Voters across the country are holding out-of-touch politicians accountable for their years of egocentric decisions and callous indifference to constituents. Southern California Democrat Jane Harman exemplifies the politician that voters are tired of. Harman's career in Congress may very well end in California's primary election on June 8th.
What is clear to district voters is that Harman's silly and childish public fight with Speaker Nancy Pelosi has neutered her ability to be effective in introducing or passing legislation. Its clear Harman won't work with Republicans and can't work with her own party's leadership. She has single-handedly alienated most everyone she needs to be an effective voice for the people in her coastline Los Angeles district. Harman's self-proclaimed expertise on national security issues has also become a thorny issue for the conservatives who think she isn't tough enough and the liberals who think she is too tough.
Harman is proof that if you are everything to everyone then you're a soulless politician without a base. Harman's television commercials comically mention no issues but instead show pictures of the district with upbeat music playing while her name is splashed on the screen -- a constant reminder to voters that we don't know who she is or what she stands for after 8 terms in Congress. But voters have tired of being ignored by the multi-millionaire Congresswoman who failed to hold any legitimate town hall meetings on Obama's health care plan even though voters in the district were calling for them. Harman, the richest Democrat in Congress, just ignored the requests and petitions from voters and kept a low profile during the debate. Harman likes to pay attention to the voters closer to her elections.
But California's unique election process offers voters the chance to classify themselves as "Declined to state" instead of choosing between Republican or Democrat. Harman's district, which runs from San Pedro to Venice, has one of the highest concentrations of voters classified as "declined to state" in all of California. The independent and unaffiliated voters of the district will decide who represents Los Angeles' coastal communities in Washington, DC for the next Congress. And the timing couldn't be more perfect for Harman to lose her seat in the primary election of June 8th. Email chains and community buzz have Democrats and Republicans joining together to dump Harman in the primary by voting for Marcy Winograd. For Democrats, Winograd is a grassroots liberal more connected to the traditional base and willing to listen to the activists of the party. For Republicans, Winograd presents an obvious and stark contrast to their conservative principles of lower taxes and personal responsibility.
Winograd's tough grassroots campaign has forced Harman to ignore the health care debate and call for higher taxes and defense spending cuts despite the fact that her district is home to some of the Nation's most respected defense contractors. Winograd has effectively outed Harman's liberal policies at a time when voters are concerned with the traditional tax and spend tactics of this Congress.
Waiting for Winograd or Harman after June 8th, is Mattie Fein. Fein is the best hope for Republicans to take back the district and a rising star in Republican politics. Fein is smart, humble, funny and wildly experienced. She is a mother who speaks comfortably about job creation in the casual beach community of Venice as well as national security policy in the halls of Congress.
Fein will blunt Harman's self-proclaimed expertise on intelligence and national security issues by challenging Harman's quixotic ideas of dealing with terrorists. And Fein's approachability and personality are more in tune with the beach culture of the district than Harman's limousine liberal attitude.
Without even trying Harman has actually succeeded in uniting the parties together - they are now united to defeat her.