Monday, August 25, 2008

Ladies' Worst

I may as well get this out there before the blogosphere lights up like Dresden: MSNBC pundit emeritus and apparent recent stroke victim Chris Matthews just called Hillary Clinton hold-outs "wackos" on national television.

He was referring to those few Clinton supporters who claim to be willing to engage in the political equivalent of cutting off their collective nose to spite their face by voting for John McCain; they call themselves PUMAs, an amusing little double entendre which supposedly stands for "Party Unity My Ass." Matthews was tossing to an interview when he indelicately dismissed such hardline nonsense. What's worth noting though is that, like a dog that's been hit with a rolled up newspaper enough times, MSNBC has apparently learned its lesson about the blogger backlash that generally follows whenever one of the network's white-guy talking heads makes a comment that could be considered misogynist: Matthews cracked his best "just joshin'" smile and backed down from the insult about two minutes after making it, no doubt instructed to in his ear by a producer whose face was turning six different shades of red.

The thing is, whether Matthews should've been the one to do it or not, somebody needed to publicly shame these batty Clintonista militants and call them on their folly.

Good going, girls. Way to disprove the dubious notion that women are always hamstrung by emotion and can't use their heads when they need to.

(Update, 8.26.08: As expected, today's edition of has a detailed profile of the "PUMAs" which references Matthews's ire toward them. Angry PUMAs on the Prowl in Denver/8.26.08)


Suzy said...

why should people fall in line with one candidate or the other? what if the choices aren't suitable to some? does the notion of a multiple party system endanger the natural tendency in everything to be on one side or the other?

zealots of any stripe are just annoying, but is there really something wrong with not being happy with the choices you're given? i'm over this process for the first time in my life because i don't feel like either one of these fellers have anything substantive to say. where does my vote go this novermber? i don't know. but bashing peeps 'cause they're talking shit out their asses to get on tv and feel better about hillary not being the dems' nominee... not constructive. methinks anyway.

sparksinner said...

Male or female, any Hillary supporter considering a vote for McCain should be strung up by the thumbs.

From what I could tell, Obama and Clinton had nearly identical positions on many of the shit voters supposedly care about, so why we're even talking about this is beyond me.

When I first heard about this phenomenon I discovered a new kind of rage: sort of slow boil, but with an undercurrent of deep, dark sadness. I didn't like it. I like the blackpowder type better: big boom, flash and lots of acrid smoke.

Chez said...

There's nothing wrong with supporting an alternative candidate, but making threats, throwing tantrums and then taking action that you know full well is self-destructive -- well that's just goddamned stupid.

Suzy said...

i guess my point is they ain't got options. seemingly, anyway. i'm not joining PUMAs or any of that other nonsense, but i also don't feel like i have a candidate for which i'd comfortably cast my vote. but that's the extent of how i'm handling this election quandry. some folks figure they'll do it a different way... may not be the best way in terms of logic but... is there really anything logical about a limited two-party system?

i get it chez, they're looking like idiots when what they probably really want is to be taken seriously. but so do contestants on american idol. same shit, just about.

Otis said...

Given how opposite McCain is on a lot of issues from the Obama or Clinton perspective (and just as if not more importantly his advisors) it seems dumb to talk about voting for McCain. You don't like Obama, fine. Don't vote or write-in Hillary's name.

As for a third party, sure, but you have to do the hard, dirty, unglamorous job of building it state by state. Instead of jumping up every 4 years and saying we are running for president! Make a concentrated and serious effort to win 15-20 seats in the Senate. How about trying to win 60-80 seats in the House. The day a third party can do that, than you will produce a viable candidate for president. Until then voting for a third party candidate for President is about as useful as throwing money of a roof.

Donal said...

Neither Obama nor Clinton were my ideal candidate, both are far too corporate, but at least they aren't completely aping GWB. McCain has lost any regard I had for him as a centrist politician, and seems far to willing to stoke the fires of the resource conflict in the Caucasus, in order to look presidential.

Hold your nose and vote the neocons out.

Mr. Controversy said...

Sometimes, and I hate to say this, you've gotta go with the lesser of two evils. Unless you'd rather not vote...which is fine, but then you can't really complain without someone asking you that question and shaming you. Just my opinion though, I'm a man, so I must inherently be part of the Y Chromosome Mafia against Hil-Dawg's every move.

Sorry if that's a little bitter, I'm still living in the universe where Obama was the victor and Clinton lost admirably, but fair and square.

drater said...

There's plenty of options to the two parties: Green, Libertarian, Nader, etc. If you really can't get behind O or McCain, by all means vote third party. Given how close Obama and Clinton were on many issues, I just can't see how a Hillary supporters can vote for 4 more years of neocon misrule.

That said, the Hillary cover on this page cracked me up. With apologies to any PUMAs:

Kurgan said...

I agree with Suzy, but I will also say that Matthews is a clown. He has been and will be in the future.

Anonymous said...

Show your feminist cred, vote for McCain who voted against women making the same as men and is firmly anti-choice. That will show 'em. You go PUMA girls.

(Actually me thinks it is a lot more racial than feminist, but we are not alowed to talk about that. I got into a discussion with a man I worked with in central IL during the primaries who had a bumper sticker with a thumbs up for Clinton and McCain and a universal no sign for Obama. I said that made no sense unless you are a racist. He agreed, saving us having to argue about the bumper sticker's merits.)

Michael J. West said...

Maybe I'm just naive, but after reading the Salon article you posted, Chez, I'm a lot less annoyed with the PUMAs. They're still foolish and hysterical, but I suspect that they're mostly the usual lunatic fringe--the people who'd find ways to be foolish and hysterical regardless of the year, the candidates, and the issues. And yes, there's probably a healthy contingent of clandestine, pot-stirring Republicans in there too.

So, I'm not so worried anymore.

Suzy said...

i think i'm gonna write-in phil donahue and marlo thomas for prez and veep.

b80vin said...

I know I'm late to this post but:

I am sick of people complaining that TWO candidates don't do justice to THEM, that they are victims of a corrupt or unfair system. They aren't, the country is. They think the right to vote has a natural attachment that they will always be able to vote for the one candidate that they see as fit. The right to vote has an inherent responsibility to vote for the good of the country not the good of the individual. The inability to sacrifice ANYTHING for the overall good is rampant.

I don't know how many Green Party members who have told me they have the inalienable right to vote for a progressive third party candidate, but hope Obama wins. What they are saying is, they want ME to underwrite their vote. They are happy that I am content to vote for someone who doesn't embody every political agenda I support for the good of the country, so they can throw away their vote for the good of their sense of freedom. I don't care if they don't have a candidate. There are two viable options out there and only one is going to begin to suture the hole Bush has ripped in the Constitution.