Democratic power broker and pre-eminent superdelegate
declared recently that “if 795 of my colleagues decide this election, I will quit the Democratic Party.” Brazile wants the famed superdelegates to remain un- committed, as she is, in the hopes that a clear front-runner will emerge by convention time. Brazile’s Democratic compatriot, Bill Clinton’s strategist
, goes a step further, calling the superdelegates “an abomination to democracy.” “They should be abolished, and I predict they will be,” he says. “Anything that can’t be easily explained shouldn’t be continued.”
, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, agrees. “I’m very worried about superdelegates determining the nomination,” he says. Though he supports Hillary Clinton, Andrew pledges to use his superdelegate ballot to back whichever candidate wins the popular vote. Another prominent Democrat, Representative
Jesse Jackson Jr
., a co-chairman of the Obama campaign, has said he’d be willing to forfeit his superdelegate status. “If it better serves justice,” Jackson wrote in a recent Chicago Tribune editorial, “I’d be willing to give up my automatic superdelegate slot.” He then added this caveat: “(as long as my colleagues join me).” ARI BERMAN
THE BATTLE OF BERKELEY:
What do organic lunches for public school kids have to do with recruiting marines? Ask GOP Senator
, who’s trying to cut $243,000 in federal funding for the
Chez Panisse Foundation
, a nutrition awareness program for children, in retaliation for the Berkeley City Council’s stand against military recruitment.
The saga opened last September when
began protesting outside a Marine Corps recruitment center in downtown Berkeley. Armies of breast-feeding mothers, yoga practitioners and acupuncturists set up camp, hoping to create a “hostile environment” for the “few and the proud.” In late January, the City Council issued a proclamation calling the Marines “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” and honored Code Pink with a designated parking spot (every Wednesday) in front of the center.
Right-wingers furiously took to their keyboards.
called the events an “anti-military siege.” A blogger for
Move Forward America
smeared Code Pink as a “Communist, terrorist-supporting anti-war group.” Enter DeMint and his Semper Fi Act of 2008, which would cut more than $2 million of federal funding for the city (including those organic lunches) and give the money to the Marines.
Faced with this backlash, the City Council announced plans to rescind its proclamation. Mayor
says members will be “restating their policy” and has invited other groups to apply for parking rights in front of the center. Meanwhile, Code Pink–which is pushing an ordinance to prohibit recruitment offices within 600 feet of residential or public-use areas–vows to keep demonstrating. But neocons aren’t backing down either: California Republicans just proposed legislation that would punish Berkeley with a smaller transportation budget until it stops its “war on the U.S. Marine Corps.” DINELLE LUCCHESI