Today at 4 o'clock Marcy Winograd will announce her second Democratic primary run against Congresswoman Jane Harman. Winograd's event takes place at the entrance to the Venice Pier, which is located near the northern edge of the 36th District. In 2006 Winograd, an English teacher at Crenshaw High School, took on Harman who, at that time, represented everything about a compromised Democratic Party that angered Winograd and her fellow members of the Progressive Democrats of America. Not only had Harman developed a case of Carpal Tunnel from repeatedly rubber-stamping repressive legislation that the Bush administration advanced in the wake of 9/11, but she was a reliable supporter for overseas military action and ticking-bomb-scenario paranoia. She was the mother of intervention.
With a mere three months to run, Winograd pulled in nearly 40 percent of the vote of what should have been an incumbent's cakewalk. Next year, of course, she'll face a different Harman, one who got pushed to the side of intelligence politics by Nancy Pelosi, when the Democrats recaptured the House in 2006, and one who now is fighting an aggressive defense against charges she helped the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby in its efforts to spring two of its agents from federal charges. Harman's phone calls with an AIPAC lobbyist were allegedly intercepted by the Justice Department under the same kind of eavesdropping rules of engagement Harman had cheer-leaded in Congress. Harman has fought back, ironically, on civil liberties grounds. (If they can do this to me . . .)
How a rematch between the two women would play out is far from certain.
A Jane Harman cornered will be a far more dangerous creature than the
reserved, Barbara Stanwyck figure familiar to her constituents. She
would be, one suspects, a thing of claws and teeth, battling to the end
to hold onto both her reputation in the AIPAC matter, as well as her
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coastal seat should Winograd pose an even larger threat than she did in
2006. Another unknown development is the Obama factor. His presidency
has had the unforeseeable result of diminishing Pelosi's clout while,
to progressives, has not translated into a liberal enough agenda. Would Obama really prefer, then, a Winograd victory, should Harman run again in 2010?