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New Movement Survey #1

The time is right for a new movement.  The American middle class is sick and tired of getting trampled by the well connected who have our government by the balls.   But if we are going to get this baby off the ground, we’re going to have to do this right.   Successful movements have certain things in common. Timing is important.  But so is critical mass, messaging, leadership, discipline. To start off our exploration of movements that worked, I want to start with The Protestant Reformation and the American Revolution.  Those of you who haven’t seen HBO’s fantastic series John Adams should rent it ASAP.  The first several episodes are the important ones.  For those of you not familiar with the Reformation, check out this excellent introduction from PBS’ Empires based on the life of Martin Luther: Driven to Defiance and Reluctant Revolutionary.

Now, before we get started, I would like to conduct a survey.  This is not the first time we have tried to get our act together and we are not the only ones trying to do it.  Violet Socks is testing the waters as well.  But we continue to face resistance, from ourselves mainly, to actually doing something.  So, this survey is intended to help us figure out what we are doing wrong.

Notes and my humble opinion:

  • Those of you who are hankering for a National Womens Party should give it up.  It’s DOA.  If you go that route, you will end up marginalizing yourselves and leave the rest of us without your critical mass.  Seriously.  I don’t want to be a part of a movement where we are already starting down the path to splitting ourselves up.  You can get everything you want from a new entity without making yourselves irrelevant from inception.  Sorry to be so harsh.  I could be harsher.  I am a feminist interested in equality.  Sentimental feminism bores me to fricking tears.  Don’t test my patience.  Feel free to disagree with me but before you do, first do a thought experiment and carry out your proposal to its logical conclusion.
  • Yes, tea partiers are well intentioned but crazy.  If you are a tea partier, I share your frustration with the way things are.  But the tea party movement was started by Republican operatives and, I’m sorry, but Republicans have lost all semblance of credibility.  They are bent on destruction of our government and have been  successful at destroying it since Ronald Reagan got his mitts on it. Rush Limbaugh is an evil man.  Glenn Beck is both evil and stupid.  If you can’t see what is really going on in the tea party movement, please sit this one out on our threads.
  • Think *VERY* carefully about how you want to construct your message.  I have seen what happens when a bunch of Conflucians or Reclusiveleftists or other left of centerists get together in a blog and decide to brainstorm.  It isn’t pretty.  Here is a taste of what *has* been successful:
  • Think about how to spread the message once we have one.  Blogging isn’t the answer.  Most people don’t read blogs.  Also, the news media isn’t going to cover us until we are too obvious to ignore anymore.  THIS is the place to be creative.

Ok, GO!

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246 Responses

  1. We can begin by thinking about the people on the margins. Those who are left out and struggling just to keep up. Those folks need an easy concept to grasp. I loved it when Hillary said she would champion for the “Invisible”. I know this isn’t about her, but thats who we want to give a voice to. We have a built-in, natural coalition of women and the gay community, neither of which have full civil rights as recognized by the Constitution. But those who are too busy or tired (politically) need an easy and simple concept to grasp. The Republicans have tapped rural, small town America, but they long for another option. We can get into the weeds talking about what we are against. So what is our goal and purpose?

    • Hillary’s championing of “invisible Americans” worked for two reasons– first and foremost because she actually had the policy substance to back it up, and because of what was going on with her campaign, it was the invisible Americans, invisible to the media, invisible to the fauxgressive hotshots who thought they owned the internet and thus the future, who were inspired by her, drawn to her substance, and who drove her campaign.

  2. In my opinion we will continue to flounder until we can find a way to increase cohesiveness of women.

    • I agree with you, SoD. Maybe a national woman’s party is a fool’s errand, but I’m not joining any movement that puts abortion and other issues important to women on the back burner.

      • It doesn’t have to be a NWP. Both whites and African Americans teamed up and opposed slavery. We;re being played to keep us subordinate. It’s time to upend that dynamic.

        • Yes! Yes! Go, SOD, GO!!

        • Heh

          Yeah and then the AAs threw the women under the bus to get what they achieved. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m less than enthused with coupling up again just to be told, “pipe down little woman we’ll get to you eventually.”

      • No one said you have to. But a NWP is a dead end. You will never get the rest of America to care about its needs if it exists in isolation.
        There is no separate but equal.

        • I thought I said a NWP was a fool’s errand.

          • Yep, you did. But you also indicated that abortion is non-negotiable with you. And I agree except that I prefer to come at it from another angle.

          • Not abortion per se, just the tactic of always pushing women to the back burner.

        • I believe the title “Nat’l Women’s Party” is subconsciously limiting and subject to attack and derision.

          • I argued at Reclusive Leftist that it would be good to highlight women in the name of the party because women have been so marginalized, suggesting the name Women’s Majority Party. However, I am open to considering that it may be better to have a more generically named party which puts women front and center, where we belong as the majority of the human race and the most essential to it.

          • How about the “men, women, and children’s party”

            Only kind of kidding…

          • I’d love to start an Angry Bitches from Hell party but I agree that most people are put off at the idea of giving women top billing. That’s part of the whole problem we are trying to confront and we’ll need to soft peddle the feminist angle.

          • we are not divided on abortion. Most republican women are pro-choice. They just don’t have a voice in their party.

          • in addition I have to say that it seems to me that what you are saying is that we have to worry about what people think of us as women trying to gain power. We should care? Maybe if we spend another 70 years explaining why they should care enough to give us power we can finally get a woman president.
            It doesn’t matter if we call ourselves the Geisha party, if we are not them, they will be derisive.

          • I suggested The Majority Party, as women and reasonable men form the majority of voters in the country. Its yours for free if you want it.

            But I think a third party is an uphill battle. Third parties often just damage the Democratic or Republican candidate they are closest to. I am not sure whether that is the best tactic to use or whether it would be better to either 1) steal the Democratic Party back or 2) endorse candidates in both primaries and in the general elections.


        • I think you have it exactly backwards. We don’t NEED to get people to care. We are the majority. We will get farther if we take our votes from the democrats and let republicans know they can win our votes if they try. We have leverage as women that we will never have as part of a third party “leftist” party movement. We don’t need a NWP party candidate for president or congress. We need women of both parties to unite and force the dems and reps to nominate and support women.
          Just look at the Green party. They only third party that ever got anywhere is the reform party and that was a centrist movement of almost all men.

          • Yep. Without women, no Democrat could ever get elected to anything, anywhere. There’s no possible way they can replace our votes. We take them, they’re done. Unfortunately, though, you’ll never get women to stick together. And as long as other groups are involved, forget it. It’s dead last on the list, don’t be selfish like always.

          • The main ideological split is economic in nature. No one is telling any woman to sit down and shut up. But if you are hoping that wealthy conservative women and religious women are going to join up together with working class and Latinas in one big happy party, I want to know what you’re smoking because it will NEVER HAPPEN.
            You guys have got to put the pipe down and deal with this.
            If you start a new movement you can put no compromises on the issue of equality at the very top of your priority list. That could definitely work. But forget the idea of a womens’ party.
            You can not continue to ignore economic reality, which affects most women, and expect to get anywhere by going off on some tangent where many of your allies can’t identify. If you do that, you will get less than nowhere. You will not accomplish *any* of your goals.
            Please come down to earth. We are not giving the guys carte Blanche on this movement. But womens’ rights as being the single focus is a nonstarter. It is an exmovement. It will join the party invisible.

          • The main ideological split is economic in nature, but it doesn’t make any difference. Ask women who have worked for unions or strictly in economic justice movements about the dynamics, it’s the same as the Democratic Party. You’re right, getting women to work together will never happen. But it’s also true that any movement will shove women to the back of the bus. We have no problem working our guts out on issues that don’t affect us at all or affect us minimally, but on the flipside, our allies “can’t identify.”

    • The problem with abortion is that talking about it exclusively puts the cart before the horse.
      The bigger question is Are Women Persons?
      If you conclude that they are and you answer affirmatively, then telling them what health care they are allowed to have and taking their right to decide when to be parents is anathema to you. So, let’s start at the top. Let’s get everyone to see women as fully human, as persons. If we can pin people down on that, it wil be much harder to deny them access to abortion. It is where the religious right does not want us to go. They *like* having us squabble about abortion rights. That ignores the general question.

      • I don’t know that I agree on the cart before the horse.

        • Abortion is there to keep women divided and keep them from voting on MULTIPLE issues and keep Washington from having to deliver on any of those issues.

        • Yep. Clear that baby off the table. If you sign onto equality for women, you sign on to staying the fuck out of her uterus.

        • If it were like slavery–another often used analogy, rape and incest wouldn’t make a difference either. It’s about controlling women. IMO.

          • Yet while neither are acceptable, one is physical control, another is legislative/social control. There isn’t a single answer that cures them both in one swoop.

  3. A lot of people have been deceived for the past 9 years. But the lies have been somewhat different (if recycled) so few realize. People who should stand side by side are at each other throats because they bought lies from different liars. It’s hard to cut through the fog as the fog machines are costly and effective.
    Example of recycling old lies
    So, until everyone is willing to slap their foreheads with a loud Doh! – no movement.

  4. I thought this was a great policy starter that everybody can grasp ( but many won’t):

  5. BTW. Recommended reading: Pew Research on public views about women in leadership.

    Some surprises and good foundational understandings about how to approach increasing women in political positions and other leadership areas.


    or the full report

    Click to access gender-leadership.pdf

    • This is a good video, if you have the time.

      • “You think if Hillary Clinton had been um, Harold Clinton, that she might have won the nomination?” – Constance L Rudnick, Professor of Law, Massachusetts School of Law Andover

        Wonk the Vote,

        Thanks, I always enjoy programs that make you think and that pose those very questions that have yet to surface mainstream. That the media in 2008 was simply swimming in the misogyny river of DENIAL and were full participants in blocking the best candidate including the wimmin folk ones.

        • How’d that happen, my quote went unquoted, but it appears I quoted my point (myself)???? 😯 It’s been a while since I have been by, the looks of my quotes. 😆

  6. As a potential movement, we are much BIGGER than women and the gay community. It is the economy, stupid, all over again. Enforce equality in general. Don’t turn this into a movement of social outcasts. Use the economic situation as a way to get equality.

    • I agree. Going back to the original Democratic platform: civil rights, jobs, democracy and a fair economy would be a starting point. I would add “no war” and take out the restrictive references to soon to be obsolete middle class.

  7. most people become interested in something when it affects them personally. until you lose your job and home and savings you truly do not understand poverty.
    a new movement would have to include men and women that are fed up with both parties. All democratic ideas are not good and all republican ideas are not bad. We must take the best ideas of both and use them to improve the country. Now were have economic problems and class problems like I have never seen in my lifetime. We are divided ,but we must come together,
    Take the time to listen to each other, learn from each other, work together, we all want the same thing but are traveling different roads to get there.
    Start at the local level, have discussion groups, investigate each local candidate, see what they have to offer. Pumas are all over this country. They come from all walks of life and have experience and much to give. Every state should have a group that keeps info on the canidates that are running. Withhold funding from the ones that are not in our best interest, Work and fund the ones that are. Even if they get elected remind them of who they represent and who they work for,
    Every two or three months have a national get together and see where each state is and who needs help. This can be done by tele-conference or if possible physically getting together.



    • I’d almost agree with you, Helen. I think republicans really aren’t on board with the whole government thing. That’s not to say that Democrats haven’t lost their way. But to assume that there is anything positive in the Republican party right now is a real stretch. I just don’t think I can trust any of them anymore.
      One more thing: I think PUMA is dead. It was deliberately tied to racism in order to discredit it. (Thank you Obama campaign) Let’s move on from it.

      • if your going to use a platforn i think a good one is the democratic one . the values that most of agree on

      • i dont think PUMA is dead

        • puma is discredited. The only way puma would have stayed relevant as a label is if Obama had lost in 2008. Do you see any of the people who are now frustrated with Obama thinking hmmm maybe those pumas were on to something? Of course not, if you ask them about puma, they will launch into all their reasons why pumas were racist and wrong and too little in number to have mattered.

          • sure O-bots &O-sheep will do that . who else???

          • let see who eles they tryed to discredited.. hmmm THE BIG DAWG & Hllary come to mind i think we are in preety good company do you..

          • The CDS’ers tried their best, but they couldn’t discredit Hillary and Bill. Those two are still relevant. Just look at MoDo’s latest whine.

          • No, Obama losing in ’08 would not make PUMA relevant. We would have been seen as the knitting crazy sino-peruvian-zen no longer relative voters who prevented the greatest prez EVAH from winning.

            I don’t like the Obots co-opting the PUMA name. We can always speak up and say — Surge in Afghanistan? yeah, those PUMAs sure saw it coming, didn’t they?

      • Both parties today suck equality, Both parties started with ideals that got lost. We have to gather the best ideals of both and reignite them. Pumas as a name might be discredited but we as people are still here and still care and still have ideas and experiences to share. We could work together and start a movement that could change the country for the better.



      • While I myself removed the label from my blog because the bad associations of some PUMAs, I think to say PUMA is dead is too much. PUMA still refers to “those Democrats who weren’t bamboozled after the primaries.

        • I don’t think PUMA’s dead, either. It would need to be recliamed, though, by repudiating those genuinely racist and right-wing elements that have hijacked the name.

          • What’s the point? “party unity my ass” was about the primary. It’s now clear to everyone that the Dems are split. Someone needs to move into the vacuum, and it can’t be a group that has already been marginalized.

      • One more thing: I think PUMA is dead. It was deliberately tied to racism in order to discredit it. (Thank you Obama campaign) Let’s move on from it
        Well Riverdaughter, you sound like you are easily scared away.
        If another organization were to rise up like Puma and the dissenting group ie., (Obama campaign) discredits it, does that mean it is dead also.

        When push comes to shove you sound as if you would collapse easily simply because of a discredit or name calling. Pumas are not weak women and they have overcome intimidation and are not so sensitive to name calling as you imagine.

        And Pumas are not dead and will never die because Puma is an ideal and a continuation of women’s rights and rightful influence in this democracy, as first uttered by the suffragettes such as Alice Paul.

        Alice Paul was an original Puma by the way. Long live Pumas!

  8. I read somewhere that only 2% of Americans blog.

    • But issues that start on the blogs make it into the mainstream. MSM people constantly monitor the blogs, and now Twitter. I’m still very big on Twitter and is it ever growing!

  9. i also think if your going 2 do anything your going to have to use unconventional means.

    • they were very clear in the last elect they had no prob slinceing our voices and not care about how we vote the RBC meeting at the DEM convetion are to key examples

    • ok 2010 is key we need to go after a few DEM & REPS on both side a slince them . by going after them in 2010 . THE DEMS will say we are REPS the REPS will say we are DEMS . but if the is a movement that is doing the same thing to both they can say that. &1 very important part the have to no who did this to them . we need to make them fear us

  10. Great thread RD. I have to run to work, and will eagerly read the comments and contribute any thoughts tonight.

  11. At first I was put off on the idea of a NWP because I too thought it sounded too exclusive and would die on the vine because all things related to women in this country seem to alienate. But then I thought that, just because it’s called the NWP doesn’t mean it’s only about abortion. It’s about all things that are important to women; jobs, the environment, healthcare, childcare, taxes, infrastructure, etc. So I thought, why hide the fact that the initial impetus was traditional women’s issues but in fact issues important to women are important to everyone. I get your point, RD, about a NWP appearing exclusive, but I wonder if that’s just our conditioning kicking in telling us that all things “women” are second tier issues? I guess I’m just sick and tired of having to disguise the fact that women’s issues are human issues.

    • How about not calling it the NWP, but making issues that are important to women primary? That is, they can’t be “taken off the table” or “put on the back burner” to make room for some other “burning issue.”

      • I just don’t see the need to make women’s issues primary. A third party should be about those issues that have been ignored by the two main parties. Of course, that includes traditional women’s issues, but the same weight has to be given to the environment, telecom immunity, infrastructure, education, etc. All issues where both major parties have dropped the ball.

        • By “primary,” I just mean they can’t be shoved aside as usual. Personally, I will never support any movement that shoves aside women’s issues, period. As long as women and children are seen as expendable, there’s no hope for our society as a whole.

          • Amen!

          • Absolutely!

            At this point, if we don’t have candidates, we are a voting block, but we need to be organized. Egos have to be set aside, because we all want the same thing, a party which represents the voters, not corporate interests. I don’t want to see things get fractured over minutia like, what we call the party, or who said what first. The time feels right to form a coalition which, if it gets organized enough and powerful enough, will produce viable candidates.

            I totally agree that nobody, women, men, or children should be marginalized to satisfy somebody’s ego or fears.

          • with you, boomer.

          • But isn’t that what always happens? Women are at the forefront of every social movement, fighting for everything under the sun whether it actually affects us or not. As long as we’re there doing the grunt work everybody loves us, but the minute we ask for one thing for ourselves, it’s how dare you be so selfish, let’s get back to the universal. I don’t see how you get around this as it happens every single time.

    • exclusive to the largest group of people on earth? Not such a bad idea.

  12. The responsibility of vigilance. (The video was made by Steven Edenbo, who portrays Thomas Jefferson, during the Bush administration, but the truth is timeless….)

  13. There are only two things that give me hope now – Hillary Clinton and that we could organize to fix this mess. Agree that NWP – DOA.

    Organization right down to every neighborhood in America. Get a leader that we trust – who has been steadfast and articulate throughout the unmasking of my former party – Heidi Li comes to mind quickly. I broached this organization back when discussions were going on; it got ugly. Every county in America needs a voice telling the truth and pointing a way to make a better political party(campaign finance, term limits, etc). The RBC televised meeting is forever burned into my memory. After being fully engaged into the Bu$h escharotic actions, knowing from day one he had no moral compass and my party presents someone even worse…. the time is right to organize, people are ready.

    I am for equal rights for all – it’s in my genes.

    You all have been a terrific mainstay here – daily read, just don’t comment so much anymore. I hate what is happening to so many – it breaks my heart.

  14. so this is how we do it .we take a few of them out by any means
    if one of them has a mistress on the side we expose him or her let them no we did this to them .

  15. Thanks RD for the post.

    Let me first start with the idea of a Women party. How is this party going to address women in general, as citizens or as a slice of soiety with a specific interests and needs. As citizens their interest are not different from any one else eg. economy, personal freedom……etc..
    As a slice of soceicty with a special interests that could be best served with a party who’s agenda tends to those issues as well as the broader concerns of the citizens. That what I think should be our intent and focous; a third party. I came to know just the mention of a 3rd party scares the heck out of people. They treat it as a plasphmy or something. People are so brained washed into accepting the 2-party to the point of no return. That is why I am thankfull for this post. It will at least open the possbility of talking about it. I want to add we don’t have to call it a party if that is a problem.

    • a 3rd party on paper sound like a good idea but it preety much a pipe dream at least at this point in time

    • as far womens party now your knoking men out of your party & like it our not you need us .

      • you want a womens party go for it but you wont get any help from me . & iv gone to bat for you girls time & time again.

      • I have to agree with you. We will never get women’s issues without men. Like it or not that is the truth.
        If you do not use all your assets you lose. Men that are smart enough to respect and value women and their ideas and needs are assets.
        My working experience is that many different people and departments get a train across the road. All have a part to play and all are needed. Take away one and the train does not run.



      • it’s great to have you and I don’t see why men wouldn’t be part of the NWP….. but I am not sure why we need you.

  16. It’s all about the money.
    BIG MONEY owns both parties and thus prevents us from getting good government.
    Witness “health care reform”, the banking bailout, the “stimulus package”, etc., etc., etc.
    We need REAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM before we can reform our government so it serves US and not BIG MONEY.
    This is an issue that people from all sides politically can support and mobilize around.

    • BIG MONEY is always going to win out because they control the media and the message. We have to find a way around that.

      • If we start from the premise that BIG MONEY’s “always going to win”, then what is the point of all this discussion?

        • thats not what I meant… I meant WE have to get control of the message and get some TRUTH out for all to see rather than the constant spin cycle

    • WORD. We could have a bipartisan moderate bloc of voters who were committed to electoral fairness- that benefits EVERY VOTER. Once stuff like campaign finance reform and other electoral reform happens, then it opens up the system to the possibility of third parties for real, and then the real actual competition for votes begins.

  17. First, RD – I’m on board. I’m fed up with the irrationale idiocy that they call our “government”

    Let’s look at this from a pragmatic business stance for the moment. We’re looking to put a new product into the mainstream and to attract as many “buyer” as possible. So the product has to offer something that isn’t being offered right now – equality for all – I agree that the NWP leaves out too many people although I agree with the principle – so as BB said – we call it something else.

    Yes, abortion has to be off the table – once that is off the table there is a lot greater chance for free thinking and more people jumping on our wagon.

    So what else are we offering – come at it from a positive stance rather than a negative (what won’t we do) position. We will honor one vote for each citizen.

    I personally want to see the Bill of Rights put back together again and the Constitution honored.

    What else do we bring to the table?

  18. Third party is a very long term strategy. Voting bloc(s) is shorter term but also difficult to sustain. “may we have the wisdom to choose wisely.” Also, women are as diverse as the rest of our society. I would expect any effort to organize women into either a third party or voting bloc will ultimately need to decide — left or right, mainstream or populist, choice or “life”, and on and on. If you don’t make choices and make them earlier, your organize around mushiness. I won’t join mushiness as there is already too much of such in our world. My 2 cents.

    • The right wing “Christians” have managed to keep their voting bloc going for a very long time.

      • I think the right wing “Christian” voting block has been played by the GOP. Remember how Bush was fervently supported as “one of us” when he ran. Yet he proposed very little and accomplished little — with the exception of lifetime appointment of some judges (Supremes and others). Their wallets, sweat and votes are tapped by the GOP war party (international and on the middle class and etc) in the election. As a voting block, unless it they are a tipping point in a primary, they have little influence IMHO.

  19. i dont thinks its a good idea to let reps or consertives or what ever they want to call themselfs this week in on this . they dont have our values . plus they will most likely stay home anyway just like they did last elect

    • they staged mass we wont vote protest scince they did not get the perfect ticket they stay home in the millons . & they are the reason the all they had to do is vote for there party .& BO would most likey not be POTUS & PUMA & JSND would rule.

  20. I think we should also include a vocal and financial repudiation of the mainstream news media. IMHO ~ their lack of investigative reporting and slant is a huge problem. Most everyone I know still believes what the the news sources tell them. Case in point ~ most of us KNOW what went down in the ’08 primaries but when I mention any of that I get looks like I’m from another planet because if it wasn’t on CNN or NBC it didn’t happen.

  21. That is the crux of the problem – whoever controls communications manages the dynamics – right now money is king.

    If in fact only 2% read blogs we need focus on how to get the message out once we determine what message will capture people’s imagination and excite them – I did watch the John Adams series – if I remember correctly it was only 13% of the population that drove the revolution to this great country.

  22. Personally I would love an organization of women telling both parties that we are on to them and we are through voting single issue on abortion–if there is a single issue we will be voting on, it’s the economy.

  23. Start with these objectives
    Clean up msm
    make government accountable to the people not the corportations.
    These three would be a good beginning.
    2010 is a start to make congress accountable to the people. Both parties need to be reminded who they represent.
    2010 is a start to clean out the mess of msm. boycott, drown in e-mails, demand more
    With better congress critters we can get ERA



  24. You say a womans party would be doa and it would marginalize a group movement. But aren’t we already marginalized? Isn’t that the dilemma, that the two-party system is really a divide-and-conquer duality leaving no room for anything to take root? This isn’t the first time that activists in this country have tried to create a viable third party. The problem lies not with the people but with the system that controls us. If a womans party is doa then any party is, doesn’t matter what you call yourself. You call the tea partiers crazy repubs, so how were the shrill suffragists portrayed in their early struggles, and the bleeding heart civil rights actiivists and the tree hugger environmentalists? As long as we continue to think in a limited way we reinforce the system. I think the first order of business would be to get the Equal Rughts Amendment passed. Then see if a party can grow from that important achievement.

  25. OT: Chelsea Clinton is engaged to her longtime boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky.

  26. Hope this isn’t off-topic, just got this in a post-Thanksgiving email from TPM: As if a president who can finish a sentence (most of the time) is all the world needed!

    There’s a lot to be grateful for this year: We have a president who, whatever his short-comings, at least speaks in full sentences….

  27. If you are going to create a movement, you should not limit it to any one group, it should be all inclusive. The “tea party people” might be a group of “crazies”, but they slowed down and almost derailed health care reform and they now appear to be forming a official organization. I do not care for their position on health care, but there are somethings I agree with, and any organization that is formed will need a set of principles. Any official organization formed, should be in position to recommend candidates and their votes be able to effect the results of those elections.

  28. I don’t think we are at the stage of demanding women’s rights, whatever they might be. We have lost ground on that. Most of the public doesn’t even know what the ERA is or was. Abortion in that context means only what right wing schools and churches have been pumping out the last 10 years. Think of what happened with NARAL and Nancy Keenan. That is a prime example of political choice over women’s equality and the stronger abortion rights candidate.

    I do think we might work at a fundamental issue, of pushing the end of Texas Caucuses and then others, and opening elections. If Dems can’t vote for Greens in primaries as an example, our political range is limited. As to working on the inside, last years Dem resolution to continue caucuses was abominable. It will be decided on again in 2012.

    I can’t believe we have tried all legal methods to remove the stranglehold of parties on voting processes. It simply cannot be right that outright abuse is not handled by courts, but rather the parties.

    • I don’t think we are at the stage of demanding women’s rights, whatever they might be.

      example number one. Forget women’s rights we can’t do it and besides we don’t understand it.

      • Of course you know I don’t mean that we should forget women’s rights or the ERA. I’m only telling you my experiences with younger working women who truly don’t have a clue what I am talking about. We haven’t passed it forward enough to reach a body of consensus. Certainly passing the ERA would make big changes. Right now it doesn’t appear to me that either major party has an interest in doing more than tokenism.

        Also, we need more money. As in the last campaign, where a really good effort was made, we still didn’t have enough. Since women are still on the low end of the economic pole and likely to be most impacted in this recession, it will be even harder next time.

        Teaching women to put their pennies toward this kind of future requires sacrifices. I’m still getting caught up on the financial hole campaign contributions made in my wallet (and Hubbies) last year. Sometimes it felt like sending money to the black hole of a lottery or a one armed bandit. It was still right.

  29. But what they’ve been doing is illegal and I don’t believe we have tried all legal methods to remove the stranglehold of parties – but I don’t think that’s what we are after here right now.
    Is it?

    • we shouldn’t rule anything out…. none of us would be so pissed off today if our Democratic party hadn’t told us in so many words go eff yourself and installed Le Petit Prince.

    • I don’t know. I just toss it out there because it was after all an issue. If we truly don’t control our own vote, then we either must correct that, live with it or start a revolution.

      • I absolutely agree with you. If our votes do not count, then we don’t have truly representational government.

    • It SHOULD be what we’re after. We can have all the opinions and positions and values in the world. They’re not worth dick unless we the system is actually responsive to the people.

  30. Heh heh. I KNEW that would happen, RD.

    The moment you mentioned a separationist feminist party — which would be a thoroughly STUPID idea — many of your readers latched onto it as the only acceptable choice. If this were another blog, they’d be talking about a separationist black party or a separationist gay party or a separationist whatever-else party. As if we had a parliamentary system which would allow representation from all those groups.

    And that’s how the bad guys win: By getting people to focus on genitalia or skin color or language or ANYTHING except economics.

    Frankly, the whole idea of a third party stinks. Any third party would be fascist, if I may be allowed any elasticity in my definition of “fascism.”

    Back in the 1990s, I used to say “We’re heading into a world where you’ll get your weltanschauung either from CBS News and the New York Times or from the Spotlight. Those will be your only choices. It’ll be as if the ’60s never happened.” That prediction came true — although nowadays, instead of The Spotlight, read Alex Jones.

    Those are the only choices now. Folks who don’t believe in the mainstream view of political reality are inevitably the kind of people who believe in paranoid theories about secret societies and the Illuminati and bombs-in-da-buildings and Jesus-is-comin’-soon.

    If you start a third party and if you want people to show up, those are the kind of people you will have to appeal to. Not a one of them will believe in the things I believe in — strong unions, steeply progressive income tax, government spending on jobs, socialized health insurance, new tariff laws, an end to libertarianism and a re-enshrinement of Keynesianism.

    Those people would never join any party that I would join.

    The thing to do is what the tea partiers are doing. TAKE OVER AN EXISTING PARTY. Then wait for the other party to fail.

    You may call the teabaggers crazy, but I think that their strategy is pretty damned wise.

    • Joseph:

      I like the way you think.


      Get involved with the Democratic Party at the local level and remake it from the ground up.

      Refect the ideals of FDR.

      We can be “The New Dealers” or “The Firesiders”.

      • I agree that taking over an existing party is the way to go.

        • I wish all of you lots of luck. I’m done with the party “infiltration” idea.

          • cwaltz–there is short-term and long-term. Short or long term, I won’t be voting based on whether someone has a D or R next to their name, but at the same time, I think this country would be better served in the longer run if both parties were taken back by the people to some measure or at least there was more balance than there is now. There really is zero balance right now. It is Corporate Party (D), Corporate Party (R), two wings of the same party, the only thing the Ds and the Rs are fighting over is who gets the money.

        • RALPH NADER’S RUNNING MATE MATT GONZALEZ (How about this one….just imagine if they had allowed this party to participate in the debates!?1)

      • My husband and I were involved on the local level. We, especially my husband, poured a lot of time and money into our local Dems. We feel burned and disillusioned, and I doubt either of us will ever vote Dem again. We didn’t even vote this last election (when Deeds got thumped in VA), and will probably vote Green for the foreseeable future.

        I’m not trying to torpedo this idea, just want to convey why this idea may not appeal to all PUMAs. Some of us are loathe to go back to the Party that, after our years of loyalty, gave us the bum’s rush.

        • The Democratic leadership would like nothing better than for us to take our ball and go (stay) home!

          (Or as my childhood BF used to do – take her Barbies and go home.)

          We need to stay in the Party and FIGHT for what we believe in!

          It won’t be easy or happen quickly but we need to persevere.

          Or are we just a “bunch of girls”??? 🙂

          • We are a bunch of gals and like-minded guys, and we are going to fight. 2008 was a battle, not the entire war.

          • Or are the folks who stick around enabling the abuser? Walking away often takes more strength than sticking around and waiting for the next beating. When there’s someone worth voting for on the ballot, they’ll get my vote but not till then. I will never again vote for someone just because they have a “D” next to their name.

          • I see taking back an existing party as more of a process, rather than who we vote for in this election or that election. Part of that process might be not voting for most Ds for awhile. We need to weaken the hold that the current lot of Ds have on the party before we can take it back.

        • I agree, after what the DNC did I never want to register dem again.

          Also – (I’m assuming this is the case….) if the goal of this endeavor is to find a candidate to challenge Obama in 2012, a takeover would be nearly impossible within the current democratic party,imho.

          If the goal of the movement is a bigger picture, longer term ideal, that’s a different story.

    • I agree also. Start as a voting bloc, and aim to take over the party.

    • How do you take over an existing party when it’s blatantly fraudulent? How do you take over an existing party that will award a supposedly democratic primary win to the man who lost? The DNC is owned, and the corruption is enshrined from the top down.

      • Granted, but by the same token how do you reform the electoral and primary systems when they’re based on corruption? To do that you’d pretty much have to take over the party anyway.

        • If you have a large bipartisan voting bloc, you can push for legislative reform of the electoral process (at least insofar as campaign finance reform). You can work with the same group to approach both parties and push for more fairness in the primary system. Since fairness isn’t a partisan issue, our threats to walk hold more weight. Once the parties are less prone to blatant corruption, then you can take them over and run them from the bottom up again.

          • You lean where I am leaning Sandra. I figure at the very least by working both sides of the aisle I have a better chance of moving the Overton left.

  31. As to the comment above regarding the media. I want reiterate my observations. Confluence and others of it’s ilk are in a lofty sphere. It may be true that only 2% blog. I don’t know if that includes Topix. Down on the flatlands the newspapers are suffering. As a consequence many of them have hooked up to Topix as a prime source of information. Most people who blog there don’t know how to look up NYT or Wapo articles and never heard of Salon. They are grateful when someone adds a link to the debates or other information. They WANT to know.

    However, Topix is a great swamp of festering goo run by Newmax and ruled by right wing nazis. It’s the worst sort of yellow “journalism” because it infinitely extends the comments columns of small newspapers and yet is unfiltered. Surprisingly were were a lot of Obots. While I was there, It seemed for a long time that I was the only HRC fan. I had taken that crusade up on my own, however, I finally wrote to the HRC campaign, and it seemed as though a few fighters showed up to help.

    I think this source of information was underestimated or misunderstood by HRC. I think most people were not watching the news on TV because they had already given up cable and dish to save their homes. That left dial up and Topix, the extension of their local newspaper.

  32. “ANYTHING except economics”

    Whoa. Wasn’t that the problem with Bush? Everything was based on “economics” (to make America’s rich and the political power players and the Bush minions richer) rather than on mundane ideals like justice, democracy, equality under the law, etc. In short, economics for a few trumped everything America should stand for.

    Other than that, I don’t disagree with your post….

    • perhaps he meant economic justice or equality

    • It seems as if most Americans don’t believe in those mundane ideals anymore. IMO, the mess we’re in now is the fulfillment of the Reagan era’s “I got mine” attitude. Americans don’t believe in justice for all. They believe in justice for the few and then convince themselves that they are part of the exalted few.

      There are a lot of great suggestions for political strategy but this movement needs a philosophical core based on the egalitarian ideals put forth in earlier comments. We need to remind Americans that the pursuit of happiness does not require standing on someone else’s back.

  33. if any one thinks puma is not a good name becuse we have been called racist or preety much every name in the book becuse we did not fall inline and did not act as sheep . look at it this way . its like a right of passage . every movment that ever made a diffrace was labeled something like that or worse..
    puma is far from dead
    pumacart power

  34. If you are looking for a party name — how about ERFA — Equal Rights For All. Equal representation for all the overlooked people: Women, Gays, Working Class America.

    • or the Equality Party ~ there were folks back in the day (08) that referred to themselves as Equalists.

    • I like the idea of an “Equality for All” party. It’s inclusive and to the point.

  35. About a week ago, my PUMA emblem disappeared for no reason. I came today to ask how to get it back but after seeing some of the answers on the survey I no longer care to get it back.

    A lot of blogs are Confluence spin offs, mine is one of them, and many others. On the spin off blogs, I do not mind seeing GOP bashing but I have always thought of The Confluence as the mother ship of sorts and held it to a higher standard. Perhaps I was wrong in doing that.

    This time last year, I was doing the “View from Under the Bus” with SOD, and Angie, MB, and Regency. Now a year later no one speaks to each other.

    It could be that people and blogs are there to serve a purpose and move out of your life once that purpose is over.

    Thanks for getting me through the 2008 election. Thanks for good times, recipes, good conversation and the opportunity to meet some sensational women. Thanks for giving me the courage to blog on my own. I have been successful so far and developed my own following which I am proud of . I have met great conservative and liberal women which is something this blog is lacking…Great women from both political parties, independents and the like.

    I have sent at least 20 conservative women here who have found some things great and others not so great, so they left. That is unfortunate.

    I wish you guys well and hope that things come together for you and the PUMA movement.

    Afrocity (yes a tea partier, don’t blame the decline of PUMA on me)

    • Afrocity, I have missed your imput, and will be sorry to see you go. I never did know where your blog was. Would you leave a link?

    • AC, I see the unity of women being much more powerful than the unity of leftists. The unity of women is the only movement that will not end up marginalizing women.

    • There are, I think, two issues to consider: strategy and content. On strategy, I favor ‘taking over’ and existing party.

      I think that content may be our biggest challenge, and I think that Afrocity’s comment highlights this.

      I consider The Confluence to be home for me. I also find it to be somewhat confined. That is OK for a blog, but it will not work for a party, or voting bloc.

      We need to find, define, what it is in women’s concerns that are universal. We need to focus on the common ground rather than the differences. The message, the goal, needs to be clear and fairly simple. (The plan overall need not be simple, but the message should be.)

      Both HRC and Sarah Palin have been able to achieve support across party lines and gender. (The media like to call them divisive. Well BO is divisive, and was hailed as a unifier. So it is all in the telling.)

      By the way, I think that the biggest thing the powers that be fear is not gender, but someone who is not owned by the corporations, or by any other group.

      • the reason they fear strong autonomous women is because strong autonomous women by definition do not play by the rules of the good ol’ boys network. They cannot be owned.

      • one thing we need to get our message out there. i think starting a BTR show like puma united radio show is a very good start

      • If 28% of Americans currently view S. Palin as qualified to be President, that’s not much appeal to both sides of the party line and gender divide. BTW, I supported HRC and could never support S. Palin for higher office. I have both gender and ideology tests….

        • So? Sorry, I’m not sure that I see how that’s relevant. I’m kind of sick of seeing this every time Palin’s name comes up. “I supported HRC and I’ll defend her from sexist attacks, but I could NEVER support Palin.”

          I don’t understand. Is anyone asking you to? Why do people have to point out that she’s a Republican and their a Liberal every single time she comes up? Do we do the same thing for any other figure?

    • As Afrocity points out, there’s a lot that brings us all together — I think more than what separates us.

      The problem is how to keep the focus on the commonalities, rather than the wedge issues.

    • Love ya, sister! I’m so far away from political orthodoxy now that it’s not even funny. Afrocity, I don’t agree with everything on your blog, nor do I agree with everything here at TC. But I enjoy and am provoked to thought by them both.

      And I am finally at a place politically where I can heartily disagree, and even work at times at direct cross-purposes to you (or others) in what I want to see done, but still have great respect for you as a person and the honesty of your opinions.

      I am much more inclined lately to look at a person’s character, and honesty, and whether they have a genuine love for the People and a desire for govt that serves them well, whether we agree on what shape that needs to take or not. It’s not so much about Right vs. Left for me anymore as it is about Owned vs. Not Owned, The Elitist Corporate State (whether the R or D version) vs. the Rest of Us.

      I like who I like, learn from all, and refuse to lump people into boxes. I could give a rat’s ass anymore about big vs. small govt: I want effective and transparent and representative and ACCOUNTABLE govt, and whatever size that needs to be is irrelevant to me.

      The usual political shunning has zero effect on me, and I think it never will again. To those who might say “You can’t read/listen to/take seriously/argue with/glean any truth from this or that person or source, my answer is a resounding “PFFFFFFFFFFFT” I’ll do what the hell I want and think for myself, thanks. If I think the “loony” avowed Socialist has a point, I’ll say so. And if I think crusty old Krauthammer, or batshit Ron Paul has a point on a subject, I’ll say that too. If anyone doesn’t like it, too bad.

      It feels really good to be completely free and UNAFRAID politically. PUMA and the Hillary trials did that for me, and for that I’ll be always grateful. Your site will remain on my list of conservative blogs I will read, because you are speaking your true mind, not sucking up lockstep to the conservative “machine” party line. Same for TC as a liberal blog – the people are real and the opinions honest, not manufactured by the spin machine. Some people can’t understand how I could like BOTH, but if you step back from the political wars and look at PEOPLE, it’s not so difficult to understand.

      • Everyone should like both, if they have an open mind at all.

      • Hear, hear, WMCB – I too call TC my home base – I visit Afrocity’s blog daily as well – for the same reasons you sited above.

        Indeed, I could not have gotten through the insanity of the elections without this site.

      • *applause*

    • Hey afrocity. You and I don’t agree that often, but if you run for something, you’ve got my vote. 🙂

    • We didn’t split up. The old gang is still here because we made a commitment to this place. We’re still speaking to each other.
      Madamab, taggles, Gary, ladyboomer? They drew a line in the sand and issued demands. They threatened to leave if they couldn’t have their way. Apparently, I was so oppressive and gave them no freedom so they felt it was better to take their purity shit somewhere else.
      And so they would go. There was nothing we could do to stop them.
      Oh well.
      We find their ability to tear each other apart highly entertaining even if it is a waste.

  36. Here’s an image of the day we can all agree as a common issue

  37. not all tea partiers are wingnuts. The Democratic Party would like you to think they are all wingnuts. The dude who started our local chapter is actually a former Dem, who like us, got disgusted with what went on with the party last year. Many of these folx have never organized before. As one local tea partier put it when asked by somebody where the movement was during the Bush years- “we were asleep at the wheel. You want us to go back asleep so our kids & grandkids can (pay for the excesses of our current government?) can’t exactly remember how s/he ended that sentence, sorry. At any rate, they are political novices who were co-opted by the wingnuts becuz the Left, with few exceptions, was too busy swimming in koolaid to take these folx under wing. Now that the koolaid is startting to wear off, I think this would be a good time to start an alternate group to appeal to these Main St folx who are finally fed up with the Govt. It will be hard, initially, since the Tea Party groups were there first,but I think there are enough of us with the political savvy, to prevent co-option & keep the group mainstream. I personally, have been waiting for such a group to form after watching with horror how quickly the tea partiers were trashed by the wingnuts, I did not feel comfortable joining them. I know others who are also disgusted with bailouts, rising unemployment, cap & trade, this health care bs, but who are loathe to join tea partiers for the same reason I am. Also we are anti-war, which the tea party groups don’t seem to be. Perhaps that could be a rallying point- along with it’s the economy stupid- since the majority of Americans are opposed to these wars that Nobama wants to ramp up.

    • At any rate, they are political novices who were co-opted by the wingnuts becuz the Left, with few exceptions, was too busy swimming in koolaid to take these folx under wing.

      yes, the tonedeaf Dem leadership has actively turned people away from the party. There is a broader populist anger out there, that is really just fed up with the abuse of the public trust and a total lack of accountabililty, waiting to be given voice to by a more honest broker than the GOP. The GOP is exploiting the populist anger while the left is by and large too busy deciding if they want to kiss Obama’s ass the entire way to 2012 or take a “pause” in donating to him until election time.

      • The tea party movement in the very beginning had a much broader range of opinions. But those of more left-leaning opinions who were JUST as fed up with the abuses got scared away by not wanting to be associated with wingnuts, and BOTH the Liberal and the conservative mouthpieces fueled that perception.

        Funny, that served both the GOP and the DNC very well, didn’t it? BOTH parties worked hard to make sure the tea parties weren’t a “big tent” of an equally-pissed-off populace from both sides of the aisle. Kinda convenient, that, if you ask me.

        • hammer meet nail head

        • VERRRRY convenient. Which is why any movement we start HAS to be kept mainstream & inclusive of folx from both sides of the aisle, as you put it, & everybody inbetween. NOBODY should feel uncomfortable joining our movement

      • I’m not so sure they are tone deaf but are still operating under the arrogant premise that we have no where else to go.

        • I think we’re saying similar things. I say they are Tonedeaf because they are going about things as if 2008 didn’t fracture the party in a fundamental way.

  38. I think we should stop worrying about what others think or what we can do to make the movement/party more attractive to the masses. Go with our gut, stick to our ideals and repeat the mantra: If we build it they will come. We need to take that leap of faith already.

    • yes! yes! 🙂

    • Yes.

    • I agree. And you know what? People will have to make the choice on whether they agree enough on enough things to support it. I’m tired of “trying to appeal to the largest number”.

      There is NO political group or person that I agree with 100%. “Supporting” a group or person does not imply that I am therefore lockstep in line with every word out of their mouths. That kind of thinking is ruining this country.

      I want honest opinions and beliefs out of ALL of us. Then we can have real discussions instead of just lining up behind flags and firing at each other. The way to “neither a red nor a blue” America is not to water down our differences and say they don’t exist, nor is it to blindly choose partisan sides. It is for each American to be TRUTHFUL about what they really think and feel, and allow others to do the same. Take the power back. STOP being herded like sheep by either party.

  39. Kevin Drum:

    On Tuesday Barack Obama will announce a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan. A week later he’ll be in Oslo accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. Pretty good timing, no?

    Kinda embarrassing, if you’re on the NPP committee.

    • The comments over there are good!

      “The Peace Prize Committee made their poop in public, and now they deserve to have their nose rubbed in it.”

      • The comments are great.

        Mother Jones was all up Obama’s a$$. Guess they must have finally realized they made a seriously wrong turn.

  40. From Gail Evan’s “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman”:
    (Evans was an executive VP at CNN and her advice reminds me of HRC)
    “Personalizing causes trouble…I know many men in postions of power who dislike each other intensely, but when they’re sitting around the conference table, you’d think they were joined at the hip. Their personal feelings don’t matter. They don’t want to be liked. They want to win.”
    Are we willing to put aside personal feelings ( especially those from the 2008 election ) and do the things necessary to win?

  41. “I am a feminist interested in equality”

    That summed up the whole deal, RD, for women who wanted Hillary. As far as the Tea parties go — I’m not sure what they are about? Except for some kind of protest. The last real protests i recall were in the 70’s — so, I wonder how many of the Tea party people are doing that?

    I watched Glenn Beck for awhile — just to see what the other half of the news has to say — but frankly?

    The whole thing is like a three ring circus on TV. They aren’t newscasters. I watch the BBC if I want news.

    I think a lot of people are disillusioned with politics circa now.

    This was something I read yesterday…

    What I can’t BELIEVE is why women (like us) — all of them — could not see why Clinton was going to be very good for the country considering the state it was in.

    WTF happened?

    I’m for some third party RD & Co. Like Indy at this point?
    Most Americans probably are.


    ps: I live in the liberal capital o’ the world and they had a few of those tea parties downtown? Seriously.

    That was a good article above — but, she is taking a feminist approach to Palin in it.

    “I am a feminist interested in equality”


    The Conf. holds the values for tail end baby boom Dems.
    I think.

    • Nice “article” especially next to the canteen ad with the woman in naked backed glory. So which came first, the ad and a required article the pump the ad, or the article and appropriate placement of more women meat.

    • I found that article sexist and clueless about Palin. I am so tired of people not getting it. Palin smiles and it is “come hither”? Why?
      Why can’t she pose for a work out mag in work out clothes without being told she can’t complain when it is used in an out of context manner? And she is NOT a reactionary conservative.

      I am so tired, even the women who are smart just can not help being sucked in to being the womens auxiliary of the left.

    • but, vbonnaire – Hillary DID win the primaries – she got more votes than anyone in a primary – They stole it – they took it away and gave it away – they didn’t want any girl type person getting the prize

    • I tried not to, but ok VB,, I’ll bite: What do you mean by this?

      “The Conf. holds the values for tail end baby boom Dems.”

      • I mean that over the last two years, since the Conf. became a blog (and why) as I have watched the comments, writers, fellow Dems speak?

        I find basic Dem values that I as a CA Dem relate to!

        our group of Dems which would include the Dem women who grew up post 70’s were concerned with equality?

        So, as women we wanted Hillary?

        Dems I know are liberal?

        So is the Conf?

        So, we may be coasts apart but values are alike as Dems.

        I am a Hillary style Dem.

  42. Totally off topic, but I just heard that Chelsea Clinton is officially engaged! Is it too early to start organizing for the baby HRC grandchild’s political future??

  43. What would a women’s party do with a man who agrees with you on policy but alas, sports all the wrong equipment?

    Why not a Liberationist Party?

    I am a black male, one of the few I sometimes think, who does not have any “sibling rivalry” issues about women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights (read: Black liberation), religious liberty, etc.

    I read PUMA blogs all the time and I find more to agree with among you guys than I do any place else. But I have to tell you I would be very uncomfortable telling my friends, “Yes, I am a registered, card carrying WOMAN!”

    I am very hard core about discrimination, oppression and exploitation. I am as passionate about the liberty and dignity of little girls in Afghanistan as I am about those three little girls who were blown up in Birmingham. To me it is the same issue.

    To me , gay marriage is the same issue, the idea that there are “special rules” for some people is evil. I am all about respect and dignity for all and I’m sick of the marginalization of anyone. The ERA is a no brainer that should have been adopted decades ago. It is, too borrow a phrase, SELF EVIDENT. The fact that we put anyone on the back burner is part of the problem. Why should anyone have to “wait” to have their rights respected? Where is that in the constitution?

    What we are talking about is full empowerment and if we can think “all for one and one for all” then we will be empowered. Agreeing on every policy is not required. Agreeing that everyone has a role and a stake in influencing policy is required.

    The corporate elite, the religious demagogues and the party bosses keep us divided and weak. We can allow them to continue to peel off the rich, the religious, the educated, the males, the caucasians, the southerners, whatever, or we can stand united and say, WE are EVERYBODY and EVERYBODY is US. We will defend our ideas, but our identities are not an issue.

    Then again, maybe you guys are really, really, sick of men sticking their noses in and I should go off and start my own “Black Men Who Think Like Women” movement. 🙂

    • “The corporate elite, the religious demagogues and the party bosses keep us divided and weak. We can allow them to continue to peel off the rich, the religious, the educated, the males, the caucasians, the southerners, whatever, or we can stand united and say, WE are EVERYBODY and EVERYBODY is US. We will defend our ideas, but our identities are not an issue”

      Exactly right.

    • Ron

      How about we call it the Women and those who love them party? OR The women’s party everyone invited?
      I am only half kidding. It is just that I think that if we call it the NWP or some variation with the word women in it we attract women and seeing as we are the majority that is a good thing. I don’t want to leave out any women or anyone who agrees with the idea that women should not have to live with taxation without representation.
      In addition I know, though most minorities do not realize it, that women have the back of all other repressed people much more than the good old white boys club (of which Obama is a member). Women holding 51 percent of the power in this country would be good for everyone.

      ps.. I am a member of the NAACP and have been for decades and I am about as white as you can get without being a dead codfish. I see no reason why AA or men can not join in a woman’s movement.

    • Why not a Liberationist Party?

      That gets my affirmation.

    • “What we are talking about is full empowerment and if we can think “all for one and one for all” then we will be empowered. Agreeing on every policy is not required. Agreeing that everyone has a role and a stake in influencing policy is required.”

      Agreed. This is what I was talking about when I said above: “We need to find, define, what it is in women’s concerns that are universal.”

      We are talking about human issues. And, I think that the overall goal is more important than agreeing on every policy issue. You have your goal, your vision. Then you figure out how to get there. And we cannot be excluding people before we even start.

      • I think we’re lost in the “weeds” – let’s focus on how we’ll attract the numbers we need to get our bloc moving forward instead of a name – the name will just show up when we need it. – we need a critical mass to scare the bejeebus out of them and to help others see that there is an alternative to the current situation.

    • “The corporate elite, the religious demagogues and the party bosses keep us divided and weak.” Exactly.

      And dividing us by gender is a very old trick. I want men and women working together. F**k any organization that eliminates in its name nearly half of the population. (I get very prickly around the issue of academic feminism and its frequent bouts of misandry.)

      The best was to counterattack is in numbers. The more of us aligned under a few simple, straightforward (non-nuanced) tenets the better. Public sentiment can reach a tipping point and the citizenry will throw the self-serving, corrupt jerks out.

      Small actions done by LOTS of people will work.

      possible simple tenets:
      equality for all
      no discrimination
      get the big $ out of politics
      separate church and state
      encourage political awareness and vigilance in protecting our rights

      possible simple actions:
      We can vote with our wallets! Do not buy from any company which has lobbied against our constitutional rights. Do not participate or donate to churches which have meddled in politics even if you like what they are doing.

      couldn’t resist tossing in a little rough brainstorming to this great thread.

      now back to making a living 😉

    • I like the way you think. I would put you on the drafting committee, which in my mind should be very, very small.

      • RD,

        I find political marketing fascinating. A carefully crafted message with a good hook can miraculously engage and energize across “aisles” and ideologies.

        We don’t necessarily need a new party, we need a huge, cohesive motivated populace.

        If the message is crystal clear then all the usual infiltration, splintering, bickering won’t have a chance.

        The International Declaration of Human Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights) has some good points to chew on.

      • Thanks RD. 🙂

  44. I heard part of a Howard Zinn interview on my local NPR last night. He mentioned how the Declaration of Independence included the right of the people to dissolve a government that did not meet their needs.

    To me, the main impediment is the corporate control of our government, made possible by the high cost of elections, mostly to pay for TV ads that run on the “people’s airwaves,” that enrich the corporations that have been given them (do they pay for the right)?

    Then these same corporations sell Bush over Gore, the Iraq War, and Chicago politics over Clinton people politics, or McCain, who wasn’t in it to line his pockets and took public financing. Obama’s election costs $10 to $15 per vote.

    Zinn was inspired by his years in the American South during the Civil Rights movement, during which ordinary people who had no power changed the culture.

    Gandhi, anyone?

  45. This is encouraging. Only 0.125% of Republicans think Cheney best reflects core GOP values.

  46. I keep coming back to where we started, gang – I agree that we need to be focused on what the American people (EVERYONE) needs – if we do that women’s need will be taken care of.

    As long as we focus on “women” we are creating the same kind of problem that other groups have had – I don’t want to be segregated from the mainstream population – I KNOW that if we focus on true gender parity for all we will be ok.

  47. I think that the problem is people are too afraid to take a stance and say “Hey I’m part of this movement now let’s go full force ahead.” That’s sort of what happened with PUMA, IMO, there were too many people afraid to call themselves a PUMA and afraid to work with certain blogs rather than joining together for the common end goal.

    • I would agree to an extent. Perhaps I’m a contrarian but until there is a third party worth a darn they can pry the label PUMA from my cold dead hands. I could give two flying figs if some kool aid swiller calls me a Republican or if some Republican calls me a commie….. Frankly, I think it’s a pipe dream that there isn’t going to be derision no matter what the block or party that is created is called. Expect it. Does anyone really think that either of the two parties are going to give up their manipulative power and just hand some of their power over to a bunch of nobodies interested in the interests of the dirty unwashed masses they so kindly refer to as voters? I don’t.

      • I think keeping the PUMA label is fine. But I don’t think it needs to become a third party to be effective. Just look back at the anti war Bush protesters… It wasn’t until they started to come out that the tide started to turn against the war. The tea partiers have the right ideas but the wrong reasons.

  48. I think The Third Party should take a stand and define the role of government to exclude those issues that stem from the various religions—leave religion to religions. Our goal should be to work for a government that is dedicated to developing, maintaining and sustaining a level playing field.

    It means not interfering with personal moral decisions. It means acknowledging that abortion is a complex and difficult issue. It means supporting policies that will make abortions safe when needed and rare.

    We have to oppose moral self-righteousness and support robust public debate on policy issues focused upon transparency in all public affairs. To me the transparency issue is fundamental to the public having the facts of the matter.

  49. We should see our most important job as the political education of the American people in the highest sense of that word. Electing public officials is important but if all we did was increase the political IQ of every voter by 20% it would be a giant achievement and result in better candidates in the mainstream.

  50. many good ideas. It might be nice if the visual symbol for the new – coalition, party, whatever – is the FEMALE statue of Liberty. Beloved by all, not a wild puma cat that is dangerous. Visual symbols are extremely powerful.

  51. Okay, I don’t have time to read the whole thread right now, but I’ll be back to it soon.

    My observations:
    A) Individual activism does NOT WORK. We can’t blog or boycott or email our senators or sign petitions. That is not going to be enough to change things. What we need is HUGE NUMBERS. It’s the only way to balance out the crazy amount of money riding against us. Yes, this means we will have to *Gasp, Horror!* work with people we disagree with, i.e. republicans.

    B) What does work: Using our leverage. Groups of voters have power, but they can’t use that power except to choose between the presented options. Unless the groups that present the options want to court you. In order to be courted as a voting bloc, you must be a LARGE group, and you must be COMMITTED to voting (or abstaining) together as a group. There can be absolutely no tolerance for “It’s just too important an election this year.” No holding our noses.

    C) In order to get a committed large bloc, we have to be bipartisan, which means we start with an agenda that benefits everyone, including Republican voters. Our only agenda becomes making the environment more conducive for our long-term goals to be accomplished.

    D) Thus, our short term goal is working with the pissed off right and the pissed off left to change the way things work right now. We attack media bias and consolidation (without venturing an opinion as to which direction it’s biased in). We attack the way that both parties run their primaries, and the security weaknesses in the general election system that leave us open to electoral fraud. We push for instant run-off voting. We push for serious campaign finance reform. What we’re doing is plugging the holes in the actual democratic system of the country. This makes third parties plausible options in the future. Then, once the vote is more splintered, individual interest groups will be courted by the larger parties to a much greater degree. Then we push hard for a progressive, feminist agenda. It’s a VERY long-term strategy.

    The timeline goes like this:
    Now to 2012- Coalition Building
    2012- Throw our support between one candidate or another, or abstain. Some unified effort, find some way to quantify it, so we have evidence for our numbers.
    2012- We make ourselves known to our congresspeople (on both sides of the aisle) and demand electoral reform.
    2014- We throw our support behind the candidates most likely to support our agenda.
    Next several years- We push for legislation that fixes the electoral process.
    2016 & 2020- We see the third parties gain traction. We disband our coalition. We put together a more rarefied voting bloc, one based on our actual goals. We make ourselves and our demands known. We do not support candidates who do not support us.

    But we can’t get started until we counteract the effect of the big money corporatism that’s running everything now.

    • excellent, well thought out and stated. I think a movement / voting block that could appeal to both dems and repubs is a “Populist” vs. “Corporate” movement. (sound bytes count!) Many dems actually think of themselves as populist, but elected dems vote quite the opposite. Both parties now have corporatist and populist members. The Green and Peace parties have the leftie populists. As a Nader supporter in this last election I know Nader supporters would love to have some real power to their votes.

  52. Reclaiming the democratic party is the way to do it. Third parties just don’t work.

  53. I don’t like the idea of “working within” the Democratic party. While I espouse many, if not most of their values and positions on the issues, the party itself cannot be trusted. They proved that in the 2008 primary.

    Which brings me to this: PUMA is so not dead. It may have been maimed by a few malcreants, but the principle lives on. Party Unity My Ass. No party gets my loyalty when they don’t deserve it. Last election, the Democrats didn’t get my automatic vote and likewaise, the Republicans weren’t rejected simply for having an R after their name. I voted anti-incumbent, crossing all party lines. My feeling was and is: The country is in a sad state. You contributed to making it this way. Next. (Unless the person had done a stellar job by my standards, then they got another crack at it.)

    If you want to have a movement, you have to want something. Freedom. Civil rights. No taxation without representation. Whatever. The question is not who are our allies and what party can we usurp. The question is what do we really want?

    Me, I want:
    – Fair elections (including primaries).
    – Accountability in government officials and offices.
    – A shot at the American Dream on a level playing field.
    – My civil rights, which include the right to terminate a pregnancy (even though that’s no longer biologically possible), the right to marry whomever I want (which is possible in my state and a few others).

    what I don’t want is a handful of corporations controlling EVERYthing. They own the food supply and they’re killing us with it (see Fresh, Inc. and Fast Food Nation). They own all the media. They own our elected officials. They own our jobs (and they have chosen to move thenm elsewhere). They own our ability to start and maintain small businesses. They own our ability to own and maintain homes. They own our right to health care. They own EVERYthing. In some states and countries, they own the water supply!

    Do you think a bunch of people who are poisoning you through the food supply and bankrupting you through the financial system really care if you have access to quality, affordable health care?

    I vote for an anti-corporate movement. I am no happier with a president owned by Big Money than I was with a president owned by Big Oil. Until we divest the corporations of their enormous power, none of us will have our rights and none of us will be free. THEY will always choose our presidents, and when they can’t choose them, THEY will come to own them anyway, or they will just off them or neuter them.

    Corporations are at the root of everything that has gone wrong in America (or even the world). Unless they are right-sized, they will just get worse.

    This is something that men, women, left, right, young, old, black, white, and the ex-middle class can all get behind. Many already are. It just needs to be formalized, led, and managed.

    (And no, I wasn’t a Nader supporter.)

  54. I’m just going to re-post the comment(s) I left at Corrente last night:

    At my place we’re talking through a pan-woman platform; we’ll see how that goes. My own inclination is still towards a leftist approach (feminism plus populism and progressive values). That’s what the political moment calls for. Everybody has suddenly realized that the Democrats are just Republicans with better hair. The left is up in arms.

    And if a new leftist movement is going to start, I want women in at the beginning, leading and shaping. Otherwise men will do what they always do (present company excluded).


    Jesus, people keep trying to come up with [names] before we even know what we’re doing! I guess I’m old-fashioned: to me, the marketing comes after the idea. (By the way and for the record, no party I am ever involved in starting will be saddled with a name like “leftist.” I called my blog that because it was personally hilarious to me to proudly assume a name that, in terms of politics or market share, is the kiss of death.)

    I think what I’m going to do next with the Diocletian/party business is just sketch out what I want to do. What I believe in, modified for sense and sensibility of course (since most Americans aren’t flaming hippies like me). As you might guess, it’s very much feminism and populism mixed together. And we’ll see how that rubs the oyster.


    People keep talking to me about some pan-woman thing like The New Agenda, but I’ve fucking DONE The New Agenda. I think it’s just selection bias (on the part of the commenters I mean). That or Amy is paying them.

    Riverdaughter, you say that brainstorming “isn’t pretty.” No, of course not! It never is.

    But the purpose of public blog brainstorming is not to actually develop a marketable political strategy. Almost nothing that gets said in that context is ready for prime time, or even close. It’s about flushing out ideas and figuring out what people want. And sometimes, about figuring out who people really are and where there are potential allies (and enemies).

    • Secrecy is anathema to democracy.

      (except for the secret ballot)

    • For me, the Entire appeal of the “pan-woman thing” is that it minimizes the risk that women will put in a huge amount of time, effort, and money and get stabbed in the back and shoved to the back of the line as a reward. That’s not much, but I don’t see any other way that we won’t be “Not your turn yet, honey”ed again.

      • I think what we have to do is make sure it’s woven into the fabric of the thing, as I said here:


        • I know. I saw that post. I’m just not sure what that would look like. I was involved with the Green Party of Alberta several years ago. Feminism is one of the 10 Key Principles. It’s a major part of the platform globally. And yet when it came right down to it, our provincial party leader was wishy-washy on choice, and had clearly put no thought into the discussion. He was willing to give on the “women’s stuff” if it meant getting the conservative small-town guys to listen to him about the environmental issues of the day.

          So we weave feminism into the fabric of the thing? Sounds good. But every time we try to even mention that possibility people say that we’re alienating potential allies, or single issue voting, or bring up twelve other causes we need to be concerned most about, or they What About Teh Menz us. Not to mention that feminists have pretty divided opinions on a number of major issues.

          I just have no idea whether any of this is plausible.

          • He was willing to give on the “women’s stuff” if it meant getting the conservative small-town guys to listen to him about the environmental issues of the day.

            Yeah, but that’s kind of the point. He wasn’t willing to give on environmental issues, because that’s what the Greens are really about.

            Feminism is a platform item for them, but it’s not at the heart of what they do or what they live for. And so, like all progressive movements and parties, they’ll sell out women in a heart beat.

          • Would a “she” be willing to give on women’s issues?

          • You have to ask?

          • It was a rhetorical question.

          • But then again, how many “feminists” supported Obama over Hillary?

          • But what are the concrete steps we can take to ensure women’s rights won’t get pushed aside like every other time?

          • #1 Quit voting for misogynist asshats.

          • If there’s one thing this election taught me, it’s that we’ll wake up and start supporting each other in a bipartisan fashion to combat this tidal wave of misogyny only AFTER we’re being held in cages. 🙂 At which point, it may be too late to reshape our fates through the franchise, just a guess.

          • WORD, Seriously.

  55. Also, any new progressive movement that doesn’t explicitly center feminism will end up like every other progressive movement since the French Revolution: women’s issues will get axed and women guilted into sacrificing for the greater good.

    Just saying “human equality” isn’t enough. It never has been. After 200 years, the pattern ought to be pretty clear. One thing I’m absolutely not interested in doing is repeating the mistakes of the past.

    I think what happens every few years or decades is that women get interested in politics, discover sexism, and then think the solution is to to get everyone to sign off on human equality. “Our NEW movement will be for everyone!” No special attention to women, none of that stuff — “we just want to be exactly equal!” — and they think that once they explain that nicely to the men things will be different. But they’re not. Ever. And so the women get shat on, the men get whatever is on their to-do list (which never includes women’s rights), and on and on goes the merry-go-round.

    Then a few decades later the daughters or granddaughters of those same women get interested in politics, discover sexism, think the solution is to get everyone to sign off on human equality….

    • *jumps up and down fangirlishly* Yep. If this rising tide lifting all boats stuff actually worked, then the Dem party would actually advance the rights of women and working people, despite holding us in utter contempt. But it doesn’t happen.

  56. Don’t know where you get your info but the Tea Party movement here in New Mexico was NOT started by “Republican operatives”…it was started by people fed up with BOTH parties…..Republican and Democratic wingnuts…..I personally would never vote for a member of either party…both have doomed this country! It is truly time for a change….politicians are NOT leaders…they are power brokers. If we cannot elect “leaders” were are in a big fix….Barack Obama is not a leader, he is a politician.

  57. Call it the Liberty or Freedom party/block.

    Considering the penchant this country had with renaming french fries and toast I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone opposed to the name on its face.

    I also would go so far as to suggest that liberty would include having the freedom to make decisions regarding your body free of government interference.

  58. “If there’s one thing this election taught me, it’s that we’ll wake up and start supporting each other in a bipartisan fashion to combat this tidal wave of misogyny only AFTER we’re being held in cages. 🙂 At which point, it may be too late to reshape our fates through the franchise, just a guess.”

    Serioulsy, seriously.

  59. How about this name DOMINATE?

  60. […] in the Clinton coalition out except those who went wingnut. See C1, D3 and comments 82, 99 and 187. Riverdaughter on a third party: “The time is right for a new movement. The American middle class is sick and tired of […]

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