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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

All About Angry PUMAs

If you’re at all confused or in doubt about the anger being expressed towards the Democratic Party and the MSM by some HRC supporters, check out Rebecca Traister’s exhaustive summary at Salon today. She cites twelve specific things these folks–who call themselves PUMAs (an acronym for “Party Unity My Ass”)–are angry about, with particular objects of ire being Keith Olbermann, Howard Dean, and the idea of Barack Obama choosing a female running-mate not named Hillary Clinton.
I found number twelve particularly interesting, having heard it myself from several people unhappy with a post I did a while back arguing that a McCain presidency would be the wrong kind of “punishment” for the Democratic Party’s alleged sins towards HRC and her supporters:

12. And finally, they are angry because they feel they are held hostage by the party by their reproductive organs.
As many people have already observed: What are they going to do, vote for John McCain? No. The truth is, they’re really not. Not if they care about their freedoms to control their own reproductive lives. And they are acutely aware that party leaders know this and that, thus, despite all this anger, Democratic women remain a sure thing.
In a recent New Yorker profile of Keith Olbermann, MSNBC chief Phil Griffin described how Clinton voters felt alienated from Olbermann’s anti-Clinton coverage: “He turned out to be a jerk and difficult and brutal. And that is how the Hillary viewers see him. It’s true. But I do think they’re going to come back. There’s nowhere else to go.”
Exactly. These angry people have nowhere else to go. So the safe expectation is that they will fall in line without much kicking and screaming. And that, ultimately, is why many of them are kicking and screaming. Yes, they’re going to vote for Obama. Of course they’ll vote for him. The truth is, they’ll probably love voting for him. But after what they feel has been done to them — the way in which they were written off, marginalized and resented, their hopes mocked and their history-making ambitions dismissed as retrograde identity politicking — damned if they’re going to be nice girls about it.

So any smug talk that Democrats need not take HRC’s supporters seriously because they’ll “come home” without encouragement delays, at a minimum, the day when that homecoming actually happens.

3 comments on “All About Angry PUMAs

  1. MadamMijanou on

    Call me names, call me a soreloser, childish, it really doesn’t matter. I will vote for McCain because of the decency factor, because of the experience factor, because I don’t believe he will be a 3rd bush term, I think HRC supporters, will be very happy with John McCain.

    Reply
  2. Jon on

    Thanks for the tip-off. I thought she made some good points in the article (although it wasn’t clear to me what PUMA’s anger against Bill Clinton and Mark Penn has to do with them not wanting to vote for Obama). And why on earth did she quote Mars/Venus, a source that even she views as offensive (and has very little credibility) to bolster her point? Still. #12 and several of hte others were quite well done.
    And David, The MSB *is* generally a boys club; see Kay Stieger’s “The New New Left is White, Male”, AJ Rossmiller’s “The myth of meritocracy, blogosphere edition” and Susan Herring et. al.’s “Women and Children Last: the Discursive Construction of Weblogs” for more.

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  3. David in Nashville on

    Good. I’ve been hearing a lot of this myself, and it often sounds irrational. But even among women closer to the MSB [Mainstream Blogosphere] there’s been an undercurrent of complaint that it’s a boy’s club–and the general ridicule of Clinton supporters has done nothing to help that. There’s a lot of unacknowledged snobbery in both the left MSM and the left MSB, and the general self-righteousness with which all too many bloggers ply their trade [present company excepted, of course] all too often leads them to either deny it or make excuses for it. There’s a lot of immaturity out there, and with a tough campaign ahead a lot of people–of both sexes–need to grow up fast.

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