Saturday, November 30, 2013

If Henry Waxman Doesn't Stay On His Toes, Marianne Williamson Will Beat Him Next Year


I don't want to demonize Henry Waxman. As congressmen go, he's been a fairly decent one, for the most part, relatively progressive and-- except on issues relating to Israel and the Middle East-- pretty open-minded. The only time I remember really disagreeing with him, in fact, was when he backed Cheney's and Bush's horrific decision to attack Iraq without provocation. And he has been in Congress for 20 terms, about 39 years… long enough for anyone, way too long for most. But Waxman should realize when his time is up on his own and bow off the congressional stage gracefully. Demonization should have no role in that decision.

A few days ago, we saw that highly acclaimed author, Marianne Williamson had decided to challenge Waxman's reelection. She's running as an independent. And she has a real shot at beating him. I wish she were running next door against Blue Dog/New Dem Adam Schiff instead, a much worthier target. Schiff and Waxman share the Sunset Strip. Doheny Drive is the border between Schiff's 28th CD on the east side of the street and Waxman's 33rd on the west side of the street. Laurel Canyon Blvd. divides the two districts between Lookout Mountain Avenue and Mulholland Dr. Rosewood Avenue, a street just between Melrose and Beverly in West Hollywood is another border between the two districts, Schiff on the northern side of the street, Waxman on the southern side. Waxman has Cedars-Sinai but I think they share Macy's Men's Store in the Beverly Center. They also share deep reservations about Obama's decision to take the diplomatic route with Iran.

A few weeks go, Waxman was joining House Republican warmongers and extremists howling for more and tougher sanctions. “The Senate should act. We ought to pass these increased sanctions, and make sure that the Iranians don't think that they can charm their way out of this situation. Act now,” he barked. The White House asked the Senate to hold off to give the peace process so time to work.

Williamson is more in that camp. Like Waxman, she's also Jewish. I asked her how she felt about the agreement. "It's a tenuous first step," she told me yesterday, "and there are legitimate reasons for mistrust-- but if you don't plant a seed, then how you can ever expect a tree to grow and bear fruit?"

I have no doubt she could beat Schiff easily. And if Waxman doesn't treat her challenge as a serious threat, she'll beat him. Last year, running against mad dog billionaire Republican Bill Bloomfield (posing as an "independent"), Waxman had his closest call ever. He managed to beat Bloomfield 171,860 (54%) to 146,660 (46%). Consider that on the same ballot, Obama won the district over Romney 210,010 (61%) to 127,421 (37%). Bloomfield did a lot better than Romney and Waxman trailed Obama. If EMILY's List jumps into this race on behalf of Williamson, which would be a real stretch, Waxman might as well retire.

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At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Zack from the SFV said...

Williamson doesn't qualify for EMILY's List. They only support pro-choice female Democratic candidates. They won't go for an independent, even if she is a woman who supports reproductive rights.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

I don't expect EMILY's List to endorse her either, but she is a lifelong Democrat who has already said she will caucus with the Dems if she's elected-- the same way Bernie Sanders does.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Carl Macki said...

Marianne now has a great shot at winning because she represents a real alternative to both Republicans and Democrats in that district. Plus she is, in my opinion, the most charismatic candidate in the race.


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