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Hillary's PUMA Voters: "It's Not Too Late!"

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In the wake of Barack Obama's recent perceived move to the center, disaffected supporters of Hillary Clinton have released a "Call To DNC Delegates" urging them to "leave fraudulent Obama in Denver" and "save the Democratic Party by nominating the truer Democrat."

Posted on the website of the group called PUMA or "Party Unity My Ass" -- one of the groups that make up the mostly Democratic anti-Obama "Just Say No Deal coalition" -- the call asks "just 175 delegates" to throw their support to Hillary Clinton at the convention.

"We are not calling for some futile and self-defeating gesture," the post reads. "We are pointing to the path that leads to victory."

With Senator Clinton, we have a superior, battle-tested, and winning candidate who is waiting in the wings, ready, and willing to take over. Clinton would be a reliable leader on the issues that have built the Democratic Party. She has stood firm on her positions -- past and present -- even when it is not politically expedient.

The call enumerates Obama's recent alleged strategic backpedaling on key progressive issues -- on withdrawal from Iraq, for example, opposition to the new FISA bill and efforts to privatize social security.

From the instant that he felt that the Democratic nomination was in his hands, Obama has moved relentlessly to the right in a breathtaking, stunning exhibition of cynicism, duplicity, and fraudulent campaigning. Everything he stood for has been thrown overboard, and Obama has broken his word -- the commitment he made to his own core voters and donors.

Soon there will be no difference at all between Obama and McCain on the Iraq war, and the Democratic Party will have missed yet another historic opportunity to help the American people end Bush's and Cheney's failed Neo-Conservative policies. McCain is exploiting Obama's radical shifts in position as examples that Obama has no principles, but only opportunism and expediency, and that his much-touted soaring words mean absolutely nothing.

Obama promised to stop Bush's assault on the Constitution and civil liberties, and end illegal wiretapping. Now, Obama will vote for the Republican leaning compromise on the FISA bill, including immunity for the telecoms -- something only yesterday he promised the Democrats who supported him he would filibuster.

[...]

Obama now openly supports the death penalty, more of Bush's faith-based theocratic subsidies, and the "merit pay" assault on teachers. He wants to cut the corporate income tax, and he now opposes attempts to curb hand gun violence.

In a most glaring betrayal to his contract with the Democratic base, Obama's current team of economic advisers suggests that he will soon come out for the partial privatization of Social Security, camouflaged as "entitlement reform."

According to the PUMAs, if left un-addressed, Obama's strategic blunders will cost Democrats the White House:

McCain will point out that voters cannot trust the disingenuous Obama, and on that, McCain will be correct.

But they have their answer:

Fortunately, Obama has tipped his hand by dropping his mask too soon: there is no Democratic nominee until the Roll Call of the States on August 27, 2008 in Denver.

[...]

The fate of the United States -- and the future of the Democratic Party - now rests with a minimum of 175 Democratic delegates who must now exercise their mature political judgment in the service of their country, and turn away from Obama to support Senator Clinton.

As of now, Obama has about 2229.5 delegate votes, with 1766.5 pledged delegates and 463 super delegates.

Clinton has 1896.5 delegate votes, with 1639.5 pledged and 257 super delegates.

Shift just 175 delegates from Obama to Clinton, and Obama's power grab comes to a halt.

On some level, the call represents a perhaps predictable turn for the PUMAs and the Just Say No Deal coalition. In an interview last month, PUMA spokesman Will Bower told the Huffington Post's OffTheBus that the plan at that point was primarily to send a message to the Democratic Party that the primary election process was deeply flawed and anti-democratic and to send that message by working to defeat Obama in the fall. A coordinated effort to help Hillary Clinton win the nomination after she had conceded seemed all but off the table. Obama's recent controversial positions and the deep dissatisfaction that has resulted among many progressive Obama supporters has apparently opened a window for the reluctant Democrats Obama has been trying intermittently and with mixed results to woo since the long season of primary voting wrapped up -- when Clinton suspended but never officially ended her campaign.

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