Shailagh Murray over at the Washington Post wrote a smarter version of this Politico story on Color of Change’s petition to ask superdelegates to vote with their constituents called For Black Superdelegates, Pressure to Back Obama.

Here’s an excerpt:

Tubbs Jones is pushing back hard against the kind of pressure that has come down on Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) and other black Democratic superdelegates who are being pressed to back Obama’s candidacy.

“I say shame on anyone who’s engaged in that conduct, to put that kind of pressure on John Lewis,” Tubbs Jones said. “I’m not trying to be a martyr. I think Senator Clinton is the best candidate. And the beauty of the United States of America is you have the right to have your opinion, and I have the right to my opinion.”

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s district is in the Cleveland area. So she hasn’t had to choose yet between her own personal preference and those of her district. It will be interesting to see what she has to say after March 4.

Frankly, I find the paternalism/maternalism of certain Congressional Black Caucus members such as Tubbs Jones to be astonishing. Going back to the Politico article (emphasis mine):

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.), a Black Caucus member, said he is still “very strong” for Clinton even in the wake of Lewis’s turnaround. He was unmoved by discord in his Queens district, which backed Obama in the New York primary.

“Some people threw out flyers. That doesn’t faze me at all. If someone wants to run against me, that’s democracy,” he said. “Sen. Obama is a very inspirational person. People in the district are proud. I’m proud. You can’t not be proud being an African-American… But I have to do overall what’s in the best interests of my district.

So in essence what we are being told is that Mother or Father Knows Best and that even if the majority of their district supports one candidate, your CBC Member Knows Best and will Vote For You. The Way You Should Have Voted. If You Simple Negroes Whose Heads Got Turned by That Slick-Talking Barack Obama Exercised The Good Sense That God Gave Ya.

Or somesuch crotchety old nonsense like that. That’s not leadership and that’s not democracy. What Color of Change and over 18,000 of their supporters who have signed their petition are saying is — please represent your constituents. They are not the only ones with a petition either. If your constituents mostly backed Clinton, then by all means, vote for Clinton. All CBC members will have had a chance to vote for their preferred candidate privately in their home states at the very same time the rest of us voted in the primaries. To assert that they plan to use their privileged second opportunity to vote in Denver over the wishes of their districts, the people who made that privilege possible? That’s arrogance of the highest order. And very disappointing given what we saw during the 2000 election when the popular vote failed to hold sway. Or have we all forgotten about that?

If you’d like to keep track of how your CBC Member is planning to vote, take a look here at the 2008 Democratic Convention Watch Superdelegate List.

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