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article imageOp-Ed: This is Unity?

By Mr Garibaldi     Jun 29, 2008 in Politics
The debate on who will be the nominee for the Democratic party is over. Sound familiar? As said with another "hot" issue, anytime someone tells you something is over, bunker down. The real fighting hasn't even started yet.
It's one of the most tenuous, shakey alliances in recent political history. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Two bitter rivals for the same position coming together for the sake of party unity. It's a coalition of great idea and sound concept, built on a foundation resting in quicksand.
Because a large and growing number of Hillary supporters are walking away in disgust at being forced with the prospect of Barack Obama as the nominee for the Democratic party in the November elections.
Despite the media events, the public rallies, and photo op after photo op showing a smiling Clinton and Obama greeting the assembled, things are far from well with the Democratic party base. The party is in trouble. And it's in denial about the trouble that it faces.
Unity was spared the banality of unanimity.
Carmella Lewis, with her Hillary T-shirt and Hillary placard, came all the way from Denver to make sure there would be plenty of ambiguity, duality and ferocity in Unity.
Just as Hillary was testing out the unfamiliar familiarity “Barack and me” Friday and talking about “his grace and his grit,” Carmella began loudly booing and waving her sign.
“We want Hillary!” screamed the 57-year-old retired ad saleswoman and Clinton delegate.
“It’s over, lady!” yelled some Obama supporters a few yards away.
But is it really over, at that?
Dissension in the ranks begins with the formation of such grass roots movements as PUMA and the determination of existing groups of Clinton supporters such as, working as a loose confederation, called Just Say No Deal, representing a large and growing number of women voters who state that they will do whatever it takes to ensure that Barack Obama is not elected to office. These women, who supported and believed in Clinton, backing her to the end and beyond, are not ready to simply "let go" after seeing their candidate leading in popular votes but losing to a slim margin of delegates.
In actuality, I can understand their reasoning, as can, perhaps, other southerners observing the situation, better than voters in other parts of the country, for reasons of our own and a shared concept of another dream that was taken away from it's supporters.
In response mainly to PUMA, the forerunner organization spearheading the Hillary backers in self-imposed exile, Governor Ed Rendell has formed a PRO-Unity group that goes by, interestingly enough, HOUND (Hillary-Obama-United-Not-Divided). The purpose behind Rendell's group is to ensure that there IS party unity and harmony, and to work with patience and understanding to bring the PUMA women back into the fold of the Democratic Parties.
So, a group named for a type of dog is going to try to herd like wayward sheep another group named for a mountain lion...
Does anyone else see the potential for some badly chewed up hounds in this equation?
They should, because a recent press release by PUMA has declared that Rendell and his HOUNDs "are missing the point."
Online, in Washington D.C. and Nationwide - The Just Say No Deal Coalition issues the following response to Governor Ed Rendell’s counter movement HOUND (Hillary-Obama-United-Not-Divided). While we thank the governor for recognizing us as a fluid, viral, viable and ever growing movement— we PUMAs and members of the Just Say No Deal Coalition want to respectfully point out that Governor Rendell and his crew are missing the point.
In HOUND’s credo Governor Rendell states, "PUMA advocated that Hillary Clinton supporters do not vote for Barack Obama just for the sake of party unity…We believe Sen. Clinton supporters should vote for Sen. Obama because, as Hillary herself said so forcefully and poignantly in her great speech a few Saturdays ago the best way to achieve the changes she has fought so hard to bring to America, and on which she based her campaign, is to support Sen. Obama…"
The philosophy on which the Just Say No Deal Coalition was founded is plainly stated as this:
We, as millions of disaffected voters or PUMAs have banded together to form a Coalition of the unwilling. We fervently believe in Country Before Party. If political parties won't uphold core democratic principles, who will? If the voters don't hold the parties accountable, who will?
The answer, "We (PUMAs) will at all costs!"
For the veterinarians in the audience, remember, these are actually people we are talking about here. But I'm sure that local hospital emergency rooms will accept the volunteer service of your skills as trained medical professionals once the cat and dog fight begins in earnest...
In the meantime, there are other segments of the Democratic party, or individuals just in general, who don't care to see the Rock Star candidate elected to office. At least 60 Orlando municipal vehicles have suffered vandalism in recent months, with most of the graffiti messages painted onto the city vehicles, bearing such messages as "Obama smokes crack."
Unacceptable behavior regardless of one's candidate of choice.
Currently, there is no clear solution to resolve the fracture in the Democratic party. Hillary's supporters remain steadfast in their insistence that the nomination was basically stolen from her and that she, and husband Bill, were treated badly by the media, the Obama campaign, the Democratic Party as a whole.
In reading over the PUMA rebuttal to Rendell's Hounds, in which they basically tell him WHY that dog won't hunt as the party continues to implode, some are whispering in other corners, observing the situation from the outside, two words: Operation Chaos. It does make one wonder...
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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