Editorial | Party insurrection?

Editorial | Party insurrection?

A new breed of Democrats is making a lot of noise.

There's drama aplenty in Washington, D.C., where President Donald Trump's bull in a china shop style is creating giant rifts among Republicans. The constant, often-pointless drama has long since grown old.

But Democrats, many of whom are taking a "Blue Wave" in November as a given, ought not gloat too much. That party's establishment is having its own problems with insurgents — Bernie Sanders' socialists — declaring political war on traditional liberals.

Just last week, more evidence surfaced of an ongoing race/sex/gender battle within the Democratic Party. This time it was in Boston, Mass., in the former U.S. House seat held by John F. Kennedy and Thomas "Tip" O'Neill.

It was there that 10-term U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano went down in defeat at the hands of Ayanna Pressley. When Pressley is elected in November — it's a safe Democratic seat — she'll become the first African-American woman to represent the state in Congress.

What's striking about Pressley's win is that she acknowledged having no beef with Capuano's voting record or service to the district.

Replicating the similarly successful campaign theme of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Sanders socialist who defeated another veteran liberal incumbent in New York City, Pressley based her campaign in the minority-majority district on demographics and the argument that the incumbent was too old, too white and too male.

Afterward, Pressley, a member of the Boston City Council, characterized her win as a victory for "people who feel seen and heard for the first time in their lives."

The irony in the outcome is that those mainstream liberals who have stoked the fires of identity politics are finding themselves to be among the first to be consumed by them.

The political establishment did not go down without a fight.

Democratic Party leaders counseled Pressley not to get in the race. Once she did, they did their best to beat her. Among them was civil rights hero and longtime Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who campaigned for Capuano.

The big question now is to what extent this political revolution in solid Democratic minority-dominated congressional districts can be translated into groundbreaking wins in more politically balanced districts or competitive states.

Democrats are running three nontraditional leftist candidates for governor in Georgia, Maryland and Florida. If they win or come close, the trend of leftward movement within the party will be a new fact of life.

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