Feb
22
2015

Rep. Janice Hahn (D, California-44) bails out of Congress.

Normally I would say that Janice Hahn cut and ran, but CA-44 is a D+32 district.  That’s… pretty safe for a Democratic candidate. Anyway, we all missed this news from last week; and, her reasons for retiring? It is to laugh:

“The problem is, Washington is broken, it’s increasingly mired in political gridlock, and there’s virtually zero cooperation between the two parties. That’s not the kind of government I grew up with, and it’s precisely why I know I can do more for the Los Angeles region on the Board of Supervisors,” Hahn said in a statement announcing her decision.

Translation: Look, when I took this gig in 2011 when Jane Harman retired I was told that the Democrats were going to be taking back the House in 2012, or 2014 at the very latest. But that didn’t happen, now, did it? – And since Nancy Pelosi apparently plans to be mummified and entombed in the House Minority Leader’s office there’s precisely zero upward mobility in this job. The two Republicans on the Board of Supervisors are term-limited for 2016 anyway: a 4-1 Democratic-Republican split there sounds pretty danged ‘bipartisan’ to me.

…I am obviously going for of the gist there than, say, a literal translation.  You see, the kind of government that Rep. Hahn ‘grew up with’ was mostly like her tenure on the Los Angeles City Council, which is the sort of place where ‘bipartisan’ is defined as ‘well, we have a Republican around here somewhere.’ And if LA wants to keep electing Democrats in positions of authority, that’s LA’s privilege. But you will forgive me if I sardonically chuckle at the sight of a Democratic politician – one who has probably spent her whole political life comfortably as part of a political majority – taking her ball and going home because of ‘zero cooperation.’ Let me translate that, too: it means ‘Democrats resent not getting their own way.’

Oh, well, maybe the next one will be more sensible.  He or she won’t have much choice in the matter: at present, nobody’s really ready to come out and say that the Republicans will retain the Senate, but it kind of looks that way*. Certainly there’s currently no credible scenario where Democrats retake the House.  Which is of course – and, again – why Janice Hahn is bailing.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Amazing how much more valuable R+9 is than R+8, huh?

4 Comments

  • JEM says:

    She’d rather be a big fish in the toxic, fetid little pond that is CA state government than a bait fish on a hook in the national ocean.

  • Antoninus Pius says:

    i’d put in my time, and be “helpful” to whatever industry i chose to become a high-paid lobbyist for. or, wait till the other CA senate seat opened up and try my luck. on the other hand, she is 63, so she might just be tired of the craziness that is DC, and want to do something meaningful in her time left in public service.

  • BigFire says:

    Janice Hahn is where she is purely on the merit of her father’s name. While she’s in LA, she means something. When she’s in congress, she’s a nobody. Plus, being one of the 5 LA County Supervisor (her father’s old job) actually means you’re 1/5 of of a pretty large slice of a political fiefdom.

    • JEM says:

      Indeed.

      Given the term-limited nature of most CA state and local offices, there’s almost always a seat for a reliable Dem party hack when the electoral music stops. She’ll get the supervisor seat, then if she’s still up for the political game after that it’s off to the Board of Equalization or some other similar sinecure.

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