Well, I was about to head up to bed, taking my working class crafted beer (Sierra Nevada) with me to quench my thirst as I read more of Obama’s 2nd book. But then I saw this comment from danceswithpuma in the Puma Birthday Party over at The Confluence, which led me to this comment at PUMApac. Long story short, I googled and found the article (Why Obama & Dean Fear 4 Million!) cited in that last comment, and it is the only press piece (not written by an actual PUMA) that I have seen that seeks to understand the PUMA movement without denigrating it. That last link is the one you want to go directly to the article. (You don’t have to chase your tail like I did. Heh) And it is really good.
It’s posted on a site called Politically Drunk on Power!, which has as its tagline the following: Politically Drunk On Power is a site dedicated to bringing common sense and historical perspective back to today’s polarized and populist political environment. Sounds pretty good to me. Anyway, the article is great in that it really tries to give PUMAs a fair shake, and pretty accurately describes our grievances and what we’re trying to do here with this movement (granted the author calls it a campaign). I really liked the appeal to Washingtonian citizens, as in Geo. W. himself. It’s true, we are more like the founders than we are like modern political animals.
As interesting as that is, I found something else in that article that helps with what I’m trying to do with this blog. In addition to articulating the narrative of the PUMA movement (along with hundreds of other blogs), I am interested in pushing this movement out into the streets. I want to build the movement, and I see stepping outside of our admittedly fabulous echo chamber to be an important step in doing that. It’s why I make my own postcards and pin them to the corkboard at my local grocer, and hand them out to anyone who will listen.
But Peacocks and Lilies is also about reasoning out the best way to use the leverage we have this year. I want PUMAs, especially PUMAs caught up in the emotional aspect of this movement, to take a real honest look athe the options, and to be given the chance to decide based on changed criteria from previous elections. We’re not getting anywhere following the same old patterns. SO maybe we should consider such options as that McCain is the most effective way to utilize your leverage, because it forces the Obama camp to find two votes to replace yours. To that end, I found this part of the article most intriguing:
The next problem for the Obama campaign is fundraising. The summer months are typically the doldrums of campaign financing with most donations flowing in after the conventions. Obama flipped on his commitment to public funding because of this reason. The Obama campaign expected growth in the fundraising in May, especially in light of the heated primary race. Yet, Obama’s campaign donations dropped by 33% in May, while Clinton’s and especially McCain’s increased. The Obama campaigns understands that he must garner the support of Hillary Clinton and his donors must be willing to help her retire her campaign debt. If they don’t, there will be a backlash from even more Clinton supporters. However, Obama has no intention of pushing for a quick retirement of Clinton’s $20 million debt. He know that the PUMA community is still donating to the Clinton campaign and the sooner that debt is retired, the sooner their donations will flow to John McCain. Obama is banking on the fact that Clinton’s debt will not be retired before the conventions, thus limiting contributions to the McCain campaign by Puma’s and the spending of contributions by McCain who is taking public financing.
The fear that the PUMA community and their silent supporters will realize the power of their fundraising. If just half of those 4 million who do not support Obama were to immediately give $10 to both the McCain campaign and PumaPac, the influx of cash would spread the Puma message like a wildfire through the media while providing the McCain campaign with the extra resources they need to overcome the wealthy who have funded 60% of Obama’s campaign. If the just half of this 4 million were to contribute the media would be forced to question a campaign that they have more often referred to as a “movement”, than as the “political campaign” it is.
I was so intrigued I immediately gave $10 to PUMApac, via the contribution page. I couldn’t quite bring myself to donate a whole $10 to McCain yet, but I did go and immediately gave him $5.44. I will do so again over the summer, because this article is right. As long as our funds are tied up in retiring Hillary’s debt, the less effective we’ll be in combating the Obama campaign, or in building a challenge movement at the Convention. And it’s by design.
I didn’t ask for this fight. I sure didn’t ask to fund it, but fund it I will, even on my meager working class wages. It’s too important. Because, as J. Brown, the author of this article so eloquently put it:
PUMA, whether you agree with their members personal positions or not, embodies the spirit of American Independence and the spirit of our founding fathers that our strength lies in the people, not in political parties.
So, if you are inclined, and have the funds, I encourage you to donate toward the preservation of your government.