Tuesday, July 01, 2008

On the internet, nobody knows you're a PUMA

So, hipparchia, what do you think? Are the PUMAs primarily a GOP front org, as it appears?

--- SB, the YDS

It's a fair question to ask about an issue as potentially important as electing the next president, so I'll answer it: I dunno.

What I do know...

The PUMA un-party appears to have arisen spontaneously, on or about the 1st of June, out of a conversation here, at the pro-Hillary blog The Confluence. The Confluence was started by riverdaughter, who was goldberry, apparently after getting thrown out of dkos, which isn't terribly difficult to accomplish. I've had one of my sock puppets banned at dkos [concern troll!] and if I can do it, anybody can.

While I've only lurked very occasionally at The Confluence --- some of the commenters do seem to be terminally suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome, which is just tiring to read --- and only in recent weeks, riverdaughter and her blog both appear to be genuinely pro-Hillary and liberal [though not nearly so cool as my readers!] and have been for some time now. Additionally, I've run into Confluence contributor ronkseattle in various venues around cyberspace over the past 3 or 4 years, and he has always been reliably liberal.

Very shortly after that, murphy started Puma PAC, and Will Bower started P.U.M.A. At that point, being a bit on the solitary side myself, like many a real-life Florida panther, I mostly lost interest in actually following these people around the internet. I have, though, been quite partial to the idea, and have been spending a fair amount of time hanging out with the [mostly] uber-liberals at Corrente, keeping up especially with vastleft's blog and Sarah's manifestos there.

So, yes, Virginia, there are PUMAs and they are real and they are real liberals.

What I don't know is how much of the newly viral PUMA phenomenon is being hijacked and propagated by Republican operatives who see this as one possible means-to-an-end to sink Obama.

Certainly there are people declaring themselves Hillary suppporters who vow they was will vote for McCain before they'll ever, ever, ever vote for Obama, and unfortunately, a noticeable number of them do seem to be rather, ah, bigoted. It's quite possible they are Republicans who were, genuinely or not, crossing party lines and supporting Hillary Clinton. I mean, c'mon, look at what their own party has given them as candidates this year.

As for Darragh Murphy's assertion that that $500 contribution to McCain's primary campaign in 2000 [the one that Pandagon, and ilk, is all in an uproar about] was one of those strategic moves that politically active people try, supporting the opposition of the candidate they hate most, I find this entirely plausible. But even if Murphy really is a registered Republican, why shouldn't she, and others like her, be allowed to want Hillary for President?

But, yeah, the very virulent racism displayed by some of the self-proclaimed PUMAs is the main reason why I haven't formally joined them or endorsed them, even as I approve of their rebellious mood and actions.

Update, 7-3-2008: Darragh Murphy has been donating money to Hillary Clinton's campaign, $50 and $100 at a time [scroll down here], since March.


Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia, the puma (cougar) has been extirpated in eastern North America except for an isolated sub-population in Florida. Just FWIW.

No Republican front operation can work unless it pulls in or draws from an existing group on the left. I don't doubt that some of the originators of this were in all good faith.

Anonymous said...

Most people fail to mention that she donated to Clinton's campaign this year. Most Republicans were donating to Obama's because he was by far the weakest. The Republicans haven't really advertised against him yet, only Democrats on Clinton's side are posting negatives. Limbaugh was trying to energize the Democratic base around Obama, not Clinton. I'm an independent centrist.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention, all of the negatives on Obama were out there in January on the internet. For some reason some aren't found anymore on some news networks. For how much Obama has been flipping over the last week or so, it seems like he doesn't want the nomination anymore. It seems kind of strange.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is wrong. Rush Limbaugh was encouraging his listeners to cross-register and vote for Hillary Clinton. It was part of his "Operation Chaos."

andante said...

As a side issue, I completly fail to see why a "Hillary supporter" would vote for McCain. The two are diametrically opposed on every issue.

The only explanation I can come up with is these (probably small group of Hillary supporters) are rather politically ignorant.

Or maybe a LOT politcally ignorant.

And in comparison, it's more than a little ironic to me that Obama supporters were called 'cult-like' whereas disaffected Hillary supporters voting for McCain are somehow principled??!!

Keifus said...

Bah. Can you be a PUMA by thinking party unity is retarded on it's face, or do you have to be disaffected or something?

K (not that I'm voting McCain or anything...)