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Sunday: Revolution Roll Call

Cold feet.

The reality of the election is creeping up on us.  Creep is a perfect word because I am starting to see some of our number starting to have second thoughts.  Some of you feel you MUST make a decision.  It has to be final.  Convert or die.  Tell me, PUMAs, who is forcing you to commit to one candidate or another?  And what is wrong with ambiguity?  Rest assured, there *will* be a winner on November 4.  It will be decisive.  But there is no reason why either side should feel comfortable right now.  And there is certainly no reason for the Obamaphiles to threaten to put you to the sword.  You don’t owe them anything, not even a conversation if you don’t want one.

But there is still a decision to be made.  Let me tell you where I am right now.  In my mind, I am trying to reduce each campaign to a single descriptive word.  I’m still working on McCain’s, which I see as treading a very fine line, carefully avoiding mine fields that would upset the fragile coalition it is trying to assemble.  It is very cautious and yet there is an element of adventurousness in Sarah Palin that says “risk taker”.  Getting the right balance is very tricky.  On the Democratic side, there is one word that comes to mind and it’s very strong:
pernicious.

per·ni·cious (pr-nshs)
adj.
1.
a. Tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly: a pernicious virus.
b. Causing great harm; destructive: pernicious rumors.
2. Archaic Evil; wicked.

The election of Obama will be the death of the Democratic party. His campaign has been nothing short of astonishing in its destructive power. We thought the party was the party that supported equality for women. Not so. Obama’s campaign has pandered to the worst impulses in testosterone fueled young and middle aged guys and the women who want to be loved by them. By first unleashing a vicious attack on Hillary and now Sarah Palin, Obama supporters have set women in the public sphere back by decades. Will we see a return to the Mad Men era of diminishing women to sub-adult status? If we let Obama win, we might.

His campaign has also used racism as a weapon.  Racism is a serious problem but unlike sexism, our culture is much less tolerant to public displays of racism.  But this campaign season, we are witnessing a redefinition of racism to mean whatever Obama says it means.  Any criticism of him is filtered through a black and white filter.  Obamaphiles have hurled the racism label at us since before January with great success.  They have offended the political junkies and voting population.  I predict a backlash.  But what is even more astonishing is that now even among ourselves, “the shrieking hordes of paranoid holdouts”, we are starting to attack each other with the label when there is absolutely no racism or intent to discriminate. We are even alienating ourselves.  That is destruction I couldn’t have predicted a few months ago.

It doesn’t stop there.  The Obama campaign has purged the party of the elderly, the GLBT community and working people.  For years, the party was once the champion of these groups.  It was its distinguishing characteristic.  Now, the Obama campaign taps into the resentment of its new coalition towards the old coalition.  “Those people” are not worthy of protection or courtesy or even enfranchisement.  The Obama campaign makes it OK to treat them as less than human.

“Those people” are us.

A couple of weeks ago, a group of us discussed how we could involve more people into the movement to reform the Democratic party.  We were wary of using the PUMA name because some groups felt squeamish about it and didn’t want to coexist under that umbrella, even though they were indistinguishable from us in every way.  Some of those people were rationalizing why they were different from us, as if there was a reason for why they needed to distance themselves.  The PUMA name, it seems, has become associated with all of the out groups of the old coalition.  We are the lunchtable where the stupid and the ugly people sit.  Well, I *know* we’re not stupid.

What’s wrong with getting old?  As my mother says, “it sure beats the alternative”.  It is an inescapable fact of life.  It will happen to Obamaphiles too.  Ooo, here’s an idea.  Next time you meet a young Obama campaign person, tell them they’re going to be 60 someday, if they’re lucky.  See what happens.

And what’s wrong with being a woman?  How about uneducated?  How many women my mother’s age were perfectly capable of excelling in college but never got the opportunity to go?  What’s wrong with being working class?  Most of the people in this country are working class.  I have one of those creative class jobs and I consider myself working class.  The working class has moved from the factories into the cube farm.  We still work with our hands, it’s just that now those hands touch keyboards instead of widgets.

But if we allow Obama to win, our power will be diminished, perhaps for generations.  And when I say “our” power, I mean most Americans.  If we allow Obama to win, we give our consent to stealing nominations by party manipulation.  We say that it is OK to conduct fraudulent elections, misleading voters about their self-determination.  We say it is OK to take taxpayer’s money to conduct sham primaries.  We give our permission to hooligans to be bussed in from other states to bully and intimidate voters during elections.  We capitulate to the diminishment of women, the elderly, working class people, gay people.  We participate in our own demise.

A few months ago, Dr. Violet Socks wrote one of the most insightful pieces of the whole election season.  In Archimedes Lever, she describes the situation we presently face.  We PUMAs and like minded people have a huge lever in front of us.  If we choose to throw that lever, we can change history.  We can bring this pernicious version of the Democratic party to its knees.  It is in the interests of the party to make us believe that we are helpless, that we can’t or shouldn’t pull the lever, hence the renewal of the haka against us.  The polls are going in Obama’s favor, they say.  We are racists, they shout.  We women are standing in the way of Obama’s victory.

Oh, really? How about this one: Obama is standing in the way of our personhood.  Obama stands in the way of our self-determination.  Obama stands in the way of our dignity and worth.  Friends, it is time we recognized our power, our amazing strength.  WE have the votes to swing this country in OUR election.  We have the ability to send this pernicious party apparatus to the level of Hell where it belongs.  We can give a new Democratic party four years to rebuild and put the remaining Democrats on notice that we expect them to represent US. We can start our own Revolution.

Are you with me, PUMAs?  Sound off.  Tell us which Great State you are voting from and what the power of your vote is going to do this November.

The Ghost of Violet Socks and Cold-blooded Pragmatism

The Ghost of Violet Socks at the Reclusive Leftist lays out a very persuasive argument for not supporting Obama in Archimedes Lever. I encourage you all to scoot over there to read it and here are some tempting morsels:

This has been the problem facing American feminists for years. Long before Hillary ran for President, long before Barack Obama smugly assured the world that Hillary’s supporters would vote for him in a flash, we had a problem. The Democrats weren’t earning our loyalty. They were taking us for granted, knowing that no matter how little they did to earn our support, every year women would still go to the polls and vote Democrat anyway because, remember, the Republicans are even worse….

What we needed, feminists said to each other, was leverage. How could we get leverage? How could we get the Democrats — old and new — to represent women’s interests? How could we create a situation where women’s votes weren’t assumed to be in the bag, but were a prize that Democrats would have to work for?

Voilà. Leverage is here.

It’s here because of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the shameful way she was treated — by the media, by the Obama camp, and, most damning of all, by the Democratic National Party. Even women who didn’t personally support the Clinton candidacy were nonetheless appalled by the Trashing of Hillary. It’s not that she lost; after all, losing is part of the game. It’s that she wasn’t beaten in a fair fight. She was treated like garbage, and she’s still being treated like garbage. (As of this writing, Howard Dean is refusing to let Hillary’s name be on the ballot for the first vote at the convention, a startling departure from the norm. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in this campaign and she earned more primary votes for President than any Democratic candidate in the history of this country. And the DNC won’t even let her name be on the ballot.) The huge swell of anger in the land is the righteous rage of millions of women — women who are armed and more than ready to punish the DNC. Over and over the message is being beamed straight to the powers-that-be on a laser light of pure anger: You don’t get to take our votes for granted anymore. No more.

It’s a glorious situation. It’s what we’ve needed for years. Finally, the Democrats have to work for our votes! Finally, we have leverage!

She’s absolutely right but there I’m going to expand on this a bit. Here is our lever and we may never get another crack at it. Now, the Axelrove’s are busily crafting some nifty psychological warfare to use against us. After all, we *are* women and they know that we have been conditioned to look out for others. We are taught to be altruists. We are told that we fulfill ourselves if we sacrifice for others.

F%^& that $*I).

Are they telling me that if any of the blogger boyz were presented with this opportinity that they wouldn’t pull that lever with all their might? Of course they would. There’s nothing self-sacrificing about Markos Moultsas or Joshua Michah Marshall or Matt Yglesias. They’re all about climbing over us and slitting our throats if we get in their way. They don’t waste their time with guilt and shame and duty. They see what it best for them and they pursue it with a single minded intensity. They are cold-blooded pragmatists.

I happen to be a cold-blooded pragmatist as well when it comes to politics. I’m going to harden my heart. I am not going to let anyone play any mindf^*)ing games with me. If the Obamaphiles didn’t want the Democrats to lose this year, they had a choice. It’s now time they exercise it.

As Lady Macbeth said:
“Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty!

Let’s not pass this opportunity up. Let’s flex our muscles and pull the lever.