Jason Horowitz discovers the shining real-life satire of Party Unity My Ass, the political dead-enders who want Hillary Clinton to take the Democratic nomination by coup and seek revenge for her blundering, mismanaged campaign that blew a 30-point lead the orchestrated sexism that denied America's grateful children a Clinton Restoration.
The mostly female collection of activists who continue to rally around the cause of a decommissioned White House bid can't exactly be described as an organized movement. There are the wealthy donors who work within official party channels and talk calmly about reforming the party's nominating process or protecting against gender bias in future elections. Their level of hostility toward the Obama campaign varies. And then there are the outright rejectionists: the raucous bloggers and founders of groups like PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) who plan to disrupt the convention and have declared all-out war against Mr. Obama and his supporters, who they accuse of making death threats and leaving dead bunny rabbits on doorsteps in the middle of the night.
Recently, several of them met privately with Senator Chuck Schumer, who runs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. According to a number of attendees and sources with direct knowledge of the meeting, their purpose was to lobby Mr. Schumer about introducing a new code of conduct for Democratic candidates that would officially declare gender bias as offensive as racism, and to encourage him to make it the official position of the party not to deal with media outlets perceived to be trafficking in misogyny. [ed-Which explains why they only get booked on Fox News, home of jokes about Obama's "baby mama."]
"It was productive," said one attendee.
I had to leave town for a wedding this weekend and, sadly, missed the first PUMA convention. You'll recall that this had been advertised as a pow-wow at a five-star hotel, and that only the first 250 attendees would get a discount—so act fast! Diane Tucker was there, though, and discovered that they'd left the hotel. Horowitz has the reason: Only 60 of them showed up, and they decamped to a disclosed location near Dulles.
The meeting was closed to the press, organizers said, to avoid infiltration by Obama sympathizers.
Still, that's a hell of a movement: All this media coverage and only able to draw 20 percent as many supporters as they asked for to a pre-convention strategy session. Meanwhile, Ron Paul supporters are still taking over state GOP conventions… but there's no silly Clinton conspiracy angle to cover, so, no Fox News interviews for them.
What other ways can we gauge PUMA strength? A month ago, I noticed that its Facebook group only had 456 members. Today it has: 572 members. That's less than 10 percent of the ticket sales (so far) for Ron Paul's Minneapolis rally.
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.