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Monday, June 30th, 2008

Time Event
2:08p
2:11p
So, are PUMAs real or mythical beasts? Why not both . . .
So a few days ago, I wrote about PUMAs, the coalition of Hilary Clinton die hards determined to do...well...something, but by gosh will that Obama pay for stealing the nomination and won't we show the Democratic party and the sexist media!

Well, apparently I was not the only one wondering whether there might be more to this than the anger of disappointed Clinton supporters. A couple of active bloggers ( I jes' love the interwebs for this stuff) have gone digging into the "PUMA PAC" and found that its chief organizer is apparently a McCain supporter. You can find more here and here. (and my thanks to Gildedacorn for sending me the first link).

Mind you, I would not rush to dismiss all PUMAs as mythical beasts. I expect there are a lot of angry and disappointed folks, and that McCain supporters (or Republican operatives generally) have jumped at the chance to fan the flames. It is, after all, a natural extension of Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos.

But it goes back to the point I was making Friday. Social movements may start with anger over a person or event, but they cannot be sustained without significant investment of time and effort and mobilization to action. The conservative movement spent a heck of a lot of time cultivating rage among its followers and giving them lots of concrete things to do to keep them pumped. Leaving aside those working for McCain, there does not appear to be an active and coherent thread among the PUMA folk. It's not about forcing Obama to give prominence to their issues, or even about forcing Obama to name Hillary as VP. Individual people may say they want that, but it is not like say, the progressive/libertarian alliance that wants Obama to fight the FISA immunity bill rather than make a show of resistance but give it a pass.

It's a long way to go even to the end of August. I'm having difficulty seeing how folks stay pumped to actually achieve something.

Meanwhile, tho, I recommend today's Krugman column in the NYT.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/opinion/30krugman.html

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