Jane Harman's Retirement Create An Opportunity for the Left

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 7 2011 11:22 AM

Jane Harman's Retirement Create An Opportunity for the Left

In 2006, 2008 and 2010, anti-war Democrats tried to make an example out of Rep. Jane Harman, D-Cal.. She represented a district that had gotten bluer in the 2002 redistricting. But she'd voted for the war in Iraq. She was a reliable hawk on national security issues. Marcy Winograd, a progressive activist in the district, challenged her from the left, and lost. It was a fairly low-profile loss the first time , less so the second time, because Winograd spoke out on Israel and political dual loyalties. Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed her after she wondered whether Rep. Henry Waxman, who is Jewish, was too concerned with Israel's priorities.

JG : Are you saying Waxman isn't loyal?

MW : I don't know. That's a question you have to ask him.
JG : Talk about Jane Harman's motivations. Is she in the same camp?
MW : I think she is a strong Zionist. I think she also profits off of war.


Harman is retiring ; while California is about to redistrict the seat, there is a liberal-leaning district in Venice Beach up for grabs, and whoever wins this iteration of the district holds it through November 2010. I've contacted Winograd to check if she'll run.

UPDATE: A small signal of just how plugged in Winograd is to the left: She has signed a petition pledging not to support Obama for re-nomination if he doesn't end the wars in the Middle East.

We do not elect his soldiers or spies, his advisors, his campaign funders, or the owners of our major media outlets.  We elect the president.  We will not support his nomination for another term, and we believe that a large proportion of Americans who voted for him in 2008 will not do so again unless he reverses the most egregious policies to which we have referred -- especially by taking decisive steps to end the war on Afghanistan and to make deep cuts in the military and war budgets.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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