special guest on No We Won’t tonight.

    Marie Cocco, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group.

    She wrote the recent column titled, Breakthrough for Women Politicians. Also wrote Misogyny I Won’t Miss.


    Thought you might want to listen and call in.

    Show starts at 8pm est.


    See ya there if ya dare!

  151. i am in moderation. have no idea what I wrote for that to happen, but can some nice fellow conflucian help a girl out.

  152. Catarina,

    I disagree. HRC didn’t fit because she was a woman. Again, its about power and who will and won’t have any. Female power is too threatening to the male power structure. It is basic and maybe even primal. Another aspect is that women are such a large group. To empower us, means men have to give up power. They are clearly not willing to do that, not even symbolically.

  153. If we’re working on a federation, I think we can have more than one goal at a time. Each group does not have to prioritize every goal similarly.

    How about a democracy that recognizes women and men as equal participants?

  154. I for one am not the least bit interested in being egalitarian. Women of all colors put our issues on hold and marched for equal rights for African Americans. Twice in history. Women marched again to end the Vietnam War. When it came time to march for the ERA, most men stayed home. The 30% solution is based partly on giving women the safety in numbers required to stand up for something that all women want. It’s lonely in politics for women. Standing up for something often means standing alone. If we’re sending “partisan hacks” to congress anyway, let at least 30% of them be women. Fifty-two percent would be even better.

  155. KendallJ; think about who the power players were in the coup: Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry, and Alexis Herman were three of the biggest. All African American. All women.

  156. a bit late,
    but here are a bunch of photographs from Denver:


  157. Take a look at some of the photos of the suffragists marching to get the vote for women. Count the men in the parades or standing outside the White House holding banners. (Exclude the guys in the police uniforms.) Did you run out of fingers and need your toes to count them? I didn’t think so.

  158. Special guest on No We Won’t tonight.

    Marie Cocco, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group.

    If someone releases me from moderation, all the info will be there.

    Thanks! Try to tune in if you can!

  159. Obama is certainly making an effort to build a centrist coalition. With the party now having control of the executive branch,congress and the senate – this is heaven. And to boot, we may just pick up that 60 seat filabuster.

    I’m not sure what there is to be unhappy about, democrats have not been in this position since the 1970’s.

    Since the republicans have 0 power, we are going to get to create and implement any policy we want. This is the Democrat’s time.

  160. KendallJ
    You have your facts wrong.
    The Democratic party decided on an AA.
    This is not new information.

  161. I fell asleep at the beginning of the Raider-Denver game when the score was still 0-0

    I woke up and saw 31-10 and thought “f*cking Raiders losing again”

    Then I saw they were winning!

    Only the 3rd win all year.

  162. samanthasmom; so based on the participation of men in the past you’re going to exclude us now? How myopic of you. There were 380 people at Seneca Falls in in 1848 for the first women’s conference. Eighty of them were men. Sixty-eight women signed the Declaration of Sentiments. Thirty-two men signed it as well.

    I put my relationships and my job on the line for this movement. Are we in this together or have I been wasting my time?

  163. Taggles,

    I got your comment out. The show sounds great!!

  164. I’m not trying to exclude you from the next wave of feminism, shtuey. I’m just not willing to let you say that my issues have to wait. Misogyny and sexism are on my front burner, but apparently not on yours.

  165. shtuey,

    No one is excluding men. I personally disagree that Hillary wasn’t targeted because she’s a woman. Can’t we disagree? Most of us here at the Confluence are interested in the 30% solution. It is something we have talked about for a long time. You come in and tell us it’s a bad idea. Fine make your case. But don’t be surprised if we disagree when this a what we have been talking about at the Confluence for about a year. Yes, let’s be inclusive by all means. That means listening to what other people have to say, doesn’t it?

  166. shtuey is a strong feminist man … as long as I’ve known him he’s stood up eloquently for women’s rights

  167. Furthermore, in my opinion we have *too little* partisanship right now in Congress. We have Republicans acting like Republicans and Democrats acting like Republicans. No one speaks for me.

  168. samanthasmom; you are 100% wrong. It is on my front burner, that’s why I’m taking the stand I am. I want this movement to be successful. In order for that to happen I want to make sure that we have an even playing field. At the moment we don’t. You don’t go into a war without the best weaponry. That’s what I’m trying to do for PUMA. Maybe I’m taking a different approach than you, but that doesn’t mean I’m not fighting for it.

    The next wave of feminism is women’s rights as human rights. That’s where I am. Don’t ever presume to know what’s important to me, or whom and what I’m fighting for.

  169. dakinikat,

    I’m sure he is. Is that supposed to mean we can’t disagree with the notion that Hillary was targeted for attacks because she is a women and that we should put the 30% solution on hold? I guess I’m missing the point here. I thought we were all expressing opinions about what goals the Confluence should have in the future.

  170. purplefin,

    The simple truth is that men and women are not currently treated equally. Women have a long way to go before we even come close, especially when it comes to politics.

  171. BB, of course we can disagree.

  172. I guess it depends on what kind of Democrat you are, Carolyn. I’m the kind of Democrat who believes in expanding the New Deal programs. We need a new New Deal. Obama has already told us that is off the table. So no matter how many “Democrats” are in Congress, they aren’t going to listen to me. They already made sure my vote didn’t count.

  173. Shluey,

    My comments ware noit about anything you did wrong. It was about the women in the group and my desire for them to examine their behavior. The show was not almost over, because I sat on the phone and listened. But you did nothing wrong and I didn’t mean to imply the same. I do believe in equality for all and no this is not just a women’s blog as I’m sure Riverdaughter would attest to.

    As for HRC not being a “fit”, yes the powers that be were working to put Obama in place years ahead of time. That is all true, but they also knew for at least as long that HRC was planning her run. The whole putting the inexperienced AA male in the race was deliberately done to blunt her. They played the race card ,to blunt the gender card. The use of misogyny never wouldn’t have gone that far, but for the whole race issue. They made the public feel like they had to accept the sexist meme, or they were racist. It was a sick tragedy.

    If the public really wanted a “fresh” face, Hillary never would have garnered 18,000,000. votes, ending with more votes than Obama. The public loved her and continued to vote for her, even when the media and other democratic officials were spewing round the clock sexist hate. Furthermore, the DNC still had to rig the primary to ensure their guy won. Now the good old boys have reconstructed Bill Clinton’s cabinet. There is nothing fresh about that!

  174. Shtuey,

    I don’t think anyone is misunderstanding you. Obviously you don’t see the 30% solution as a useful means to a more egalitarian U.S. government.

  175. boston boomer, debt of gratitude! what did I write that was so wrong??

  176. I don’t know, taggles. It’s just the mystery of the filter.

  177. Many here left the democratic party due to this election.
    Many are independents now. In some state they lost their right to vote in a primary.
    If primaries were open many more voices for women’s rights would help put the best people in office.
    To me it is a twofer.
    Independents get their rights and women have more voice.



  178. bostonboomer, on November 23rd, 2008 at 7:37 pm Said:

    “The simple truth is that men and women are not currently treated equally. Women have a long way to go before we even come close, especially when it comes to politics.”


    Now you know I know that. 🙂

    This is a goal:

    How about a democracy that recognizes women and men as equal participants?

  179. I tend to favor the “unparty” movement, which also could be a voting bloc.

    I believe a major challenge is that the back-room powers in the parties (and on Wall Street) are forcing us to choose from candidates that we don’t necessarily want. Their decisions even precede the media involvement. Further, the major parties control the voting mechanisms, whether honest or not, during the primary season without punishment, knowing that state governments generally can’t or won’t challenge them because they are “private.” It would take a long time to get inside the true power structure in either the Democratic or Republican parties to change them. We have already seen that some who thought they were insiders, in fact, were kicked out of the decision-making process and/or virtually destroyed by end runs. The fix was terribly visible this year, but this is not the first time it has happened.

    Funny that many people seem to be trying to kill the Puma virus (consider the tr*lls). If David Kelley has worked a Puma-like person into his script, some people obviously feel that the virus has spread — or will spread — beyond its initial breakout on the web. Or they want to kill it before it does spread. Clearly, Pumas are a big part of the disenchanted voters and it seems to me that they are close to having stickiness. Some type of board, I think, with working groups, is important to keep it together and to coordinate the effort. Americans are famous world-wide for forming associations (Alexis de Tocqueville long ago addressed that) to fight for a cause. Secondly, coalitions with many other groups are important. There already are many individuals and groups with passionate views that are similar but not quite the same as the Pumas. They likely are unwilling to change their particular areas of focus, but they might be willing to join in a coalition that can help them achieve their goals. Thus, we can multiply the spread of the virus by determining the most urgent common denominator(s) – such as, democratic reform (little d) and fair representation of all voters.

    Is there enough fire in our hearts to keep a movement or bloc going once we are really beyond the election season? Various organizations for some time have been promoting reform and grass-roots democracy but they have not stirred the passion of everyday voters. They have not connected. (MoveOn.org did connect and for awhile seemed to be going in the right direction for Democratic voters but then it betrayed millions of them. There also could be some resistance to joining another group for fear of betrayal.)

    As for the initial organizing, some names on this and other blogs already have visibility, credibility, and knowledge — and have shown persistence in conveying their ideas. They would be the naturals for a start-up board and as leaders of the initial working groups. And they are demographically and geographically spread out.

    If we are to move in the major direction suggested by some – that is, a focus on principles before party and on the doctrines of a fair democracy, we certainly can also include fair representation of voters (and that could include such priorities as fair representation of women by women). The sudden switch of multitudes of black voters this year from the Clintons to Obama apparently did not take much more than stirring the deep feelings of long-existing bias and awakening a desire to be fully represented by seeing someone in power that looked like themselves. Many women also have that deep, deep feeling and although we thought we were choosing the most qualified candidate, we were divided on other issues. Regardless of anyone’s idea of fair representation, in our gut we feel that we are not fully represented until we see ourselves in our leadership.

  180. You said in your comment that

    “One obviously is attacking sexism and misogyny in our political institutions and the media. That is going to have to be put on hold at the outset”

    Women have put their right to full citizenship on hold to support abolition, voting rights for African American men, full rights of citizenship for African American men, and ending the Vietnam war. We still are not entitled to full rights of citizenship in our constitution. Each time we were told that if we worked for rights for others, our rights would follow. Maybe some of them did, but it took 60 years, and we still do not have the same rights of protection under our constitution that African American males do. I see the battle against misogyny and sexism to be the path to full citizenship for women. Maybe you’re too young to remember the failure of passive of the ERA. I’m not. “Women’s rights as human rights” sounds great, but I’m not sure women would be included in the term “human”. That’s where we need to start. Recognition that we are humans and not just body parts.

  181. bb: no I think it is perfectly fine to disagree, I just saw a few comments by others to question his motivations

  182. I don’t see your announcement Taggles.

    Shtuey and Samsmom – we need differing views – we also need to agree to disagree without making someone “wrong

    This notion we call PUMA that can make a significant impact will never get off the ground if we don’t represent a variety of views with sound ideologies.

  183. purplefin,

    Of course I know you know that. The point is how do we get to this egalitarian society. IMHO, unless we get more women into positions of power, it’s not going to ever happen. And that’s why I think that needs to be one of our primary goals. I think that is part of the process that will lead to a more egalitarian society.

  184. I don’t think we can blame misogyny for everything that happened this year.

    But it damn sure was a big chunk of the problem, and Obama deliberately took advantage of it.

  185. He, coitenly did, Myiq!

  186. samanthasmom; I was referring to the process of building our structure, and alliances, not our goals as a movement.

    Women’s rights as human rights means getting people to understand exactly what you said, “Recognition that we are humans and not just body parts.” I’m not asking the women of PUMA to give up fighting for themselves. I would never do that. All I’m saying is that right here, right now, we have to build PUMA. That means collectively working on that structure, finding allies in unlikely places, etc. That’s what I meant when I said putting those things on hold. Obviously we continue to blog, write letters to the editor, watch the media, make our voices heard. But we need to be putting a lot of our energy into the logistics of coalition building so we have greater strength in accomplishing our goals.

    Obviously the goals will always be equality and democracy. It didn’t come out the way I wanted it to, and that should always be the direction we move in.

  187. The point of this posting was, I thought, how do we use the information provided to us in “The Tipping Point” to further our PUMA agenda. My point throughout the comments has been that we have not yet agreed upon an agenda. Although shtuey and I are only two PUMAs, we obviously have very different points of view about where PUMA should go.

  188. With a powerful Puma coalition, we could have really fought against the misogyny that Obama took advantage of …

    It’s amazing what the Pumas have done in just a short time with just a viral movement — it stirred us deep in our hearts.

  189. dakinikat,

    I think the problem is this notion of putting the issue of women’s participation in government on the back burner *for now* because we need to attract more people. For someone who lived through the peace movement of the ’60s and heard over and over again, “we’ll get to your issues later,” it’s a little irritating to hear it again now.

    I’ve spent a lot of time here that I should have spent working on my doctoral dissertation. Most of us have devoted a lot of time and energy and money we couldn’t afford to this movement. I probably should get back to my own work right now instead of beating my head against the wall arguing once again for women having a voice.

  190. bostonboomer, Said:

    “If I had to suggest three, they would be restoring our constitutional rights, fighting for voter rights in the primaries and regular elections, and pushing for the 30% solution.”

    I just thought this bore repeating. I see these goals as restoring democracy and empowering women.

  191. Shluey,

    As for the AA women who worked against Hillary at the DNC, don’t kid yourself that sexism couldn’t have been a factor because these people were women. Just like Blacks have their uncle Toms, we women have our “aunt Tammy’s”. Its all part and parcel of the self hate syndrome that oppressed people deal with.

  192. The window of opportunity is here, now, to fight the revolution on behalf of women. It somehow must be a priority, and of course, it is a democratic goal — fair representation.

  193. bb: that’s my story too 🙂 and i totally understand … i don’t think we should put women’s issues on the backburner at all

  194. I don’t think we can blame misogyny for everything that happened this year.

    But it damn sure was a big chunk of the problem, and Obama deliberately took advantage of it.

    That’s exactly right. Sexism was a weapon to defeat a threat to the patriarchal power structure. (And by patriarchal power structure I mean Democrats’ need to provide handouts to maintain power, rather than provide solutions that might make them irrelevant.) The RFK smear and the sniper fire snafu wasn’t sexist. The attacks on Bill Clinton (e.g. racism) wasn’t sexist either.

    Hillary and Palin weren’t attacked just because they were women, they were attacked because of the threats they posed. The bases of each Party, however, sure loved them both.and that was a huge problem.

    I think its important to understand the real reason why sexism was allowed to be used this cycle by the Democrats. Its the same reason why charges of racism were allowed to be used. Hillary posed a threat to the current power structure. Even women’s groups like Naral rely on the current patriarchal power structure so its no surprise that they endorsed the status quo in Obama.

    Sexism was a means to an end, not an end in itself.

  195. samantha’s mom,

    I agree with you that we need to establish who we are and what our goals are. And I think we need to begin with focused, short-term goals. It does trouble me that we suddenly have such diverging viewpoints about that here. I’d also like to know who is going to lead this “expanded PUMA” movement.

  196. Right, right, right, GQ.

  197. gqmartinez; thank you for making my point. Sexism was a means to an end. Part of job as PUMAs is to take the sexism weapon away. More women in government is one way. Building alliances with non PUMAs is another. There’s more common ground out there than we collectively realize.

  198. I love Sarah Palin even though I don’t agree with her politics.

    Maybe a good slogan for the PUMA movement is “Everyone Counts.” It speaks to inclusiveness, hints at the caucus fraud and voter intimidation and subtly says “equality.” And it’s positive. Just a thought.

  199. We can address each specific goal we identify as long as we develop the proper structure to do so.

  200. Joanelle,

    I agree that we need to discuss things and that sometimes we will disagree. But when the disagreements are over the core issues that define us as a group, some of us will stay and others will find a new home. I really don’t have a problem with PUMA going in a direction with which I disagree. I just want to know where we’re headed so I can get off the train if my destination is different. I am no longer a Democrat and have no interest in returning so I would like to know if PUMA is still a sub-group of the Democratic Party. Although I understand that shtuey is trying to form a coalition to broaden the base of the PUMAs, it has been my experience that when women try to broaden their political power by taking on other groups’ issues, our issues take a backseat to theirs. I have no interest in taking on issues from other groups. If they help women get full empowerment, I’ll be more than happy to help them later, but right now their issues are on hold for me.

  201. The truly disheartening aspect of “sexism” as a means to an end is how completely, and without hesitation, so many latched on to it. It was “okay” to attack women. It was a freakin’ free for all! Culturally, we need to make sexism as verboten as racism.

  202. ITA samanthasmom. I’m done with women’s issues taking a back seat. It hasn’t worked. It’s time to put women’s issues in the forefront.

  203. BB — I think you are a leader as are RD and many others on this and other blogs. There are many existing Pumas who could form an initial board and lead working groups. No one would have time to devote full attention to it, I am sure, given the great responsibilities most of us have and the monetary costs. (We would also need to raise money for some continuity in perhaps a part-time employee.)

  204. I really don’t give a damn why the Democratic Party used sexism. They used it. And they’ve lost me for good. Mark Warner may have been the last male Democratic candidate that I vote for. I know for sure that I’m not voting for Webb a second time. He, and the Democratic Party, can kiss my a$$.

  205. I always say that its worth examining some fundamental philosophical principles before jumping into any effort. This is important when you have conflicting principles. To use an extreme example, what if you had a racist woman running for office? Do you really want to pursue a 30% solution as the most important issue then?

    What destroyed the Dems and the “progressive” blogosphere this time was a lack of process and deliberative rules. Winning became most important and that allowed sexism and vote theft to be tolerated. We need to have the process in place before conflicts arise and we start making a bunch of ad hoc decisions.

  206. Alwaysthinking, that’s a great idea. Create boards with specific tasks.

    Personally, I don’t have a lot of time to devote now. But as soon as my life settles down, hopefully in the coming year, I’d be more than willing to devote spare time to PUMA tasks.

    I think a good way to raise money would be to create product (t-shirts, etc. to sell). I’d be happy to bring (volunteer) my print buying experience to that area.

  207. The 30% solution as the single most important issue is a nonstarter for a broad based movement. Since my last comment is in moderation, I’ll give an extreme example: do you think people will want to support a r@cist female candidate? What about a global warming denier?

  208. This is what I feel I’m hearing from some people here. We want an egalitarian government, but PUMA cannot be egalitarian. We want to strengthen democracy, but we have to think the same way.

    The PUMA movement is a lot larger than this and a few other blogs. I am not a Democrat and haven’t been for nearly 10 years. I am a fourth wave feminist who advocates for equality for ALL people, not just women.

    For the last time, I am not against the 30% solution. If anything I think 30% is too low. But if the women we elect are going to choose party over principle when the chips are down I personally feel we end up right back in the same place we are now, just with more women in office. I want having more women in office to mean more than there just being more women in office. So sue me.

  209. Samantha’s mom,

    I agree with you. I want to know where we stand as a group so that I can decide if I want to focus more of my time and energy somewhere else. Some of our important members have already left. I don’t want to do that. I have really enjoyed writing for the Confluence and discussing issues with all of the people here.

    I’m really not inclined to work within the Democratic Party either. I used to think that would be a good idea, but now that Obama has won, I don’t see any hope of changing how they run the primaries, etc. But if we are going to take on all sorts of new issues beyond what we have focused on so far, I don’t think it will work. And I won’t accept the 30% solution being shunted aside.

  210. Shtuey:

    “This is what I feel I’m hearing from some people here. We want an egalitarian government, but PUMA cannot be egalitarian. We want to strengthen democracy, but we have to think the same way.”

    I don’t follow your argument. Who is saying PUMA can’t be egalitarian? What I’m saying is that women need to have a voice.

  211. samanthasmom said; “I for one am not the least bit interested in being egalitarian.”

  212. I’m really not inclined to work within the Democratic Party either.

    That is important. It’s too bad that no one here bothers to read my stuff on Party Invariance.

  213. Women’s equality is a requirement of a truly egalitarian society.

  214. PUMA cannot be egalitarian

    I’m not sure I understand the context of your statement shtuey.

  215. gxm17: “I really don’t give a damn why the Democratic Party used sexism. They used it. And they’ve lost me for good.”

    That is exactly how I feel.

    I don’t have a lot of time available now either, since I have to finish my doctoral dissertation very soon. I hope to keep writing for this blog, that’s about all I have the time and energy for until I graduate.

  216. bostonboomer; agreed, women need to have a voice.

  217. I’m with bostonboomer and Samantha’s mom. For me, the defining moments of this election cycle centered on rampant sexism and blatant misogyny. Now some folks want to kiss and make up. It reminds me of an abusive relationship. Personally, I’m over it. “It” being the Democratic Party. I will no longer blindly support them.

    shtuey, I have no idea where you are coming from. With all due respect, you appear to talk out of both sides of your mouth. Personally, I want a revolution. And IMO part of that revolution means reaching out to conservative and moderate women. We need to all work together to ensure that the horror that we just went through is never experienced again.

  218. SOD, it’s not my statement, it’s what I feel I’m hearing from some people in this thread. I personally don’t see how we can fight for an egalitarian government without being an egalitarian movement.

  219. Not wanting to understand the reasons behind the sexist attacks is dangerous. The folks who rely on the patriarchal power structure include women’s groups who purposely ignored the sexism rather than trying to stop it. Understanding the motivations of your enemy is a great way to beat them.

  220. Bostonboomer,

    I have been a “Casual Conflucian”. I drop by often enough that you all know who I am, but I have not been what I would call a regular commenter. I am newly retired. (At least I’m giving being retired a try.) I do have the time to devote to something like this now, but I want to choose carefully where I give my time and money. I have been actively supporting the 30% solution before it had a name, and no matter where PUMA goes, I will still give my time and money to support local female candidates. The question for me is what else can I do? if your name reflects your location, and this movement ever expands beyond the internet to the f2f world, we will most likely meet.

  221. gxm17 said, “I want a revolution. And IMO part of that revolution means reaching out to conservative and moderate women. We need to all work together to ensure that the horror that we just went through is never experienced again.”

    That’s part of what I’ve been saying. I’ve been talking out of both sides of my mouth? Whatever.

  222. Are people using “egalitarian” in the same way? It sure as heck doesn’t seem to be the case and people are getting angry over this lack of understanding.

  223. shtuey — agreed. (re: egalitarian)

    I don’t think anyone is seeking a matriarchal revolution. Equality is my goal.

    Power for power sake creates resistence.

  224. Shtuey,

    You need to spell out what you mean when you say the PUMA movement is not “egalitarian.” Unless you define your terms, no one can understand what you are trying to say.

    I have been very grateful to the men who have supported our movement. But now suddenly two men are telling a large group of women what the meaning of and reasons for misogyny and sexism are. I don’t intend to offend either of you. But to me it feels patronizing.

    I think maybe I’ll just listen to the radio show now. It’s really interesting.

  225. IMO, not understanding the underlying cultural currents that allow sexist and misogynist attacks to actually work is dangerous too. I’ve been coming to the Confluence for months and have yet to come across anyone who doesn’t grasp the motivations of the enemy.

  226. My definition of egalitarian is that sex and gender are not used as a measure of capacity.

  227. You’re right shtuey. I am not interested in being egalitarian. For me this is going to be a time of great selfishness. It’s our turn. Other groups can wait or fight their own battles. I’m not going to be suckered into “we’re all in this together” ever again.

  228. I’m not saying the PUMA movement is not egalitarian. I’m saying that is the feeling that I’m getting from some people here, that they don’t want it to be egalitarian, that they want it to be a women’s movement, about women’s issues only. Women’s rights, sexism and misogyny is only one reason I became a PUMA, not the only reason.

  229. samantha’s mom,

    Are you in the Boston area? I really would like us to start getting together locally in some kind of group. Right now, I’m still somewhat confused about what is going to happen next. I think it will take some time to hammer things out, but like you I already know that my goal will be to elect more women to political office.

    Where I said that those women would be party hacks, I do not know….

  230. There is always the problem of misunderstanding when all we have to rely upon is the written word.

  231. bb, you are being unfair. Rather than explain and defend yourself, you are saying that men want to patronize you and then leave. No movement can start with that attitude. There is a general agreement on the sexist nature of this cycle and a need to change that so it doesn’t happen again. The disagreement on the reasons for the sexism does not mean that there is a divergent view on the consequences of the sexism or its ugliness.

  232. shtuey, IMO in one breath you embrace women’s issues and in the next you push them aside.

    I really enjoyed your posts about the Constitution. But I honestly can’t figure out where you’re coming from or what you’re trying to accomplish.

  233. No one has ever said here that the PUMA movement should be about women’s issues only. Where are you getting that? I don’t understand what you’re talking about, Shtuey.

  234. SOD: “My definition of egalitarian is that sex and gender are not used as a measure of capacity.”

    Amen Sister!

  235. I’m not leaving. I’m listening to Sheri’s radio show. It’s about sexism and misogyny in the campaign, which is a very important issue to me.

  236. I construed the use of egalitarian to be this. Inherent in egalitarianism is women’s equality. Problems arise when one disaffected group advances off the backs of another disaffected group. That should be familiar to many people here and the skeptics of a *strict* 30% solution want to avoid a similar thing to what we saw in this election, with women benefiting off that backs of others.

  237. Bostonboomer,

    I live west of Boston between 128 and 495. I, too, would like to have some f2f contact with other people who are working for the same cause.

  238. BB, at no point have I addressed, “what the meaning of and reasons for misogyny and sexism are.”

    What I said is that sexism and misogyny were the weapons used against HRC in the primaries. If BO’s opponent had been Bill Richardson the weapons would have been different. Perhaps they would have attacked him for being Latino. The DNC wanted Obama. They used every weapon at their disposal to accomplish this from caucus fraud, to the RBC, to sexism.

    The DNC used the same weapons against McCain/Palin with ACORN and the continued sexist attacks against Sarah.

  239. And I don’t feel the need to explain or defend myself. ?? What do you want me to defend myself from? Please be specific. I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

  240. gqmartinez, on November 23rd, 2008 at 8:24 pm Said:

    “The 30% solution as the single most important issue is a nonstarter for a broad based movement. Since my last comment is in moderation, I’ll give an extreme example: do you think people will want to support a r@cist female candidate? What about a global warming denier?”


    Nonstarter? Maybe, maybe not. If there’s a group within the PUPMA movement that puts this first, they may have a big non-partisan following.

    I think we can get to 30% without r@cists and global warming deniers. It’s realistic to bring up the possibility that we may not be able to support all female candidates the same.

    I think some of us realize that we’re stuck in moving a woman’s agenda forward. Until we have the 30%, we’re not going to make a difference in the sexism and other issues that affect all of us that women, in general, tend to see as priorities.

  241. samantha’s mom,

    I think there are a lot of us around here. My problem right now is being so busy with my academic work. But I would find time to meet with a local group.

  242. I don’t think shtuey is trying to push women’s issues aside.

  243. shtuey — is this what you’re trying to say?

  244. bb, here’s the disagreement: some people make a *strict* 30% solution the ultimate goal, or that is what it comes across as. Women’s equality is a priority, but no one wants to support a r@cist woman, to use an extreme example. No one is denying the 30% solution, but in cases of conflict, how does this movement decide what to do?

  245. purplefin,

    Very well stated. I guess I don’t understand why wanting to work toward more women in government is something that needs to wait or why it wouldn’t be a good goal for a broad-based movement. Women are a majority in the population after all.

  246. gqmartinez — that’s what I mentioned above.

  247. ack! moderation.

  248. gqmartinez — that’s what I mentioned above.

  249. gq,

    Why would I support a racist woman? As far as I’m concerned, that is a red herring. And why would anyone make 30% a strict limit?

    I only know what I will do. I have been sickened by the way women have been treated this year. I’m sick and tired of being a second class citizen. I’m not much of a joiner and never have been. If this group moves forward in a way that doesn’t address my issues, I’ll find another way to accomplish my goals.

  250. gxm17; let me see if I can clarify this for you.

    My personal goals, as PUMA, and an American are this: I want all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, skin color, etc to be equal . I want government to serve the needs of the people and insure their rights.

    Having been fighting as an advocate for equal rights since I was a boy I have seen that the goal of equality cannot be accomplished without also fighting for government that is beholden to the voice of the people. If the government operates outside the Constitution, outside democratic principle, I don’t see how we get things like the passage of the ERA.

    These are not mutually exclusive fights. I believe they must be accomplished together. That’s why I write posts about the Constitution and reforming government. I see it as part of the means for us accomplishing the goal of equality for women, and everyone else.

    Does that make sense?

  251. SOD,

    Fine, but we have never focused on women’s issues to the exclusion of all else. I can’t figure out where any of this is coming from. I have written a lot of posts here, and most of them haven’t dealt with “women’s issues.” I feel this entire thread has been sidetracked.

  252. That is exactly what I’m trying to say.

  253. I think we can get to 30% without r@cists and global warming deniers. It’s realistic to bring up the possibility that we may not be able to support all female candidates the same.

    I think we can get there as well without the “bad” folk. But if you have an atrocious candidate that is a woman are we supposed to support them just because they are a woman? We’ve seen a similar example play out this cycle and many here criticized the uncritical support this candidate received from their primary support bloc.

    I happen to believe we can reach a 50% solution, the only just solution, without accepting bad, but reasonable candidates. The problem should be the system: you have to be a millionaire business owner or trust fund baby to run for office these days. The obvious “farm team” of candidates (city councils, county supervisors, etc.) are being circumvented by the established power brokers who we’ve seen are happy to use sexism as a weapon. How do we get more women in high office? Get them elected at the local level and challenge the established power structure to allow the female candidates to advance. Its the same in business and in academia, btw.

  254. Hi all…just to clarify, the 30% solution refers to the tipping point at which the womens’ “equal representation” virus reaches critical mass. It is the minimum number of women necessary for addressing women’s issues in government. 50% is the goal.

    I don’t see why everyone has to think the same things should be front-burnered in the PUMA movement. If we agree on, say, three main goals, then different PUMAs could work on the aspects that move them. We already have much of the structure in place. We just need to unify the leaders and have them take charge of the different goals.

  255. Oh dear, I used the “r” word. Here’s my comment which is currently in moderation:

    Personally, if I found a female candidate morally unacceptable then I would simply not vote. However, I will no longer allow party affiliation to stand in the way of voting for a qualified female candidate.

    Way back in February, long before I found the Confluence or read about the 30% solution, I began to realize that I needed to liberate myself from my loyalty to the Democratic Party and its male candidates. I held my nose and voted for John Kerry and Jim Webb. I will NEVER do that again.

    And thank you bb for pointing out the straw woman argument. When we’re faced with a r@cist female candidate, we can THEN address the issue.

    Frankly, a whole helluva lot of folks, so-called liberals, just voted for the SEXIST candidate without blinking an eye. Let’s talk about REALITY and not be distracted by imaginary scenarios.

  256. If you are a true believer in the 30% solution, you vote for the woman in all cases. The reason for getting behind local female candidates early in the process is that then you can make sure that there is always a good woman to vote for. But the reasoning behind the 30% solution is that getting any women, no matter what their politics are, into office increases the dialogue about issues that matter to women. Even if they’re r@ cists or think the earth is flat. We have male r@ cists in office, and some of the men are neanderthals when it comes to science. What make those issues litmus tests for women, but OK in men?


    When the time is right for f2f meetings to happen, I will be happy to help organize and even host a group

  257. I agree Boomer.

  258. gxm17, a lot of women I know who call themselves feminists voted for him too. I see that as slavery to partisanship, and falling for all the old memes; Roe, etc.

  259. madamb,

    Yes, we have to agree on some fundamental principles. When there is conflicts on certain issues, problems arise. There was no principles in the progressive movement which allowed innumerable compromises and the use of questionable and ugly tactics.

  260. And btw…I think that we should put pressure on both Parties to put forward a slate of MINIMUM 30% women for office in 2010. That would give us a lot more choices when we vote.

    The New Agenda would be a good group to put this request to the RNC and DNC, and other PUMA orgs could join them.

  261. bb, this is why some of us are questioning the *strict* 30% solution:

    If you are a true believer in the 30% solution, you vote for the woman in all cases…. Even if they’re r@ cists or think the earth is flat.

    A libertarian, male or female or martian is fundamentally unacceptable to me.

  262. Personally, I would like to see more openly LGBT candidates too. I don’t see why we can’t promote both women’s and LGBT issues. And I have yet to see anyone post otherwise.

    From a tactical position, I think that shtuey’s Constitution approach is very appealing, especially considering that Obama is a “vaunted” scholar in that area. It would be incredibly appropriate (as well as quite amusing) to give him hell on that front.

  263. SOD,

    What I’m seeing in this thread is two men saying that the goal of women’s equality is just going to happen if we buckle down and work toward more democratic election processes. I’m getting a headache, because it’s the same thing I’ve heard all my life: you can’t have a broad-based movement with women’s rights on the front burner. I don’t even know that I want a broad-based movement.

    Maybe *I* don’t “fit” just as Hillary didn’t according to Shtuey. Because I’m simply not following the argument. But the one thing I’ve learned and learned very well in the past year is that women don’t count. We are still taken for granted and shunted aside to wait while more important things are addressed. Our equality will be addressed someday.

    I am a free agent and will work for the goals that are important to me. If that happens in the context of PUMA, great.

  264. madamab, you raise a great point.

    We need to demand more female candidates from both parties. That’s why I have kept my membership with Team Sarah. I think it’s vital that we reach out to everyone, even the conservatives. We may not share political views but we can all agree that both Hillary and Palin were degraded and attacked in ways that males candidates were not. And we can all agree that this completely unacceptable and needs to change.

  265. And since I coined the term “30% Solution,” if anyone has any questions about it, feel free to ask.

    One myth is that voting for women because they are women is the same as AA’s voting for AA’s because of skin color. This is false. The 30% figure is based on scientific studies. As far as I know, there are no studies proving that voting based on skin color results in benefits to that group of people.

  266. gxm17; glad I was able to clarify that for you. As a tactic, it serves two of our main purposes, advancing women’s rights, and reforming government. And if we manage to embarrass BO in the process, so much the better.

    Though I question BO’s scholarly knowledge of the Constitution when he is on record saying the founders didn’t care about slavery. The debate on slavery nearly killed the Convention. Most of the framers were well aware that the 3/5 clause was going to come back and bite them in the republic in the ass. And they were right. BO asserted that slavery wasn’t even an issue. He is an ass on so many levels. But my mom always says you should excel at something.

  267. BB, I am not saying that women’s issues should not be pursued and its offensive for you to continue to say that. I want some standards on female candidates and thats it.

  268. gqmartinez,

    Your vote is your own. And so is mine. Samantha’s mom is speaking for herself and so am I. I don’t want to be part of a regimented movement where people march in lockstep. That is why PUMA has been so successful so far–because we joined together even though we had different reasons for not wanting Obama. But now I’m hearing that certain issues–those I care about–should be off the table *for now.* As I said before, I’m a free agent. I’ll stick with PUMA as long as it is addressing issues I care about.

  269. I guess the football game is more appealing than being called a sexist. So it goes.

  270. gqm:

    No one is suggesting that the “30% solution” ignore things like r@cism or a history of serial murder.

    It’s implied that the women candidates are at least minimally qualified.

  271. What is the impact of the 30%?

  272. For God’s sake. I haven’t called anyone a sexist. I have tried to express some ideas that are important to me. I don’t even know how to respond to that.

  273. And ya know, do we have to make such a big deal out of “OMG THE STRICT 30% solution will make us vote for BAAAAAD women?” When did this freakout happen?

    if you simply cannot vote for a woman, then don’t. It’s not the end of the world. The important thing is to increase the number of available female candidates, as I suggested above.

  274. I don’t believe anyone is doing that madamab

  275. bb, that’s the underlying sentiment that I’m picking up on too.

    This election was a huge turning point for me. Enough is enough. I have a granddaughter and at 18 months she is already a force to be reckoned with. I don’t ever want to see her fiery spirit hobbled in the same manner we just witnessed. This past election was a public witch burning that far too many so-called “liberals” gleefully took part in. IMO, it must never be forgotten. It should be held up and shown for the destructive bigotry that it is. Relegating it to the back burner will, ultimately, condone it.

  276. gxm17,

    We are in agreement. And this whole picky argument about voting for a racist woman, etc. is a red herring–a distraction. I have hung in there with this argument even though my head is pounding from the cognitive dissonance and my intuition is telling me to disentangle myself.

    This was a huge turning point for me too. I’ve had it with the public acceptance of misogyny. If dealing with that is not a number one goal here anymore, I’ll fight it another way.

  277. SOD – I respectfully disagree. I think everyone should form his/her own principles when it comes to voting for any candidate. The only thing we should say is that we are committed to reaching that number of women.

    For example, I voted for McCain and Palin even though I disagreed with them on many issues.I realize that not every PUMA could make that decision, because McPalin didn’t meet their standards. Does that mean they wouldn’t vote for other women? Or that they are not committed PUMAs? Of course not.

    I think the DANGEROUS thing would be to try to force our personal standards on other PUMAs. No one, and I mean NO ONE, would agree on them.

    JMHO as well.

  278. During the past election I supported Hillary Clinton, Cynthia McKinney and Sarah Palin. Now that’s a broad spectrum. All of these women are completely different. And yet every single one of these candidates was derided as “bad” for some reason or other. Injecting an imaginary r@cist female candidate is incredibly counter productive. As it is, female candidates face a ridiculous bias, we don’t need to INVENT reasons for bias at this point. Maybe we can agree that we’ll finally have succeeded when a woman is legitimately maligned for her politics and not just her gender.

    As an aside, one of the attacks I heard against McKinney was that she was a r@cist. Unfortunately I’m not joking. She was accused of being too afro-centric.

  279. I had not heard about McKinney being racist because of afro-centrism. It is true though that she was silent when people in her campaign, including her father, used anti-semitism as a wedge in her campaign for Congress. She disappointed a lot of people in the Atlanta Jewish community that had previously supported her.

  280. madamab, you are so right. One of the wonderful aspects of the Confluence was that we all agreed not to tell each other how to vote.

    I voted for McPalin too, even though I supported McKinney financially to the end. For me it was my personal act of sedition. We are all responsible for our own vote. I don’t regret mine. It might have been the most satisfying vote I’ll ever cast.

  281. Gqmartinez and Shluey,

    How was Clinton a threat to the power structure? If you are right and sexism was only a means to and end, rather than the end, what about Clinton posed this threat? And What threat are we talking about?

    Is it about globalization? Corporate power? Is the fact that Obama is a corporate globalist the reason they wanted him? Is this why they won’t bail out Detriot? Is it the corporate globalists who are willing to plunge us into a depression so long as they can prosper in other venues of the world?

    If gender is not the htreat, what is it and why?

  282. Gxm, BB – we agree.

    Time to get going. Later, Conflucians!

  283. madamab — it’s an interesting concept that I’m sure will be debated some more. I don’t necessarily equate ‘guiding principles’ to political ideology.

  284. KendallJ; I never said Clinton was a threat to the power structure. I would appreciate it if people here would stop putting words in my mouth. Thanks.

    Donna Brazile, et al wanted Obama since 2004. Clinton was the biggest obstacle to them accomplishing their goal. They did anything, and everything to bring her down. That included sexist attacks. They wanted control of the Democrat Party. Obama was the tool they used to get it.


  285. But maybe I’m misunderstanding the “tipping point” equation

  286. Good night all. I’m heading to bed. Loved the lively discussion!

  287. I guess it’s a question of how much we’re committed to the outcome or the principle.

  288. Shluey,

    I wasn’t putting words in your mouth. I was responding with questions to both you and gqmartinez.

    It happened to gqmartinez who indicated that clinton was a threat and sexism was the means of taking her down. I am only asking, what was the threat?

  289. KendallJ,

    Congrats for getting on the radio show! That was you, wasn’t it? I didn’t understand about the treat part either. You’re not alone.

  290. Yes BostonBoomer, it was me!

    It was a great show and Marie C. was wonderfully thought prevolking.

    What threat other than feminine power did Hillary Clinton present? Still no one seems to have a definitive answer. Three black women in the DNC didn’t do this alone!

  291. Hillary was a “threat” to he whom the DNC and the corporate msm had anointed The One. And so was Sarah. Simple as that imho.

    You were really good on BTR, Kendall. I’m glad you were able to get on. 🙂

  292. p.s. – I have always adored Marie Coco and she sure didn’t disappoint tonight. Hoping she will become a regular on the show.

    I did find all the crap in the chatroom very distracting and feel it made those of us who come to listen & comment look bad. 👿

  293. Thanks SherryNC,

    I wonder if Hillary had a heads up on all the back stabbers. I remember listening in on a conference call back in the spring where Hillary Clinton was talking about the May 31st RBC meeting. She seemed to think at the time that her people would be given a fair hearing. And as we all know thay were not. I can only imagine how jarring this experience has been for her.

  294. I can’t speak to what gqm was talking about.

    I don’t know if you know about Leah Daughtry or not. She was Howard Dean’s chief of staff at the DNC, as well as the CEO of the convention. She is also a pentecostal minister who supports reparations, in addition to being a believer in Black Liberation Theology. It was Daughtry who ran the day to to affairs of the Democratic Party, not Howard Dean. She also served as Alexis Herman’s chief of staff when she was in President Clinton’s cabinet.

    I think there was a confluence of forces that came together over the past 4 years. There was the AA wing that wants the Democrat Party to essentially a black party. There were the anti-Clintons. There were the ultra-lefties. BO’s candidacy represented the nexus of where those separate interests met.

    When I was in Denver I was approached by a female Clinton pledged delegate. I was with a few other PUMAs. She was pretty nervous about talking to us. She made it clear people were being intimidated. She wouldn’t even let me photograph her. At one point she said that there was no way that HRC was going to get the nomination because Dean and Donna didn’t want her to have it. That was my instinct all along, and it has nothing to do with gender. It was politics, pure and simple.

    I’m telling you, if Clinton were a man, she still would have lost. The fix was in for BO. Hillary happened to be a woman.

    Some people have said to me they thought the DNC went with BO as a winning strategy. I don’t buy that as the polls clearly show HRC would have won the general for more handily than he did.

    What is alarming is why the DNC/BO machine’s use of sexism and misogyny was so wildly successful; because there is so much underlying sexism in the institutions that are running our country. But it is encouraging that she would have won the general election by a wider margin than BO.

    It’s a strange conundrum that perhaps women can speak to better than I; we live in a society that would have elected a woman to be President, but at the same time the sexist memes used against Clinton were an effective media tool. It makes my head explode when I think about it.

    Perhaps the answer is that society at large is not sexist, but our institutions are. Perhaps people at large are not used to seeing things from a feminist perspective so they are not sensitive to it, so they don’t recognize it or think they should speak out against it.

    Does that make sense?

  295. As I said at 5:15 and again at 5:24 just blunter, a measuring stick has to be established for the cause or causes otherwise we might as well be residing in a Tower of Babel. Nothing will ever fit us all unless we speak the same language and measure by the same yardstick.

  296. Shluey,

    Thank you for taking the time to engage in these questions with me. It does make some sense. But are you saying that there is no place for working class whites in the democratic party anymore? Is this why the dems are so quick to screw the rust belt and northern appalachia. Why would Dean go along with the dems becoming the “black party” when blacks make up only 13% of the population. It only works if voting doesn’t count!! What a scary thought. But I guess this is where we are at.

    I did know about Leah D. I also know that she is big time behind the homophobic wing of the party. But I still don’t understand what the Clinton hate via Dean is about. We are seeing that Obama is no great progressive. In my opinion, he is more socially conservative than Hillary. His foreign policy has yet to be seen and based on his positions in the primary, he is much more of a corporatelist.

    In terms of the misogyny, I agree that the average joe is less sexist and or racist for that matter than our institutions. But now the Jenie is out of the bottle and it will take a long time to put it back.

  297. SherryNC, on November 23rd, 2008 at 10:58 pm Said:

    p.s. – I have always adored Marie Coco and she sure didn’t disappoint tonight. Hoping she will become a regular on the show.

    HEY – where do we hear this show again? love Marie Coco – had no idea she was on.

  298. prolix said:

    Nothing will ever fit us all unless we speak the same language and measure by the same yardstick.

    well at the very least – we have one touchstone – hillary is the common symbol for sexism/abuse/misogyny/media-maltreatment of a powerful woman.

    I say we write our hearts out to Lynn Rothschild and Tina Brown and Lynnette Long to ask them to focus their leadership on what’s the next wave for us.

  299. ok, I have just read through all the comments, having been ill yesterday I missed much of it…

    Firstly I agree with the one immediately above mine. These are exactly the leaders we need and we should do everything we can to ask them to help us focus this.

    Secondly, regarding some of the disagreements, I honestly do think that Shtuey has been misunderstood here somewhat and I am convinced that there is a lot of common ground here to build on.

    In my view the sexism and abuse will be stopped the more the playing field is levelled. The main reason Hillary Clinton is not the nominee right now is because of the injustice of the process.

    Misogyny and sexism were tools of that injustice, but they are but (very significant) parts of the whole. Looking at the big picture, the rules were either broken or unfair and the accountability of those who make and break the rules has been almost zero. I would like to see PUMA be an umbrella organization for fairness in democracy which champions the rights all people, egalitarian, yes – if we are not then it makes us as bad as those we would fight against.

    However I do think that it will be the case that much of PUMA is devoted to womens causes specifically including the 30%-50% (why not aim higher?) solution and I think that is rightly so – it should be one of the highest most important issues on the agenda, but it should be a part of the whole, not the whole thing itself.

    The whole thing itself should be about fairness and the true meaning of democracy because without achieving that all the other issues are moot. Otherwise there will always be some group on the margins who will suffer as a result.

    Just my opinion and 2c feel free to agree or disagree with it.

  300. IIRC, in a survey after the election something like 40% of the men polled said that they did not believe a woman would make a good president. It seems obvious that the reason the sexist meme worked so well is because it is deeply ingrained in our culture and resonates with a whole lot of people. IMO it’s sad but true that the average person is sexist. Unfortunately they can’t see their chauvinism because they believe their bias is the natural order. They don’t see it for the prejudice it is.

  301. […] was a very interesting discussion on The Confluence last night about the 30% Solution. Some concerns were being raised about always voting for a woman, […]

  302. If this is going to be just another women’s movement, it will be doomed to failure from the start. It would have to compete with the existing organization and would further fragment the women’s vote. Make it inclusive! Make it national, with local city and state chapters and make sure it is funded by the participants. Set forth a set of principles and incorporate them into your constitution. A well funded and disciplined membership could and would determine the out come of many of the primary and general elections. Do not wed it to any particular party and make them come to you for support. Elect riverdaughter as your first President of the national organization.Stop talking about it and get busy making it happen.

  303. […] Posts Bwahahahaha!Sunday: The unParty and The Tipping PointNow That You’ve Got My AttentionSunday Night Open ThreadMonday: Oh, Brother!Normally I would say “So […]

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