Dem big-city primary voters once more say, 'Bye-bye, white boys!'

A second big-city Democrat House district has ousted a white male ten-term incumbent progressive in favor of a minority woman.  Representative Michael Capuano, who just lost the Democratic primary in the Seventh Congressional District of Massachusetts, first entered the House of Representatives in 1999, in the same freshman class as Rep. Joes Crowley of New York, who was defeated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Defeating him is Ayanna Pressley, advocate for lots and lots of free stuff, seen here addressing a small gathering of voters.


Screen grab: Politico video.

Among Democrats in safe big-city congressional districts, it used to be that if you managed to win a primary after the incumbent Democrat left office, you had a safe gig, so long as you stayed away from scandals and voted progressive.  But the era of identity politics has changed all of that.  Old white men are being rejected by the voters they believed themselves to be serving.

I used to see Mike Capuano when he was an alderman in Somerville, Massachusetts in the 1970s, and I attended City Council meetings as a resident of that town with an inferiority complex, lying just to the north of richer and more renowned Cambridge.  He was good at shaking hands and constituent service, and he finally made it to mayor.

His big break came in 1998, when Joe Kennedy II retired from his Eighth District seat in the House – a seat that was previously held by Tip O'Neill and before him, JFK – and a wide open primary battle left Capuano the victor with only 23% of the vote, thanks to the large size of the field.  Under the Old Rules, once in Congress from a heavily blue district, he was set for life.

But the 2000 Census intervened, requiring Massachusetts to give up another House seat, thanks to greater population growth in predominantly red parts of America, and Mike's residence in Somerville put him in a newly configured Seventh District, which now became the sole "minority-majority" district in the state of Massachusetts.  More affluent areas of the old 8th were dropped, and large swaths of heavily black areas of Roxbury and Mattapan in Boston were added to make the new Eighth District.

The woman who defeated Capuano is Ayanna Pressley, the first black city councilwoman in Boston.  Compared to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she is older (44 vs. 28) and an experienced politician.  She also knows how to advocate for free stuff for people who didn't earn the money to pay for it.  This video from Politico shows her style.  A glamour girl like Ocasio-Cortez, she is not.  But she does know a thing or two about politics and is unlikely to embarrass herself to the degree that the ingénue from the Bronx has.

She will go whole-hog anti-Trump:

"Our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man," Pressley, 44, told supporters on Tuesday night.  "It is time to show Washington, D.C., both my fellow Democrats, who I hope will stand with us and Republicans who may stand in our way ... change is coming and the future belongs to all of us."

Republicans didn't even bother to field a candidate, so Pressley is guaranteed a win unless a meteor or lightning strikes her down.

Meanwhile, white males from safe urban Dem districts would be advised to find a new line of work before the 2020 election.

A second big-city Democrat House district has ousted a white male ten-term incumbent progressive in favor of a minority woman.  Representative Michael Capuano, who just lost the Democratic primary in the Seventh Congressional District of Massachusetts, first entered the House of Representatives in 1999, in the same freshman class as Rep. Joes Crowley of New York, who was defeated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Defeating him is Ayanna Pressley, advocate for lots and lots of free stuff, seen here addressing a small gathering of voters.


Screen grab: Politico video.

Among Democrats in safe big-city congressional districts, it used to be that if you managed to win a primary after the incumbent Democrat left office, you had a safe gig, so long as you stayed away from scandals and voted progressive.  But the era of identity politics has changed all of that.  Old white men are being rejected by the voters they believed themselves to be serving.

I used to see Mike Capuano when he was an alderman in Somerville, Massachusetts in the 1970s, and I attended City Council meetings as a resident of that town with an inferiority complex, lying just to the north of richer and more renowned Cambridge.  He was good at shaking hands and constituent service, and he finally made it to mayor.

His big break came in 1998, when Joe Kennedy II retired from his Eighth District seat in the House – a seat that was previously held by Tip O'Neill and before him, JFK – and a wide open primary battle left Capuano the victor with only 23% of the vote, thanks to the large size of the field.  Under the Old Rules, once in Congress from a heavily blue district, he was set for life.

But the 2000 Census intervened, requiring Massachusetts to give up another House seat, thanks to greater population growth in predominantly red parts of America, and Mike's residence in Somerville put him in a newly configured Seventh District, which now became the sole "minority-majority" district in the state of Massachusetts.  More affluent areas of the old 8th were dropped, and large swaths of heavily black areas of Roxbury and Mattapan in Boston were added to make the new Eighth District.

The woman who defeated Capuano is Ayanna Pressley, the first black city councilwoman in Boston.  Compared to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she is older (44 vs. 28) and an experienced politician.  She also knows how to advocate for free stuff for people who didn't earn the money to pay for it.  This video from Politico shows her style.  A glamour girl like Ocasio-Cortez, she is not.  But she does know a thing or two about politics and is unlikely to embarrass herself to the degree that the ingénue from the Bronx has.

She will go whole-hog anti-Trump:

"Our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man," Pressley, 44, told supporters on Tuesday night.  "It is time to show Washington, D.C., both my fellow Democrats, who I hope will stand with us and Republicans who may stand in our way ... change is coming and the future belongs to all of us."

Republicans didn't even bother to field a candidate, so Pressley is guaranteed a win unless a meteor or lightning strikes her down.

Meanwhile, white males from safe urban Dem districts would be advised to find a new line of work before the 2020 election.