Civil War on the Left, Part 62: The (Progressive ) Beat Goes On

Stunning news out of the Massachusetts primary this evening, where 10-term incumbent House member Michael Capuano has been defeated for re-election by Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley. CBS News notes the obvious comparison to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez:

Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley has unseated 10-term incumbent Rep. Michael Capuano, in a surprise upset in the Massachusetts Democratic primary Tuesday.

Pressley, the first African-American woman elected to the Boston City Council in 2009 was considered by many to be an outsider candidate, drawing comparisons to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young democratic socialist who shocked the Democratic establishment by defeating New York Rep. Joe Crowley in his primary in June. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday night, “Congratulations to my sister in service, @AyannaPressley, on continuing her historic path into Congress tonight. Let’s push together to make Medicare for All, tuition free college, & living wages a reality in America – all without corporate PAC money.”

CBS notes that Capuano has been “a longtime supporter of progressive policies such as Medicare for All,” but I guess that wasn’t enough for the increasingly “progressive” grassroots of the Democratic Party. Indeed, CBS notes that “both Pressley and Capuano admit there’s likely no difference between them in terms of the way they’ll vote in Congress.”

So in other words, the key difference is ethnicity. Capuano is a white dude. With an Italian name at that. No good for today’s Democrats.

We noted here back in June that this race was dividing Democrats over the question of race, with Robert Kuttner of American Prospect declaring his support for Capuano. I suspect the House Democratic leadership is not too happy tonight, because:

Capuano was endorsed by prominent Massachusetts figures, including former Gov. Deval Patrick, the state’s first black governor. He also had the support of the Congressional Black Caucus. He raised twice as much money as Pressley.

More popcorn please.

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