Political Editors / September 5, 2018

Socialism and Race Drive Another Demo Upset

The new Democrat Party: Another old white guy was defeated by a younger female socialist of color.

There’s a trend in the Democrat Party illustrated by yet another primary upset Tuesday, when 10-term Demo Rep. Mike Capuano of Boston was defeated by Ayanna Pressley. Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 57-42 defeat of 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley, the number four House Democrat, in June, the Boston race wasn’t even close. Pressley won 58-42 — nearly the precise numbers of Ocasio-Cortez’s victory. The difference is Pressley didn’t come out of nowhere. She was a political operative in Massachusetts and in Congress for years (she’s too old to be a Millennial), and Capuano saw her coming. He just couldn’t stop her.

Two things stand out to us. The first is the more obvious: Pressley didn’t just duplicate the Ocascio-Cortez upset by the numbers; she’s a socialist in the mold of Bernie Sanders. Indeed, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Pressley and congratulated her “sister in service” for the win. The party as a whole is shifting significantly left.

Second, this is about Democrat race-baiting. For years now, the party has promoted identity politics tied to the color of skin. Pressley, a 44-year-old black woman, was too attractive to a minority-majority district for a 66-year-old white guy to hang on. To Democrats, straight white guys are just the worst, and the only thing Capuano had going for him is that he isn’t a Southerner.

“It’s not just good enough to see the Democrats back in power. It matters who those Democrats are,” Pressley told her own supporters. “While our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man, the conditions which have made [this district] one of the most unequal in America were cemented through policies long before he ever descended the escalator at Trump Tower.” The rest of the old white guys leading the Democrat Party best look over their shoulders.

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