In the run-up to the nomination of then-Senator Barack Obama in 2007-2008, a vocal and virulently racist segment of the Democratic Party surfaced. This faction was led by Hillary Clinton and her closest operatives. It consisted mostly of faux-Feminists that wanted a woman in the White House for symbolic reasons only. They didn’t care if she was a wealthy, privileged person that actively oppressed poor and minority communities, or enthusiastically supported every war in Brown countries since the 1960s. It wasn’t about women. It was about power.
They cared not what happened to the party, nor the optics. Voters be damned. It was Hillary-or-Bust, and they were quite serious. No amount of unity-speak would soothe them. They chose the People United Means Action, PUMA for short. Others mockingly called them “Party Unity My Ass.” The latter label stuck because it was more accurate.
There was exactly zero space between this faction and the Clinton Campaign proper. They were bound and determined to keep the “inadequate Black man” from gaining the nomination.
The Clintons and the PUMAs let their Dixiecrat flag fly for all to see. They went well beyond dog whistles when it came to the newcomer from Chicago. He was way uppity and would not wait his turn.
How It Used to Be
The Clintons were the ones that decide “whose turn” it was. They monopolized the Democratic Party. It had been that way since Team Clinton blew into DC from Arkansas leading the Democratic Leadership Council. The Koch-funded and Dixiecrat-lead DLC came in with the express purpose of moving the Democratic Party leadership away from Labor and Civil Rights concerns and into the hands of corporate donors. It worked.
The Clintons held the purse strings; they had the power. If you wanted to rise in the ranks of the Democratic Party, you kissed the ring- the Clinton ring. Leaders and free thinkers were quickly weeded out. Cutthroat loyalists and corporate lobbyists were placed in positions of power within the party. If you weren’t a “team player,” then you were exiled. This arrangement was not a meritocracy, by any means. You could continuously lose or fail. None of that mattered, as long as you were loyal. Competence wasn’t even a concern. Fealty to the Clintons and their rightward agenda was the key to fame and fortune.
This is the toxic brew that created the ultra-loyalist PUMAs. White women were in the forefront. Masking their racism with “feminism” they assailed the Obama campaign with claims of sexism. The Obama Boys (notice the use of the racist term “boy”) were the precursor to the Bernie Bros.
Obama subsequently won the nomination. Say what you will about Barack Obama on policy, he was an unflappable, political juggernaut. His ultra-modern campaign and lofty rhetoric were just too much for the powerful yet buttoned down, humdrum Clinton Machine.
The Clintons and the PUMAs were enraged. It was Hillary’s turn and this Black new jack molly-whopped all of Clintonland. To add insult to injury, Obama’s smooth style made it all look so easy. Like dunking on a nine-year-old in an elementary school gym. It was ugly and Hillary held on to the bitter end.
PUMA Powers ACTIVATE!!!
The PUMAs took their rage on the road. The Clintons made no effort to reign them in. They claimed to be disconnected from this “rogue” faction.
The PUMAs threatened to not support the Obama Campaign or the DNC. No fundraising. No door knocking. No votes. Nothing. They were a seething thorn in the side of the Democratic Party.
In the Voting Booth
PUMAs showed themselves to be completely disloyal to the Democratic Party. The Republican nominee was warmonger John McCain, fresh off a(nother) cancer scare. His understudy was the infinitely unqualified Caribou Barbie Sarah Palin.
A whopping 25% of PUMA-lead Democrats defected and voted for the GOP Destructive Duo in hopes of derailing our first Black POTUS. White women have never really been the most loyal Dem voters. In fact, 53% of White women voted for notorious sexist Donald Trump in 2016. But, the PUMA defection of 2008 was unprecedented in the modern era. It was a racially-driven campaign lead by Clinton supporters out of spite and bitterness.
Luckily, Obama kept nearly the entire Black and vote while attracting many hopeful independents and young people. These groups were the deciding factor in the Obama victory.
The PUMAs showed no signs of abating their efforts to destroy the Democratic Party even in the face of Obama’s historic win. The 2010 census and subsequent redistricting were bearing down on the party; unity was uber-important. The Obama Administration was still forming, so they offered Hillary the Secretary of State job in hopes of healing the rift.
Many observers believe Mrs. Clinton also received assurances of a cleared field in 2016 if she got her PUMAs to stand down. The Clintons parlayed a lost nomination into a cushy job that would also fill the coffers of the Clinton Foundation by peddling influence in Foreign Policy. All for fanning the flames of racism in the Democratic Party. Not a bad return on investment.
Fast Forward to 2015 – 2016
As promised, the DNC cleared the field of any real contenders. Even Vice President Joe Biden, who is known to covet the Oval Office, stood down. Only three potential nominees defied the edict – Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee and crazy old coot Bernie Sanders.
Webb was likely a plant to make it look good. O’Malley never really had a chance. Lincoln Chafee was likely looking for a good reason to buy a new suit. Bernie was just there to pull the discourse to the left. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the nomination. Bernie’s campaign suddenly caught fire. No one was more surprised than Bernie himself. The plain-spoken Brooklyn native had diagnosed all the problems of Middle America – our broken system. “Mill-yun-ayres and bill-yun-ayres” had an outsized voice in our political process and the entire country knew it. Bernie was filling stadiums with the same speech and talking points all over the country. Including, Red States.
Unfortunately, for the Clinton Campaign, they were rightly seen as the “Mill-yun-ayre and bill-yun-ayre” political headquarters. They were taking money from a rogues gallery of harmful political interests – Wall Street, fossil fuels, private prisons, foreign government lobbyists, etc. This became a yuuge problem.
Of Gasoline and Forest Fires
The Clinton reaction was typical – bullying and smears. They hired political hitman David Brock to bring Bernie World to heel. They attacked long-time Dems that supported Bernie like Nina Turner. They used operatives they had placed across the country over the years to destroy careers of those that did not have high loyalty scores.
The goal was to make an example of the those that dared to stand up. Then bully everyone else into compliance.
They enlisted a troll army to patrol social media. Facebook, Twitter and Reddit were soon awash with a sea of artificial Bernie Haters and “cultivated voices.” They repurposed the Obama Boys into the Bernie Bros– erasing Women, Black Descendents of Slaves and other PoC from the Political Revolution. Loyalists (paid and unpaid) passed around block/mute lists of Women, DoS and PoC on the Left to create the illusion of monochrome Bernie supporters. This bubble allowed them to ignore and attempt to selectively bully individuals on the left. But, hippies punch back now. This strategy did not always go as planned.
In the end, Hillary won the 2016 nomination. She had plenty of help from donors, media loyalists, political operatives and the DNC. All allied to push Bernie out in an illegal, unethical, and undemocratic fashion. A few heads rolled. Including Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, head of the DNC and longtime Hillary loyalist.
It wasn’t enough to assuage many Bernie voters. But in the end, the vast majority of Dem Bernie supporters voted Clinton in the general. Bernie had a unique gift of attracting independent and the beloved crossover voters. Many people who embraced Bernie’s populist agenda, abstained. Most crossovers went Trump or abstained.
However, Hillary’s shortcomings as a candidate, hubris, and an unforgivably horrible Electoral College strategy cost her the election. Reality show host and “billionaire” Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States as the least popular presidential candidate in polling history.
Since the devastating loss of 2016, Clinton World has laid blame at the feet of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, former FBI Director James Comey, Bernie Sanders, the DNC, and any other entity that came to mind.
So far, the all-communication-data-consuming vacuum known as the NSA has failed to provide a smoking gun on Russia. The “DNC hack” myth has been debunked by the same folks that debunked Weapons of Mass Destruction. Polls show Hillary got a small but positive bump after Comey overstepped his boundaries and publicly exonerated her of her obvious crimes in her server/email debacle. She should have never run while under FBI investigation. Bernie Sanders tirelessly stumped for Hillary and other Dem candidates after he lost the nomination, even though he was obviously cheated.
Additionally, the book “Shattered,” a first-hand account of Clinton campaign dysfunction, detailed how John Podesta and Robbie Mook came up with the Russian Hack storyline to deflect from their failures after they lost to Trump in epic fashion.
As mentioned earlier, Bernie supporters came through at the polls. Team Bernie performed much better than the racist PUMAs did in 2008 for Obama. Only 12% of Bernie supporters voted Trump vs. 25% of Dems that went Full PUMA. (Never go Full PUMA)
Wounded and Flailing
Hillary went into the woods for several weeks after suffering a historic loss. No one can argue that she did not deserve to rest after campaigning for two years. But, it’s definitely not what true leaders do. Especially after her campaign’s apocalyptic predictions about what an Administration of, her long-time friend, Donald Trump would mean for her would-be constituents. However, she occasionally made time to take potshots at various entities in her continued finger-pointing.
Unfortunately, she also worked on her book “What Happened.” Her account of what lead us to President Donald Trump. Thus far, Bernie Sanders seems to be the primary target of her ire. She also endorsed Peter Daou’s nonsense website, Verrit.com. Verrit is a pro-Hillary, anti-Bernie poor man’s Politifact. So far, the media has ripped it to shreds and it was also hit with a denial of service attack. It’s OK to laugh.
All of this has been punctuated by the return of the Brock Trolls on social media. They have descended like locusts with the same garbage talking points from primary. Every bit of it focused on destroying Bernie Sanders, his followers, and allies. The goal seems to be to flush Progressives from in and around the Democratic Party. This helps them re-consolidate power and impede the leftward movement of party policy.
In the process, they are destroying the party’s chances to gain seats in 2018 and perhaps 2020. The Dems have lost over 1000 races across the country and millions have left the party. They are also floundering in fundraising, even with Donald Trump in the White House. They should be raking in piles of cash. But, their massive losses over the last decade have rendered them nearly powerless in most states and Washington, DC. Therefore, they are a poor investment for donors who want their legislation pushed or other initiatives stopped.
The Battlefield is Fluid
The donor class wants an end to all of this Progressive talk and action. Many of their go-to tactics to divide us are failing. A good example is ginning up hate by enabling right-wing extremism. The goal here is to intimidate and silence voices on the left with shows of force – marches, cyber-bullying, etc. For now, Antifa and other organizations have brought those proceedings to a screeching halt.
Increased economic pressure, in times passed, also served to divide the American populace. However, inequality has gotten so bad that communities that would have gone into their silos before are now seeing our common humanity through struggle, and they are coming together. Reparations for Slavery is even being discussed openly.
Climate change and pollution are hammering the country. Fires in the west, 100-year Super Storms and floods just days apart, drought destroying crops, flammable tap water, man-made earthquakes and much more. Even Red State politicians are finally speaking up. The country realizes we all have to do something. Fast.
After Trump won, Bernie went back to work being a thorn in the side of the oligarchy – it’s his thing. He is pushing a people-first Progressive Agenda. It includes Medicare for All, an indexed $15 minimum wage, Free College and much more. He has also become the most popular active politician in the country.
Bernie is also currently the most logical person for the Dems to run against President Trump in 2020, despite his age. This state of affairs has the donor class, the DNC, the GOP, and the denizens of Clinton World in a panic. An uber-popular politician that can effectively run an essentially a non-partisan, people-first Presidential campaign with no need of corporate cash. As a staunch, long-time ally of Labor and the Civil Rights Movements, the Vermont Senator could activate dormant constituencies and rally independents, across the political spectrum. A campaign such as this would change the American political landscape for a generation.
#Bernie2020 is the antithesis of everything the donor class, Conservatives, and Dixiecrat organizations, like the DLC and Third Way, have worked toward since the Sixties. This type of campaign is the stuff of nightmares for Wall Street and K Street. A perfect storm of voter outrage and citizen discontent.
The PUMAs are likely just the first wave of attacks on Progressives, Berners and the Sanders family.
The PUMA End Game
The Clintons are effectively taking the Democratic Party hostage to keep it from moving left to become the Party of FDR, again. They want the party to continue to be an extension of K Street and Wall Street, even as it continues to hemorrhage seats. They want to regain their pre-2007 top spot, running roughshod over the Democratic Party as President Obama fades into retirement. Only one person stands in the way of that plan – the Socialist, Brooklynite Senator from Vermont.
What the Clintons have unleashed could destroy what’s left of the Democratic Party. If they cannot rule, the party can perish. These actions are enabling the right wing push from the Trump White House, New/Alt-Right and the GOP. And Bill and Hillary could not care less. Their money, connections and Secret Service protection will insulate them from the harms they cause the country for rest of their days. Donors will also pay them and their circle a pretty penny to keep the left on their heels.
The Clintons are leaving power the same way they came to power, by enabling the right wing. ~Fin