Stupid PUMAs!

xkcdWhy hello there!  You’ve stumbled upon Stupid PUMAs!  If you’re wondering “What’s a PUMA anyway?” this probably isn’t the best place to start.  I would recommend reading up first at the premier site for PUMA criticism, Rumproast, starting at the begining and working forward.  I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out the excellent work of Wonk Hussein.  Any PUMA afficionado should read her archives. The quick version is that PUMA (Party. Unity. My. Ass.) was originally, supposedly, a group of supporters of Hillary Clinton who refused to support Barack Obama in the general election.

Despite no shortage of media attention, it quickly became clear that PUMAs were a vanishingly small group, and most supposed PUMAs were really just Republicans, conservatives, or people who were otherwise offended by a black man named “Barack Hussein Obama.”  In the end, Obama won 89% of self identified Democrats, compared with 89% for John Kerry in 2004, 86% for Al Gore in 2000, and 84% for Bill Clinton in 1996.  The PUMAs were a statistically insignificant factor.

With the election over, why continue to mock the PUMAs?  Sport, mostly.  Months ago I did fear a media generated controversy could be harmful to our prospects of a Democratic administration, but I haven’t been concerned about that since at least the Democratic Convention.  I do think that the ignorant hate and conspiracy theories promoted by the PUMAs should be countered, but the idiocy and naivete of the PUMA groups otherwise assures that their “ideas” aren’t taken seriously or garner widespread attention.  So mostly, I do this because I’ve had the misfortune to know about PUMAs, and like a trainwreck, I can’t look away.

Eventually, I decided that just reading about the PUMAs from great sites like Rumproast wasn’t enough.  I needed my own outlet to relieve the frustration that goes along with SIWOTI syndrome (That comic is from xkcd, which I wholeheartedly endorse), and since PUMA sites censor comments mercilessly, here I am.

Here are the basic ground rules:

  1. When I read PUMA blogs and something jumps out at me as particularly stupid (for PUMA standards, which is lower than you might expect) I’ll comment on it.
  2. Front page posts and comments by regular PUMAs are fair game for my prowling.
  3. I’ll try to be funny, but since I find the rank idiocy of the PUMAs funny, I won’t be trying to add much in the way of humor.  Your mileage may vary.

Here are what I won’t do:

  1. I won’t out PUMAs.  I know some blogs did this very early on in the PUMA movement, and there were certainly cases where it was appropriate.  However, I’m not interested in exposing people personally.  Any personal information about PUMAs not already widely publically recognized will be deleted from comments immediately, so don’t even bother.
  2. I won’t attack PUMAs personally.  Some PUMAs have personal problems that are a lot deeper than politics, and I’m not interested at all in exacerbating their emotional states.  Being overweight, transgendered, mentally ill or whatever else won’t get me to make fun of you.  Being phenomenally stupid and demonstrating it online, however, will.

Certain parts of the PUMA movement have tried to morph into womens rights organizations, and that’s fine.  It’s certainly a more worthwhile approach than anything else they’ve ever tried to do!  As an unapolegetic feminist, I have no quarrel with their aims, but I have found that the PUMAs’ efforts are lacking in a couple ways.  First, they attribute all criticism to sexism and misogyny, when their stupidity is more likely at fault.  Second, they’re latecomers to the cause of eqaul rights, and jaw-droppingly foolish about them.  Why, they just recently found out that the ERA was never actually adopted.  Most strikingly, they supported the presidential ticket that opposes gender equality.  They are currently claiming credit for the Lilly Ledbetter act, but ignore that Lilly Ledbetter campaigned for Obama, and that Obama supports the act and McCain opposed it.

So that’s the blog.  We’ll see how frequently I update.  If I do it every time I see something stupid from a PUMA, it may be rather frequently.

 (PS- “Stupid PUMAs!” should be pronounced with the same inflection as “Silly Rabbit!” from the Trix Commercials. “Silly Rabit! Trix are for kids!” It should be uttered with equal parts contempt, exasperation, and condescension.)

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