Stephen Lynch Is in the Fight of His Life

To look at the 8th Congressional District you would think that Stephen Lynch would be a shoe-in. He’s a well liked, multi-term incumbent. His opponent is a political neophyte who doesn’t live in the district, doesn’t know the district, and who isn’t fundraising in any serious manner. And yet, the name of his opponent is everywhere. Brianna Wu has recently been on Greater Boston with Jim Braude, The Take with Sue O’Connell, had an interview with the NY Times Magazine, and a somewhat bizarre interview with WGBH’s The Scrum. It’s been a constant drum beat since Brianna was even thinking about entering the race. The latest piece comes from CommonWealth mag: Steve Lynch’s balancing act: Is the lunch-bucket Democrat out of step with his own party?

Yes. Yes he is. That’s been the case for some time.

Lynch’s problems with Democratic voters doesn’t end with abortion, however. As a moderate Democrat, his socially conservative views might prove to be his downfall against Markey. Lynch voted for building a fence along the Mexican border in 2006, is in support of extending the USA PATRIOT Act’s roving wiretaps, and voted against a 1996 assault weapons ban as a state senator. Lynch also voted against The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) because he believed it burdened small businesses and didn’t do enough to reform the system. Markey will use Lynch’s nay vote against him as the only member of the New England congressional delegation to vote against the bill.

Does any of that matter? His largest problem in a race against Brianna Wu in a Democratic primary is simply that he is a straight white male. He’s gone through life on the lowest difficulty setting there is. His positions on things like the abortion issue are suspect not because he has evolved but because he is not a woman. There’s a case to be made that Brianna Wu isn’t a woman either, but in all the media attention that gets no mention at all. In the game of identity politics Brianna Wu is the winner.


About Patrick

Sometime political guy.