Massachusetts Democrats’ Primary Revolution [OPINION]
The Massachusetts congressional delegation will be different and could be radically different after the September primary. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley started it.
Two years ago this September will be the anniversary of the victory of a Black female over a White male in a Boston-based congressional district. The history of Massachusetts politics and politics in most places had the incumbent winning. However, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley showed the past isn't always prologue when she defeated Congressman Michael Capuano. Today, Pressley is a part of the outspoken and radical leadership of the left in the House, alongside Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and she is a driving force on public policy.
Now there are other incumbents in the crosshairs of change.
Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield is currently the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and therefore literally one of the most powerful people in the world. He is in charge of the allocation of U.S. federal funds – everything from foreign aid and the military budget to bridges, roads, and food assistance programs to our most vulnerable citizens.
Representative Neal is facing a strong challenge from Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. Morse is young, openly gay, and to the left of Chairman Neal. The power and influence of Capuano weren't enough for the Democrat Party voters to re-elect him two years ago and we will see if it means anything in western Massachusetts this cycle.
Senator Edward Markey is facing a challenge from Congressman Joe Kennedy for his seat in the U.S. Senate. This race has a strange dynamic in that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a key ally of Rep. Pressley, is openly supporting Sen. Markey over Kennedy. Kennedy is the young progressive but Markey is getting the support of the institutional radical left in the race.
Markey's strongest supporters in New Bedford, Fall River, and Brockton is the Coalition for Social Justice, which is an organization controlled by an old radical who supported the Viet Cong and the Weather Underground terrorists before infiltrating the Democratic Party. The Weather Underground famously dedicated one of their publications to Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin who murdered Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 and changed the direction of America. The martyred RFK is the grandfather of the same Congressman Kennedy who is now Markey's opponent.
South Boston Congressman Stephen Lynch is also facing a primary challenge from the left. Lynch was once a traditional labor Democrat but he shed his longtime position as a principled pro-life Catholic and has now become a supporter of transgendered youth athletes, boys competing against girls as girls for practical purposes in events such as wrestling and track and field. We will learn in September if Lynch's move to take a knee for the left rather than a Mass is enough to give him two more years of employment in Congress.
Times are changing and the Democrats are in the driver's seat in Massachusetts.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.