A lot has already been written about the duel Salon articles by Walter Shapiro and Rebecca Traister. Shapiro is a dickless wonder who doesn’t even deserve a reaction, so I’ll just skip right over that. If you’re curious, Dr. Socks has a run-down on it. I think the Traister article is much more interesting, if nearly as insulting as Shapiro’s.
Traister’s article ostensibly attempts to enumerate the various reasons PUMAs exist, but what she’s really trying to do is what any given political pundit you see on TV or read on the ‘Net tries to do: Shape the narrative. This is evident by the 12 reasons she lists, which do not include the most pressing or important at all. And she lies straight up about several of them. Let’s take them on one by one, shall we?
1. They are angry because their candidate lost a close contest.
Bullshit. Clinton supporters are angry because their candidate lost in a RIGGED contest. I don’t know any other word that accurately describes the travesty of FL & MI, the actions of Dean and Brazille, and Obama’s caucus strategy, as well as the immediate assimilation of the DNC into the Chicago Machine. We are angry that the values we thought the Democrats stood for were made a mockery so that some newbie with no experience and a questionable record could be anointed the winner. We are pissed because this is a Republican strategy, not a Democratic one.
What I wrote above are the major reasons for the PUMA movement, yet they are not mentioned at all in this article, or any article, for that matter, that seeks to try to explain us to the masses. The reason for this is simple: Cover up. They don’t want the masses to know that Obama and Dean and Brazille are thieves with Republican inclinations, because that doesn’t fit their chosen storyline of the great and awesome Obama.
2. They are angry because their historic opportunity is over.
And bullshit. They are pissed because their historic opportunity was stolen due to a rigged primary. Some of us, those with more knowledge of history than others, are also pissed that this went down in the same rude, bullshit way the 15th amendment went down, with women ridiculed and excluded on purpose, and a rift driven through the First Wave as a result. Those of us who understand that are pissed because it didn’t have to be an either/or proposition–not then, and not now.
3. They are angry about rumors that Obama may choose a woman other than Hillary Clinton as his running mate.
For some, this is true, but not the way Traister (might as well be Traitor) stages it. And stage it she does. For her, this one is all about the Vagina Voter. Which is bullshit. Women this time around had a sound, experienced candidate who happened to have a vagina, which upped the already up level of excitement. I would argue (admittedly with no proof) that very few people voted for Clinton because she was a woman–that was just a pleasant aside. However, many voters, both black and white, voted for Obama simply because he was black, and without knowing a single accomplishment he has made in his tenure in national politics, and without caring that he is completely inexperienced.
What pisses off Clinton supporters about this is the cynical, manipulative ploy offering a different female VP candidate would be. It’s just more offensive marketing. Since most of us believe that Clinton is the most electable Democrat at this time, offering another female candidate will do nothing to placate us, because we reject attempts at placation. We want our party back and will accept nothing less.
4. They are angry that we started to talk about sexism only once Clinton stopped being a threat.
This is true, but it isn’t what drives the PUMA movement. See my response to #1 for the Prime Motivator of PUMAs. We are a principled species, and we know that this election was rigged and gerrymandered like a Texas congressional district.
But yeah, the fact that everyone only started talking about sexism after it could do no good is a valid reason for being pissed off at a pundit class whose main purpose is to lead you astray from your own principles. They are there to dupe you. Don’t buy it.
5. They are angry at the media’s repeated denial of sexism, and they are angry at Keith Olbermann.
True, and I would add continued denials. To this day they claim that, and yes, Olbermann is the worst. But go ahead, google his name. It’s interesting. You’ll find out he’s a womanizer with a tiny penis, which explains so very much. I’m feeling pretty callous today, in the midst of everyone trying to tell me what I think and why, so let me just say that I wish for a heart attack Russert-style for that man every fucking day.
6. They are mad at Howard Dean.
You bet your bottom dollar we are, and yes, it has a lot to do with MI & FL, but that’s not the whole story. He has run the DNC into the ground, so much so that it is but a vestige in the Obama campaign. The collusion between the Obama camp and the DNC during this primary season is so evident that PUMAs routinely refer to the DNC as the ONC now, and that is closer to the truth than any other name. But then, this is Chicago politics we’re talking about, and building the machine is their greatest strength. I personally take great pleasure in resisting their propoganda and strong-arming style.
7. They are mad at Barack Obama.
Oh yes, we are. Because he is a sexist, arrogant asshole. We are also angry because he is the candidate most like Bush and our Party leadership fell for it. And we are angry because he’s inexperienced, clueless, and leans right. Just look at his FISA compromise, or his now revoked faux presidential seal.
And though people kept erroneously claiming during the primary season that there was little difference in the policy proposals of Obama and Clinton, there absolutely was. On health care, energy, the economy, and the war, Clinton was far better than Obama, and a cursory search will show that any commonalities they shared were the result of Obama adapting his policy points to Clinton’s already strong ones. So yes, we are pissed that, once again, the woman does all the work, and the skinny, inexperienced newbie who chums it up with the boss for political advantage gets all the credit and the shiny new office, based on all the work the woman did. Oh yeah, he can most especially fuck off for that.
8. They are mad at Bill Clinton. Um, obviously.
She offers this with no comment because she knows it is a lie. Everybody in the press hates Bill Clinton, because he foiled all their perfect plans, and because they could never own him. ‘Nuff said.
9. They are mad at Mark Penn.
I’m going to switch to translation mode, because it is clear what she’s saying here without her being clear about saying it. Translation: I (Traister) still hate Mark Penn. Personally, I couldn’t care less about Mark Penn. He’s a fucking pollster, not the devil incarnate. Did he cost a lot of money? Sure, but look how fucking much money the Obama campaign spent, and still under-paid his staff, thanks to Republican philosophies such as Markos Moulitsas spouts in Crashing the Gate. I hope those employees appreciate the fact that Obama blew so much money on advertising that never helped him in key states like Ohio, PA, WV, PR, etc. That money came right out of their pockets.
10. They are mad at Hillary Clinton for conceding and not taking their fight on to Denver.
We’re back to bullshit. Most of us are not mad about this. Most of us understand why she did that, and we approve. We want her to be President, and we want her to preserve that option for herself and us should we succeed in defeating the authoritarian faction now seeking to take over our party. A party most of us have belonged to for years, btw, unlike the newbies supporting the newbie.
This one was also offered without additional comment by Traister. She just pops it out there and doesn’t back it up with anything. She can’t, because she’s lying and she knows it.
11. They are mad that everyone believes them to be old, white and racist. They are mad at the people they thought were supposed to be progressives for treating them badly.
This is true, but again, it is not the driving force behind us. It’s just incidental anger. And it’s not what other people are saying about them that pisses them off. It’s what those people are saying about themselves when they do so. They are saying it is okay to take cynical advantage of race relations in this country, that it is okay to resort to lies as long as it is effective, and that they themselves are, while supposedly Democrats, not at all progressive. It is more proof that the party, at the constituency level, is leaning right, which is unsurprising considering Democrats have not done a damn thing to protect progressive values in over seven years. Unsurprising, but still unacceptable. We are fighting against the re-branding of the Democrats as Republicans.
12. And finally, they are angry because they feel they are held hostage by the party by their reproductive organs.
This was true. At first, many women were mad about that. Now it’s just an issue diffused. It is as stupid to allow your vote to be held hostage by your uterus as O-bots claim voting for a vagina is (note, they never once said it was stupid to vote for pigment). Now this issue will not work on millions of women and men, because it has been abused so badly by the party elite and the O-bots this year. Nice work giving up your leverage like that, morons. But I thank you for it. Because it allowed me to GAIN leverage this year, and I will not squander that opportunity for an appeal to a body organ.
But read the whole thing for yourself. It’s highly enlightening, if only because, as the movement grows, you will be hearing these lies and deliberately misleading reasons repeated in the future. The media is just now getting their story about us together, because we are growing so much that we can’t be ignored anymore, which was their first choice.
In their story, you will never hear about the fact that this election was rigged and stolen, and that it’s not too late to fix it, which is the number 1 driving force behind the PUMA movement. You will never hear that we are concerned about Obama’s authoritarian tendencies, which is, IMO, the number 2 driving force behind the PUMA movement. You will never hear about the Democrats’ right-dive into Republican waters, which I believe is the number 3 driving force behind the PUMA movement. You will never hear about this because that is what the pundits and their corporate bosses want. They want, in the words of the unforgettable Miss Kitty in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, “a cat that’s more like a dog.”
But most importantly, never forget that we are getting this kind of publicity because what we are doing is working.