why do want old ladies vote for obama

Remember “All your bases are belong to us?” Yeah, it’s that kind of title. It comes from my blogstats, and indicates one way an O-bot found my blog. By searching with that phrase. It also demonstrates that at least some of them want to know why we do what we do.

Which brings me around to a little thing that’s been bothering me today: language. I’ve been frustrated for a while about how the PUMA movement has been proceeding. Despite the fact that I’ve cheerfully and publicly been on board with pushing this movement, and doing everything I can draw attention to it, I sometimes disagree with it, and often find myself disappointed in it. On it’s worst day, it’s a movement of chatterers in an echo chamber, with no inclination to get out. On it’s best day, it’s just not good enough yet. I’ve been trying to help, but have felt largely ignored by the leaderships of these various coalitions, even as increasing numbers of ground troops within the movement seem to think what I am talking about is worthwhile.

And it is worthwhile. So far, the media has painted us as a quaint, if cooky, little phenomenon that will ultimately go away once the Convention is over. They make no effort to try to understand us, or our very rational complaints about a corrupt primary season. And no one that I have seen yet is using their 15 minutes of media fame to actually explain it. Well, except Harriet Christian, but even she is not articulating it in an unemotional way, which will be required if we ever hope to be taken seriously, and have a shot at salvaging the Democratic Party. One question just keeps going over and over again in my head:

If Obama wins anyway, what kind of power will we have?

If we keep doing it like we’ve been doing it, the answer will be a resounding NONE. Do you honestly think we can sit around and rely on trashing Obama in some of the exceedingly Republican-like ways some of us are, and hope to be listened to at the Convention? Or after? Not bloody likely. And we have zero hope of convincing those who may be wondering about Obama and haven’t decided, or those who are curious about us, but are fearful because of our media rep (rap is more like it, but whatever) with these methods. As I said in comments at The Confluence, in a post ironically (in relation to this post) titled The Honeymoon is Over:

Building a third party will take too long. We must try to salvage this one first. It is that urgent. If they won’t listen after we present them with rational arguments and evidence of their wrong doing, fine, I’m on board with a third party. But they will never listen to us in Denver as long as we are sitting around all “Nobama! 18 miliion!!! ZOMG!” E-mail, e-mail, e-mail. Ya know? That’s all I hear Murphy talk about on tv, how she’s prepared to vote for McCain, but how about actually thinking about using our leverage to force the REAL issues into the media? What about using it to forcing the party to do it over and do it right at the convention?

That’s what I’m frustrated about. That there is not yet a coherent message, and we are allowing others (outsiders) to create our brand already. Language matters. We should be careful, and thoughtful about how we use it. And until the Denver Group, I haven’t seen that. I’m STILL not seeing it enough places.

I drafted the Declaration because I saw a void of rational language. I heard the kernels of truth in millions of emotional, outraged voices, and I distilled what I heard down to just the facts because it had to be done. And it wasn’t being done. I married it to an appeal to history, and pushed it at a time when it could connect with what was already going down. It hit, and took off, going viral within our echo chamber in 24 hours. I do hope the leaderships at the various coalitions are paying attention, because this is an important step. They don’t have to use the language I used, or use my document, or give me any credit. I don’t care about credit. But they have to see now that many of us are hungry for just these kinds of collective, collected, & rational arguments. They have to see the leverage that can provide. And I hope they move on it.


22 comments on “why do want old ladies vote for obama

  1. madamab says:

    Heh heh. “Old ladies.” I am not a freaking old lady, and neither is my husband.

    And neither of us is voting for Obama, for the rational reasons you detailed. It’s not that I “don’t like him” or that his skin has an abundance of melanin. I’m not clinging to guns (I’m against them) or religion (not a big fan either).

    Obama simply is not a legitimate or qualified candidate. He will be a terrible President who will not uphold Democratic principles.

    End of story.

    Brilliantly done, and thank you for your excellent, hard work.

  2. annabellep says:

    Lol. I know. I’m hardly old at 37. And my husband is 33. But yeah, it’s all about rational reasons and explanations.

    Who cares what Michelle Obama says about America? That’s not a liberal talking point, that’s a conservative talking point. And who cares if the Obama Fan thinks I’m old? All I care about is what I can plant on the tiny strip of fertile land emerging in his cesspool of a brain. And chants of Nobama, nobama, nobama are like locust plagues on that crop.

    Loved you Independence Day post, btw. Left you some comments there.

    PS- I think I’ve gotten this off my chest now (finally 😀 ). I’m out for a nap.

  3. Elixir says:

    Hey, Annabellep, I’m of the same mind. I want actions, not words. Give me an assignment, give me a mission, give me a list of names to call or a stack of letters to write.

    I don’t want to go to Denver if there is no “action” plan, standing outside the convention center with a sign is admirable and certainly a beginning but this has to be a lot more.

    I’ve offered my services at 18 Million Voices, let’s see if I get some marching orders.

  4. georgiapeach says:

    The Denver group is a great idea, but somebody smarter than me needs to find a way to organize protests nationwide. A lot of people are mad enough to protest closer to home to make a statement during the convention, even if they aren’t able to make it to Denver for whatever reason. Local stations might or might not mention a protest in Denver, but they would all report on one in their own back yard.

  5. I enjoy reading your posts, and I hear that you are frustrated. Personally, my focus in the convention and getting information to the superdelegates that will help them reconsider endorsing *61. I feel very useful doing this. Additionally, at http://www.blog.pumapac.org, linked to our action page at http://www.pumapacusa.org, you can find posters, flyers, letters, all sorts of things to get the word out that we are not a fringe group. One of our major organizers at puma pac is Maryland Puma. We are also organizing peaceful demonstrations in Denver and raising money to bus people there who can’t afford the trip otherwise. I believe 18millionvoices is also organizing local demonstrations.

    We are not in control of this wave, but we are all riding it, and it is a mighty one. Try to be hopeful and cheerful – we are walking our talk and talking our walk. We are making a difference just by being here and speaking our minds.

    By the way, just have to note that I respectfully disagree about Harriet Christian. She was interviewed by Cavuto on June 1 – she handled herself very well. There’s a youtube of it. I think noquarter made it available.

    Loved your declaration the other day! I look forward to visiting your blog more in the future!

    Heather aka Dragonfly

  6. annabellep says:


    I saw that interview. I don’t recall her mentioning the Sunshine Provision of the DNC charter. She complained that they met in private, IIRC, but that just comes across as another old lady pissed at the status quo. Failing to mention the Sunshine Provision is a missed opportunity to clearly point out 1) rule breaking, and 2) hypocrisy on the part of the leadership, both valuable selling points. I liked her interview, but it wasn’t the considered view of the movement. And it was quiet, but not entirely rational.

    That said, the fact that people are just riding the wave is part of the problem, imo. How many of these leaders have been on TV? All they needed was one place online they could point people to where the collective, rational arguments, and propositions about what to do about them were available to the public. But that place doesn’t exist yet. Every time another leadership PUMA goes in front of the camera without that valuable tool, without promoting the ground troops getting that message out to the real world, another 5 minutes of media time is wasted. And another chance for a lying media meme about us is allowed.

    It’s very simple, and yet so far, utterly overlooked by the leadership. I’m not a leader. I don’t have the resources to do it. I’ve done what I can. It’s up to others now.

    Thanks for your comment. And also, thanks Elixir. I’ll be curious to know how that works out. Keep us updated, okay? And that’s a great idea GeorgiaPeach. Fantastic really. If you want to write up a post about it, I’ll host it here. You can guest post. You can contact me via the link at the top right of this page.

  7. Lynn says:

    This movement in only about a month old but we are coming on strong. By August PUMA should be well-known throughout the country. Unfortunately everything takes time. But hang is there . . . we are improving every day.

  8. annabellep says:

    This conversation is not about being well-known (though that’s necessary too). It’s about being well-reasoned. And I am hanging in there. I’m just talking about how we can do it better.

  9. […] ALAN FRAM and TREVOR TOMPSON wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptRemember “All your bases are belong to us?” Yeah, it’s that kind of title. It comes from my blogstats, and indicates one way an O-bot found my blog. By searching with that phrase. It also demonstrates that at least some of them want to … […]

  10. Senex,Ireland says:

    Ms Annabellep

    As an observer living in Ireland and in a country where President Clinton and Senator Clinton are held in the highest esteem,I have
    been following your blogstatements in recent days and would compliment you on a very professional presentation.
    I feel the injustices and the corruption of Natural Justice that have
    been inflicted upon the Democratic party in general and upon Senator Clinton in particular by the Democratic National Committee should be further publicized by the more balanced American press

    When you look at the way this election was conducted, thunfairness of the D.N.C., the bias of the media, the subjugation of one of the Presidential candidates…..it is more like what happens in Zimbabwe——-a stain on the history of the great nation of America. Politics in the United States are at gutter level and could not be lower at present, as seen from this side of the pond.
    Take back, Democrats your historical party and restore it to its’ former glory.
    Regarding your comments on the socializing of the supporters
    on the blogs rather than to submit ideas for action in support
    of the ideals being sought.
    There has been a lot of speculation from the websites and from
    the media regarding the possible omission of Senator Clinton’s name from the ballot in the forthcoming convention in Denver in August 08.
    This would seem to be a historical and accepted procedure that has existed for many years in past conventions and permitted supporters to make eloquent speeches and have the privilege of a ballot.
    It was hinted that the Democratic National Committee would make these changes and the presumptive nominee would endorse them, in case Senator Clinton might win the White House at the convention.
    I am not informed with U.S.laws and rules governing the election and I apologize if I am off course.
    If the published agenda for the Denver convention should indicate that Senator Clinton’s name turns out to have been
    left off the roll call etc. I was wondering if any ordinary Democratic party member could seek a legal injunction from the relative court to prevent the Denver Convention taking place, until the changes in the normal and accepted procedures could
    be argued legally in the courts, as no one could predict the outcome of such an action and what effect and bearing it would have on the election.
    I expected to see some of those making daily entries on the web, to at least question if such a course of action is an option..
    …..but I did not see any such comment.
    I understand how you feel regarding the comments submitted
    perhaps the sites should have two separate divisions….
    proposals for action to meet the daily changes in the election,
    where action is required or at least proposals are submitted
    to meet arising situations. The second division of the blogsite to allow for social discourse, which appeals to many and perhaps encourages the supporters to stay together.
    I have only submitted three blogs to date and not technically
    qualified on how a blog site could have two cores
    I thank you for allowing me to express a few comments in response to your article to-day.
    Best of good fortune with the site.

    Senex, Ireland

  11. DancesWithPumas says:

    I hope this is not rude of me but, I feel compelled to post this:

    I’ve been noticing that some blogs are currently beginning to get active as PUMA groups (wanting to channel their energies to manifest change (pardon the expression)), and they are just beginning to organize, brainstorm, and plan. Many of their ideas are duplications of things PUMApac.org has already done, is in the process of doing, and continues to do.

    PUMApac.org already has many resources available to share with individual PUMAs, and PUMA groups. It seems we could save precious time, in terms of sparing them the arduous task of reinventing the wheel, by inviting them to both PUMApac.org and pumapacusa.org sites, to share our resources.
    1) We have an Action Center with a ton of resources available (flyers, t-shirts, business card, posters, lists of SDs, lists of media contacts, talking points, etc.);
    2) We have daily lists of “Growls”, daily actions that can be accomplished in an hour or two;
    3) We have information to share regarding our methods and means of outreach to those who are not computer savvy, are isolated, and unaware of the PUMA movement;
    4) All we need are numbers to add to our growing Voice!

    Please join us at http://blog.pumapac.org , and http://www.pumapacusa.org
    You won’t have to scan through the blog comments in search of actions and resources, they are listed at our Action Center.
    Time is of the essence. We’re looking forward to seeing you! and please… help spread the word.
    Thank you for your attention.

  12. CyberFerret52 says:

    annabelleep…It’s so new, for so many. You seem to stand as a voice of reason within the maelstrom and you are exactly right.

    I don’t know that you are actually being ignored by the leaders of the coalition. Is it possible that they are inexperienced and overwhelmed?

    Just the fact that more and more people are finding value in what you have to say means they recognize your worth.

    You are obviously a skilled writer with insight above and beyond most. We all need your input to polish the rough edges off this raw emotion that has become a cause.

    Please keep suggesting and throw it against the wall until it sticks. Don’t give up on us, there is real power here but, it is still an infant.

  13. CyberFerret52 says:

    annabelle one other thing….you say you’re not a leader but, I believe what is needed are talking points. Then, staying on message. I do believe you could compile and present that to the various coalition leaders and they would thank you for it. None of them are television professionals and actually have done pretty well considering they must have been petrified in front of the cameras.

  14. annabellep says:

    Senex, Irelandd, I wish I could answer your question, but I’m afraid that is outside my purview. I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know. I would guess that legal maneuvers might be problematic due to the non-governmental nature of the Democratic Party. The courts have pretty consistently been ruling on the side of the Party for that reason whenever what it is doing this year has been challenged (and some it has been challenged).

    Dances With Pumas, thank you for posting the link to the action center. I appreciate your spirit always. That said, and if I may, that action center is a mess. I’ve been visiting in recent days, after trying it out a few weeks ago. It’s such a mess that the action front paged today was not even listed on the front page of the action page. And the action was no where to be found on the action alerts page ether. The most recent action on the front page ought to be the first action on the action front page, see? I know, it’s a big chaotic mess right now, and I’m just trying to help by pointing out obvious deficiencies. And we really can’t combine our forces if people are not paying attention to blatant and repeated offers to help. Being ignored like that could lead a person to try to spearhead their own effort in an attempt to do it better (I’m not that person, ftr–too busy).

    As an aside, I thought todays action was a terrible idea to boot.


    You make a valid point about inexperience. But it’s not like I’ve just sent one or two e-mails. I’ve been trying to get in touch with Murpy for over a week, via multiple e-mails. Diane Mantouvalos did finally contact me after RD and Katiebird intervened on my behalf, but she’s been MIA for days (I do understand she’s having some very serious saftey issues right now, so I understand that totally).

    My point is not to criticize the effort or the people running it, but to plant seeds about how it can be done better by offering valid critique. Maybe I was a little more negative in this post because I let my frustration get to me today. I’ll accept that critique as valid. But please, do try to understand that I just want to be able to belong to a group I can agree with, and that wields it’s leverage effectively. Sometimes it’ takes a little misunderstanding to get people moving from their comfort zone. Socrates called it being a gadfly. That’s totally what I’ve always been. If you don’t believe me, read the About P&L page. 😀

  15. Valhalla says:

    Annabellep —

    I largely agree with everything you said. For today’s action do you mean getting out the flyers? (pumapac action site is down right now, so I can’t check). Although the ad was a tremendous effort, I was a bit disappointed, too, because it’s not really communicating the very undemocratic group the Democratic party has become. Also, the Michelle quote bugged me, because while I have no love for Michelle, her ill-considered statement has nothing, truly nothing, with why I’m a PUMA.

    And while yes, Obama is d*mn arrogant, I don’t really care about that either. If I thought he really cared about and would advance the interests of Clinton supporters and democratic principles, I could get over that.

    Overall, with the actions I feel we’d be much more effective if instead of having a ton of different things it we really focused down on just a few really important ones and hammered on those over and over any time we could get media attention. Look at Heidi Li’s site — she has retiring the debt and getting Hillary on the nominating agenda (etc).

    If our one main goal is to have Hillary on the roll call vote in the first round, then great! Let’s all focus on that. Even if it’s not my first choice, I’m behind it all the way.

    But I do have some sympathy. The group is barely more than a month old, time’s short until the convention and the GE, and most of the pac leaders aren’t (I don’t think) professional campaign activists or organizers.

    Some of what you’re feeling is probably the fact that we all, after months of being assaulted by Obamamanics, have a bit of a bunker mentality, where people are reluctant to criticize each other. We certainly don’t want to give the MSM any headlines like “PUMAs split over (fill in the blank)”. Since the movement is largely online, everything we do and say is immediately public. And in my real life, I’m a project manager and goodness knows how hard it is to get a group of 15 people I work with f2f every day to move in one direction, nevermind thousands. A group like MoveOn wasn’t all that successful at first either, until it really found its voice.

    I totally support your gadfly-ness and I’m glad I stopped here because now I feel better about being a gadfly myself. I don’t have my own blog, so for now I’ll just need to be a gadfly in the comments and on some stuff I’m volunteering on.

    You. Go. Girl!

  16. formerdem says:

    I agree with 11. I admire the effort and energy of the bloggers and various organizers. I am readily participating where I can. But I also noticed that there are lots of duplication and not as much coordination. I even took an initiative and wrote to 18milvoices and some other blog to get together and collaborate their efforts. They both thanked me, but I have not heard from either of them any more. I don’t think we need necessary a loud demonstration as long as we all organized and act the same in large volumes. There is an incredible strength in silent majority. We need to press Denver Convention for a roll call. I cannot go to Denver, but I am prepared to do some contribution for the protesters. My other actions are as follows: 1) I became an Independent after the primaries and am supporting McCain now including donations. I am glad that he is the Republican nominee. In spite of propaganda, he is a good man and not Bush’s 3rd term and at least he was elected and not selected. 2) I respond to all letters from the Dems. committees with an explanation of why I left the Dems and that I support McCain now. 3) I spread the word about Dems party actions and Obama flip-flopping among my friends and relatives who do not follow so closely. If you have any other suggestions I will gladly consider them. Words matter but money and votes matter more.

  17. CognitiveDissonance says:

    Annabelle, I share some of your frustrations. For me, part of the problem is that there are now so many different sites in the JustSayNoDeal coalition, many of which are pushing their own action items. There are also a few lists. Each seem to be focusing on slightly different areas. So it can feel like being pulled in many different directions.

    It would really be easier to figure out if all these areas were directed (or at least explained) in a central location. It would make choosing what I can do and then getting involved easier. I had hoped that at some point the JustSayNoDeal.com site would do that. That it might have a page that summarized different areas people were spearheading, then linked to their sites.

    I had also hoped, as you mentioned in your post, that the JustSayNoDeal.com site would have a section that detailed who we are, what our grievances with the Democratic Party are, and what our goals are. That there would be a number of articles explaining each detail. For instance, most of us are very upset about how the Democratic process was circumvented. So there could be a number of articles on the caucus fiasco, the MI/FL mess, etc. Many of us are also upset about the race baiting. But because the media didn’t do their job, many people really aren’t clear how this started. It would be nice to have an article that clearly showed the progression, complete with links and videos to prove our points. And the same for the issue of media sexism and misogyny. All of this stuff is out there on various blogs and news articles.

    I would also like to see a daily blog on that site that basically talked about what actions are being taken, what media contacts have been made, etc. Basically a daily recap of what is going on, where help is needed, what some of the aligned groups are doing.

    The point, though, is putting them together so that someone who hears about us and goes to that site can get a clear picture. Right now, you go to that site and get a bunch of links. Even worse, if you use Firefox, that site formats horribly and makes it very hard to read. The site itself doesn’t give the impression that a movement is out there. It needs to be much more professional and well thought out.

    But having said that, I recognize how hard people have been working and greatly admire what has been done in the short period of time. It’s easy to criticize, so I don’t really want to do that. This kind of movement is not one that would be easy to harness, particularly since it is unstructured, doesn’t have elected or appointed leaders, and we all have our own priorities and opinions of what needs to be done. In other words, you can tell we’re democrats and PUMA’s, because we’re cats that can’t be herded. :=)

  18. Mary Beth says:

    Annabelle, I love your way with words, sometimes soft and lilting, othertimes, blunt and forcfull.
    We’re all struggling, we’re all frustrated, and we’re all looking for things, and actions to have ourselves heard.
    I agree with you and others who have said that there is no one out there to lead this incredible movement and to speak as eloquently as some of you write.
    Murphy is the face behind Puma and she is the thread and the backbone of the PUMA PAC. I truely don’t know how she does all that she does, and still takes care of her family.
    I also agree that if we’re going to suceed, we need to have goals set up each day,so that we can complete them and not just leave it up to a few. Since Murphy directed me to the Action page, I feel I’m doing something !! It might not be perfect, but as an intellegent individual,I can decipher what ‘s the next course of action for me. In otherwords, the tools are there to be used.
    I also agree that we have little time before the convention to get what we want, and sometimes we don’t have our priorities in order, as to what is the most effective way to accomplish it, but that’s where people like you, who have that kind of mind, speak up and let us know what to do.
    I’ll quit now, because I don’t want to ramble, but let me say,what I started to say above, was that Darragh Murphy is the face behind PUMA and I think she is terrific in front of the camera!
    Now I have letters to send, and ideas to come up with. I admire someone like you Annabelle, you have the touch of a poet and the mind of an organizer. Never sell yourself short.

  19. SAHMmy says:

    I’m a conservative and yet I’m not a republican. But I relate to many of the feelings you’ve expressed about your own party and the candidacy of Obama.

    I fully support DEMOCRACY. Period. So while I may vehemently disagree with you on government policy, I wholeheartedly agree with you that many, many people have lost their voices in this upcoming election.

    Many, many people both conservative and progressive and many in-between, reject the chosen candidate of their party. What a mess this election has become.

    For this PUMA effort to be effective, YES, the various groups MUST come together under ONE organization. And there is little time left to do so! I don’t know what to do to aid in this, but I am following your struggle with great interest. I do hope you succeed.

  20. georgiapeach says:

    Re: #6. Thanks for the offer annabellep, but I’m not the best diarist in the world. I have a lot of trouble putting my thoughts and feelings into words these days, and I wouldn’t want to take up space that could be better used by others. I also read in comment #5 that 18millionvoices may be organizing local protests, so that ship has probably already sailed. I would love to be able to go to Denver to protest at the convention, but I am physically disabled and poor to boot. When I made the comment above, I had been thinking that I wish someone would organize a protest close enough to home for me to drive to. Then it occurred to me that there might be a lot of other people in the same boat that I’m in.

  21. luc says:

    i don’t like Obama’s stance on raising capital gains taxes – neither do the republicans.

    lol – i guess there is a sliver of republican in my blued blood.


    i also agree with you that any successful protest must be calculated and rational. emotional protests reek of spurned lover’s quarrels and get no respect from anyone “on the outside”, who are the people you need the support of.

    i admire you annabelle.

  22. annabellep says:

    Thanks, luc. 🙂

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