April 10, 2019

Buttigieg Criticizes Pence

“South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 presidential hopeful, took direct shots at Vice President Mike Pence Sunday regarding his sexuality… ‘That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,’ the Indiana Democrat said during a speech at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s annual brunch.” AP News

“Pence has described himself as a ‘Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order’ and previously voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage. Buttigieg would be the first openly gay U.S. president if elected in 2020.” Axios

See past issues

From the Left

The left is cheering Buttigieg and the growing emergence of a religious left.

“For voters… who gathered to celebrate a record ‘rainbow wave’ of LGBT political candidates—less than five years removed from victory in the fight for same-sex marriage, and fighting the Trump administration’s policies on transgender rights to this day—witnessing a same-sex couple run for president as a team was a powerful sight, a magic that no other presidential campaign can replicate.”
Scott Bixby, Daily Beast

“In my lifetime, it has been illegal for me to serve in the military, illegal for me to marry, illegal for me to adopt children, and even illegal for me to have sex. Society barred me from the first three; until 2003, the fourth meant risk of a fine or a prison sentence in some states. This discrimination did not just happen in a history book—it happened to me, and it happened to Buttigieg, too…

“Identity matters. Like most Democrats, I have not yet decided who to vote for in a primary that is still months away. But I believe it matters that Cory Booker is a black man, that Kamala Harris is the daughter of an Indian mom and a Jamaican dad, and that Buttigieg is gay. These facets of their identities mean that they can understand the powerless, as victims of power, and that they can understand the alienated, having been marginalized.”
Lucas Grindley, The Atlantic

“As interest in Buttigieg grows, so too will interest in his idea that while Trump may be the ‘evangelical dream president,’ he has been a nightmare for Christians whose faith is more liberal when it comes to LGBT issues, women’s rights, racial reconciliation and other topics related to diversity. This approach is not likely to win the white evangelicals and white Catholics who find common ground with Trumpism, but these aren’t really the Americans Buttigieg appears to be targeting. He seems to be interested in winning the majority of Americans who believe that a great America includes a more inclusive Christianity.”
Eugene Scott, Washington Post

“Progressives all over the country are challenging the fundamentalists' [stranglehold] on what it means to be Christian… ‘Nearly 40 years after some prominent evangelical Christians organized a Moral Majority movement to promote a conservative political agenda,’ NPR reported, ‘a comparable effort by liberal religious leaders is coalescing in support of immigrant rights, universal health care, LGBTQ rights and racial justice’... Buttigieg is a symbol for a rising Christian left.”
Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, CNN

“The three Democrats [Buttigieg, Warren, Booker] discussing their faith are right to insist that any fair reading of the Gospels reveals that the Lord Jesus spent far more time urging his disciples to be generous to the poor, welcoming to the stranger, and treat people with dignity than he did discussing any sexual issues. In our day, this focus on sexuality has resulted in a deeply regrettable and disproportionate fixation with homosexuality… Religion provides a critical perspective on society, but if the left uses religion as the right does, to baptize its positions already arrived at by different means, the Democrats will have lost an opportunity in their struggle to hurl Trump from office.”
Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

Critics of the candidate argue, “Want to defeat Trump? Attack Biden… Many progressives are understandably fearful that attacking the presumptive frontrunner might weaken him and give Trump ammunition for the general election. But challenging Biden’s record is important. For example, his core base of support – older Democrats – needs to know what an unreliable defender of Social Security and Medicare he is. By challenging him on his record, especially in the eyes of older, traditional Democratic voters, progressives could break the myth of Biden’s ‘electability’. (A strange trope given that Biden has tried and failed to be a presidential nominee since the 1980s.)… Anyone angling to be the Democratic nominee should espouse a real progressive agenda – just being ‘anti-Trump’ isn’t enough.”
Bhaskar Sunkara, The Guardian

“For Warren or anyone else to prevent the uniquely depressing experience of a Biden ‘national unity’ campaign, specifically targeted at a tiny cadre of wobbly Trump voters and Jeff Flake-style dissident Republicans, something has to change before next winter. Democratic voters and the media and basically everyone else must get over their skittish, fearful response to the Trump presidency, and their based-on-nothing certainty that nominating a progressive or a woman or a socialist or anybody who isn’t an avuncular white man with a vaguely reassuring demeanor and no discernible ideology will once again lead to disaster.”
Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

From the Right

The right defends Pence and criticizes Buttigieg’s comments as opportunistic.

From the Right

The right defends Pence and criticizes Buttigieg’s comments as opportunistic.

“Buttigieg may not have wanted to run as ‘the gay candidate’ in the 2020 primary, but that’s the angle that many national media reporters find most interesting — or perhaps just the easiest one. ‘Young gay mayor takes on a homophobic, theocratic vice president’ is a storyline they’re itching to tell. The fact that Pence never lives down to the stereotype of a sneering hate-monger is immaterial…

“[Candidates] may prefer to discuss their plans for the economy or education or climate change or whatever — to compete for the support of all kinds of primary voters. They may even find the ‘heroic minority stands up to the straight white male bully’ coverage to be a little pigeonholing or stereotyping. But the media knows what it likes, and the Democratic candidates will feel a gravitational pull in the direction of these kinds of familiar narratives.”
Jim Geraghty, National Review

“Pence has never criticized Buttigieg. He has never attacked Buttigieg for his homosexuality or anything else. When Buttigieg deployed to Afghanistan, Pence phoned to wish him well. The only time Pence publicly referred to the South Bend mayor was to pay him a compliment. ‘I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard,’ wrote Pence in 2015, after Buttigieg declared himself gay…

No politician on either side of the aisle has made an issue of Buttigieg’s sexual preferences. Perhaps that’s why Mayor Pete must tilt at windmills. An unknown, white, male, Ivy League-educated Midwest mayor faces an uphill battle in Democrats’ intersectional presidential primaries… To stand a chance in 2020, the elite young mayor must somehow portray himself as an aggrieved victim. That leaves Buttigieg only one option at the moment: to make his sexuality the central issue of his campaign.”
Michael Knowles, Daily Wire

Buttigieg “holds himself out as a more tolerant Christian than Pence, but reveals his deep intolerance of Pence as a faithful Christian. He uses Pence’s Christian orthodoxy to suggest Buttigieg’s Christianity is somehow better… Buttigieg is just another in a long line of Democrats who are willing to punish Christians for living out their faith.
Erick Erickson, The Resurgent

“It is true that the Democratic Party has become far more secular over the past 30 years. But I’m hard-pressed to see why progressive Christians should be particularly bothered by their relative weakness within the Democratic Party, compared to religious conservatives in the GOP. The Democrats already give them what they want on immigration, abortion, LGBT issues, and economic policies. By contrast, religious conservatives within the GOP have to struggle against the party’s libertarian and business factions

“It is absurd for conservative Christians to believe that Donald Trump is one of them (us) in any meaningful sense… But it is not at all absurd for clear-eyed conservative Christians to vote for Trump, given that any conceivable Democratic alternative — including Pete Buttigieg — is going to be very bad on abortion and religious liberty when it conflicts with LGBT rights.”
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The relevant question is not the nationality of a source offering ‘oppo research’ but the accuracy and relevance of the information. Another consideration is whether the information was obtained illegally—by hacking emails, for example. While the Supreme Court has said people have a First Amendment right to share illegally obtained information if they were not involved in the lawbreaking (something that news organizations frequently do), you might reasonably argue that they should also report such crimes when they become aware of them, which may be what Trump had in mind when he said he might contact the FBI ‘if I thought there was something wrong.’”
Jacob Sullum, Reason

On the bright side...

House sitters report a burglar. It’s a Roomba locked in the bathroom.
Kansas City Star

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