Congratulations, President-Elect Obama.

We Are Still Here!
We Are Still Here!

(Note to self: I am too old to do shots of Southern Comfort with PUMAs in New York. Owwwww, my head!)

I understand the nature of the historic moment that many of my friends and family are celebrating. It is indeed a powerful statement about America, that we have finally elected an African-American man to the office of the Presidency. I want to shout out to my stepmother, who worked so hard on Obama’s campaign in Virginia. Knowing her belief and energy, I am quite sure that the massive turnout in her county was largely due to her efforts.

But as a woman, I have nothing to celebrate today; because Barack Obama chose to have his moment at the expense of another historic moment. And he used every nasty, misogynistic, Republican trick in his toolbox to do it.

I desperately hope that I am wrong about what kind of President Barack Obama will be. Based on the evidence of the past 21 months, however, I am not optimistic today.

Yet…there is still PUMA. 

According to an MSNObama exit poll I saw last night (which would be a low figure, as they do not and cannot poll everyone), 14% of Hillary Clinton’s 18 million primary voters did not vote for Obama. That’s about 2.7 million PUMAs.

Think about that. We started on June 1, 2008, with no money and no central organization; a true grassroots movement; and we are, at the LEAST, 2.7 million strong.

We could not swing this election due to the astonishing turnout Obama managed to inspire, but that does not mean we are not here and ready to continue our efforts to promote fairness, social justice and gender equity in American politics. And I also hope that we can stop the demonization of each other and realize that our agreements can be stronger than our disagreements – if we choose to let them be so.

Today, I believe that my main focus will be promoting women to positions of leadership, aka the 30% Solution. I look forward to working on that with The New Agenda. But I also hope to continue to promote accountability for the Democratic and Republican Parties going forward. Given my new less-partisan standpoint, I am in a better position to do so personally. And if PUMA becomes a third party or simply a more powerful voting bloc, I will be thrilled to join that effort as well.

But for now, PUMAs, rest and recover. We have a lot of work to do, and I want you to know, I’m still here, I’m not a Republican operative, and I’m not going anywhere.


Cross-posted at Partizane and The Confluence


12 responses to “Congratulations, President-Elect Obama.

  1. Neida Rodriguez

    “less partisan standpoint” is the understatement. Having been on the receiving end of my own party’s crap, I now feel as if I can see through walls: incredible insight, both human and political, on racism and misogyny. I will put all to good use working for the “30% solution”.

  2. I am comforted by the words “I am not going anywhere”. Neither am I. You are a voice of sanity in all this craziness.

  3. Not going anywhere either. I absolutely agree with this and where I am going:

    But I also hope to continue to promote accountability for the Democratic and Republican Parties going forward. Given my new less-partisan standpoint, I am in a better position to do so personally.

  4. Pingback: Not going anywhere « Blue Lyon

  5. I’m not going anywhere either. I too will be working on turning Americans of all political stripes into an Army of Feminists. 🙂

  6. Very gracious. I wish I could say the same others.

  7. Still here. (Was W. Lotus in comments on The Confluence, until I got my own WordPress account, today.) Still a PUMA. Still resisting!

  8. 2.7 million is a lot of PUMAS, to be sure. I wonder if we can maintain any sort of cohesion between now and 2010, which would be the next election cycle. No celebratory hats or horns for me at this time, either.

  9. The starting point was that millions — and not only women — finally got an answer to the dirty $600 million question,

    “Is it just me or is the Party that has thrived on my unwavering, longtime support more determined to erode my rights than protect them?”

    Apparently, Sweetie, you’re NOT alone!

  10. CognitiveDissonance

    I’m with you madamab. Puma’s have definitely proven their mettle this year, and I think we will be a force in the future.

    I’ve seen a few comments around the web about the Puma’s not swinging the election. But there is a missing piece to the puzzle that I just read over at Not Your Sweetie’s blog:

    “65 million Republicans voted for an utterly failed incumbent in 2004. Only 55 million bothered to show up for a far better choice this year.”

    That’s right – 10 million fewer republicans came out to vote for McCain than voted for Bush. This is how McCain lost. That 10 million would have been a comfortable win for McCain. So don’t let anyone claim that the loss is the fault of Puma’s not coming out to vote.

  11. I am optimistic! I voted for Barack Obama in the primaries as well as the presidential!

    I’m glad to read your somewhat positive post.

    i hope your wounds heal, pumas. This is a clear victory for America!

  12. Bell, you’re a jerk. It’s not a matter of wounds needing to be healed. It’s a matter of not rejoicing in the election of someone who despises you and is set to enact policies that will hurt you. It would be like my black neighbors being gracious and congratulating David Duke on his election.

    In this case that “wonderful black symbol” despises the female half the population regardless of ethnicity or color, and those in the male half who have the temerity to love someone of their own sex.

    Sorry, I’m not as gacious as Madama B. I don’t believe in “time heals all wounds.” I do, however, hope in the prospect that time wounds all heels.