Committee chairmanships: the racial angle

Our friend Joe Klein has been looking forward (as are we all, natch) to a Dem-controlled 110th House, and, in particular, one or two committee chairmanships.

He starts with La Pelosi's unfortunate MtP performance the weekend before last: the part where she managed to be ineffectual yet shrill in defending her position on impeachment when challenged with John Conyer's contrary position.

Conyers, as Ranking Member of Judiciary, would naturally expect the chairmanship if the Dems took control. The tone that Pelosi took about him on MtP when Russert pointed out that Conyers was heir apparent suggested that he did not have her unalloyed admiration.

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Who is Marcy Winograd? Why is she running for Congress?

I'd like to see more discussion on this district--Chris

President of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, I am running to replace pro-war incumbent Jane Harman in California's 36th Congressional District.  I run with a great sense of urgency, for we stand on the precipice of losing our democracy, of sinking a trillion-dollars into Iraq, of launching another war in Iran, of developing over 100 new nuclear bombs each year, and of shredding the Constitution.  Everywhere I travel in the 36th District, a 30-mile urban stretch from San Pedro up through Venice and Mar Vista, a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 40,000 votes, people stop me in the street, in elevators, at meetings to ask, "Where are the Democrats?  Why aren't they speaking out?" 

I assure them this Democrat, Marcy Winograd, is speaking out passionately, challenging the leadership of the Democratic Party to stand for the possibility of peace, for the rule of law, and for a brighter day when we reject pre-emptive war and, instead, engage the world community in tackling illiteracy, AIDS, and poverty, all the while engaging our own citizens in redefining security as universal affordable health care, quality education to close the achievement gap, and environmental protection to cool the threat of global warming.

Some ask, "Have you ever been elected to office?" and I tell them, "No, isn't that great?  I have no investment in the status quo, in the power of the Beltway." Quite the contrary.  I have spent the last three years on the ground, knee deep in the grassroots, organizing town hall forums and congressional lobby delegations to end the US occupation of Iraq.

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The Supervolunteer versus the Dinosaur

Ok, so I'm really interested in Jane Harman's race against Marcy Winograd.  I'm still collecting my thoughts on this one, so any help in the comments from MyDD Californians would be much appreciated.

Jan Harman is sort of the epitome of the dinosaur Dem, the person who looked great in the 1990s as the pro-corporate wing of the party ascended but who simply couldn't adjust as a more extreme version of politics emerged in this decade.  Rather than recognizing the threat from the right, Harman instead decided her enemy was the progressive base of the party.  She clung tightly to a hawkish pro-Bush stance, and only recently has  begun to unwind from her mindless support of domestic spying on fellow citizens and Patriot Act nationalism.  That unwinding has come because of a primary challenge from Marcy Winograd.  

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Nattering Nabobs, CA-36, and Marcy Winograd

I've heard it many times, and yes, I fully agree: Jane Harman is no Joe Lieberman.

But neither is W., Attila the Hun.
And in the words of some immortal prophet I say, "What's your point?"

I was a latecomer to the Marcy Winograd campaign, I only found her courtesy of her appearance on the Young Turks show.  But I was no stranger to Jane Harman disenchantment. Her bankruptcy bill vote was the first to really honk me off, and as I learned of her knowledge of NSA spying and her support, tacit or otherwise, of the Iraq debacle, not to mention her infamous "best Republican in the Democratic party" quote, her support of Patriot Act, and the oodles of green from defense contractors, disenchantment started turning to disgust. Honestly, if Diane Feinstein can speak out against the administration's  Iranian machinations, where is the ranking House Dem on Intelligence?

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Marcy Winograd Challenges Jane Harman (D-CA)

I've been following Marcy Winograd, a primary challenger to uberhawk Jane Harman for about a month now.  When Winograd supporters blocked the automatic endorsement of Harman by the California Democratic Party, I took notice.  If there are locals on the ground in CA-36, I'd love your thoughts.  It's not clear if Winograd can win, but it's clear that there is substantial grassroots anger at Harman.

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