PUMA people are Hillary Supporters who were horrified by what the Obama Machine did to their favorite candidate. PUMA people want to reform the Democratic Party, but as I say below, asking how we can reform the Democratic Party is like asking, "How can we make a cesspool into drinkable water." The two paragraphs following are my response to a column by well-known PUMA who goes by the name "Riverdaughter." I urge you to read her column, although I also urge you not to believe it.
RiverDaughter, a friend sent me your column, one of many I've seen. I thought this one was beautifully written, but I found myself thinking, "Bright as this woman is, she just doesn't get it." The Democratic Party is no longer the Party of John F. Kennedy or even of Bill Clinton. It has nothing to do with such people. It is completely and fully the corrupt Party of Barack H. Obama, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. It doesn't want (because it believes it doesn't need) people like you and those who made the heartfelt comments to your essay. It won without you in 2008 and, to an extent, in 2006. It believes it will do so again next year and in 2012. Meanwhile, you're all thinking, "Gee, how can we reform the Democratic Party?" RiverDaughter, that's a little like asking, "How can we make a cesspool into drinkable water." Remember who was it that smeared Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin? Hint: for the most part, it certainly wasn't Republicans. It was good, loyal Democrats. Eighty percent of people in the active military voted for McCain-Palin. Those are the people who defend this country, and defend our rights to write what we believe on our blogs. Unlike you, they don't believe the Republican Party (in toto) is "morally bankrupt." I'd suggest all PUMAs follow their lead.
What I'm saying about your suggestion to have under-funded candidates run in the Democratic primaries is that they will be totally outspent and, if necessary, smeared beyond the imagination (remember Sarah Palin?). Go check out on opensecrets.org to see who's funding Obama, Dodd, Pelosi, and rest. It's not the Great Unwashed. It's our beloved Wall Street bankers and union bosses dedicated not the "general welfare," but to their own bank accounts. My point? The Democratic Party -- the liberalism of "gimme, gimme, gimme" -- is the source of most of our problems and the solution to none. Our country had an unfunded liability (Social Security and Medicare mainly) of more than $80 trillion, and the Democrats' solution to that is borrow trillions more from Communist China. I'm going to write more about this on my very Republican blog (this one). Thanks for providing your soap box.
Below you'll find a big chunk of Riverdaughter's column Saturday: Forest and trees and The Marshall Plan. I urge you to read it.
I was going to write today about the PUMA movement and principles. I believe that a successful movement is based on principles. I also believe that we are at a time in our nation’s history when the public is so fed up with the two party system that there is a window of opportunity to make a real change and the political principles of either party aren’t as relevant at the present time. Our social safety net in this country is so fragile that it only takes a couple of missed paychecks or a catastrophic illness to put a family into insolvency.
The steady erosion of our quality of life has happened under the auspices of both parties through deregulation, regressive taxation, union busting and the outright fraud perpetrated by the financial industry and their cronies in the business management field. Before the election last year, we knew that the Republican party was morally bankrupt but who would have suspected before November 2008 that Democrats would also seek the path of least resistance and sell us out? Well, *us*. We believed it because we watched it happening in real time with our eyes wide open and our minds unclouded by propaganda. But now, many more people know it too.
In order to make change happen we need to threaten the current power structure. By threaten I don’t mean by the use of any form of sabotage or physical violence. I mean we have to make sure that our elected officials know that we will toss them out and then we must do it. The question is how do we do this?
The answer is in motivating voters to go to the polls to vote out people who do not put the general welfare first. The public doesn’t like Republicans, even if the GOP has been more successful at channeling the rage into tea parties. But the GOP is not in power right now and as long as Democrats feel they are safe, they are going to try to ride this recession out without biting the hands that feed them. But once Democratic voters start to turn their attention towards their own party, then there will be hell to pay. The question is, can we engage people outside the Democratic party to join us? Yes, I think we can.
I think we have all had the experience of knowing people who say they do not vote for any party. They vote for the individual. And this may be true, although I think some of these people are influenced by the last voice they hear on the way into the voting booth. But the truth is that there are very few Democrats running for office who haven’t sworn to uphold the party machine that gets them elected. And once you buy into this machine, your chances of balking at the money that flows to you is very slim. Without that money, you can’t run. But is this true?
If it is true that people vote for the individual, what is it they really want? I would say that most people want to be treated fairly. They want to feel like they have as much right to representation as someone with wealth and connections. The reason why people want fairness is because deep down inside, we Americans believe profoundly in promoting the General Welfare. We believe that this country was founded because we wanted to be free from a power that did *not* see our General Welfare as important to its own survival. Isn’t this the same situation we find ourselves in today? The power is not a foreign one; it is homegrown. But our welfare is completely incidental to its own. We need to be rid of this power.
This is an idea that can potentially attract voters from many different political persuasions. The recession is having a profound effect on Republicans no less than Democrats. And when it comes right down to it, no one wants to see the end of Social Security. Why? Because it is an insurance policy against risk. Now that Republican households are just as vulnerable as Democrats’, there are a lot more of us who want to keep it in a “lock box.”
We need to bring this home to Democrats in a very simple way, because, after all, THEY are the ones with the reins of power. We need to primary as many of them as we can. We need to register as Democrats again, find out what the local requirements are for Congress and Senate and just enter our names as an alternative to whoever is running as the blessed party candidate. Getting our names on that primary ballot doesn’t take a party endorsement. In fact, I wouldn’t expect one. But in a primary, you don’t need to be known or popular or a politician to be an active citizen interested in public service. Those of you who are unemployed can look forward to a nice salary and health benefits. All you need to be is another name on that ballot under the Democratic party. Call yourself a PUMAcrat. Throw some coffees and cocktail parties. Then see what happens.
Now, there will probably be campaign ads against you saying you aren’t connected enough. In this environment, that could be a plus. There will be people digging up dirt about you and your family and your unpaid car registration. Tell them those without sin can cast the first stone. There will be people who will say you don’t know enough about the issues. Um, if you are reading blogs instead of the mainstream media, you can run circles around anyone making that claim.
If we manage to upset some races around the country, it may put the fear of God into our party officials and the tide may turn in our favor.
If we don’t do it, we can look forward to social unrest. It’s coming. The financial aces who have been riding high on our 401K contributions are busily tunneling out our economy. To them, it’s all global now. What happens in the US is collateral damage as they race to the bottom chasing lower and lower labor costs. It’s very short term thinking but they aren’t worried about it right now. It is time to focus our elected officials’ attention.
It’s either reform now or socialism later.