Mayor Pete can go away now


I was never a Buttigieg fan — in fact, I was totally baffled by what anyone saw in the guy. He’s a bland middle-of-the-road centrist with no particularly striking qualifications to be president, so I never gave him a second thought. But he’s getting support from somewhere, and it seems to be the usual shadowy cabal of wealthy people who want a Stepford candidate who will look nice on a stage but won’t actually rock any boats.

Some people troubled themselves to look into his background though, and here’s a great example of what they find. He’s an establishment candidate. The powers-that-be know that that faint smoky smell in the air is revolution simmering in the electorate, so they threw their influence behind the harmless nobody from nowhere. The article gets more and more fired up and starts erupting with sentiments I find copacetic. I like this:

Do you wanna know something about partisanship? Partisanship is good. Partisanship is the whole reason we have a democracy. I have no interest in finding common ground with fucking Trump voters or with other assorted white supremacists. I have no interest in making sure those groups don’t feel demonized. I have no interest in making them feel COMFORTABLE when they have made so many Americans, and the world beyond, feel the precise opposite. I’m allowed to be angry at the state of things and I’m sure as hell allowed to loudly call out those responsible for it. I want to vehemently oppose those people, and guess what? I live in a country where I’m free to do that. I don’t like being told I’m out of line for doing so. So you’ll excuse me if I’m not exactly inspired by some South Bend pud who has no stomach for that fight, and doesn’t want me to have it either.

Pledging to sow unity is just a pledge to people that you will do nothing, that you are a bland centrist determined to paint widely approved progressive ideas like M4A as divisive in a brazen attempt to cultivate irrational hostility toward them. THAT is being divisive. That is what Big Pharma is paying Buttigieg to do.

Mayor Pete never had my vote and isn’t going to get it. I’ll be favoring Warren in the Minnesota primary, unless my wife persuades me to back Sanders. Running dog lackeys of the capitalist ruling class do not stand a chance.

Comments

  1. Sili says

    Speaking of Sanders, I was surprised to see the recent statistics that even Biden of all people have a higher percentage of small-dollar and women donations than him.

  2. says

    Yeah it’s a pretty hard stretch to think that the mayor of some town I never heard of could be prepared to conduct the office of the President of the USA. He’s still better than Trump. Pete would kill it if he ran for the House or Senate though.

  3. starskeptic says

    “South Bend pud”
    Boy does that sum up my feelings on the establishment candidates…

  4. Susan Montgomery says

    I’m not sure of anything else but a Buttgeig presidency would likely be a little more unfriendly to LGBT issues – have to be balanced (not scare the straights, that is) after all.

    But who the president is doesn’t matter as much as people think. Sure, they have power but it’s sharply limited. They can’t set a legislative agenda and they can only nominate judges and officials. Congress can block them or even pass legislation over their objections. The president is nominally Head of State, but he’s still not a “leader” in any practical sense. And even if the president is Karl Marx, the Democratic leadership in congress and the state and local level is far too invested in the status quo to do anything drastic.

    Right now, we need to vote for President NotTrump. That will keep the damage getting any worse. What comes next? Maybe progressives should have our own Tea Party.

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 6 Susan Montgomery

    [Presidents]Sure, they have power but it’s sharply limited.

    They really have much less governing power, assuming US checks and balances work, than the prime minister of a British-style parliamentary democracy (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK) with a functioning majority. They do have better job security.

  6. bodach says

    Drew Magary always brings a great voice to whatever he writes. Fat cats killed Deadspin (a nominal sports site the was much much more). PZ is still my main man crush but Drew is a close second.

  7. says

    Partisanship is the whole reason we have a democracy.

    huh?

    I have no interest in finding common ground with fucking Trump voters or with other assorted white supremacists.

    Then what’s the next best option?

    Pledging to sow unity is just a pledge to people that you will do nothing

    …sowing unity … is … doing … nothing …? huh?

  8. microraptor says

    jrkrideau @7:

    They really have much less governing power, assuming US checks and balances work,

    Okay, but how does it compare in the real world?

  9. colinday says

    @ Brian Pansky
    #9

    Achieving unity is a legitimate goal. Believing that one can achieve unity in the current US political climate (nativists vs. immigrants, racists vs. people of color, misogynists vs. feminists, etc) is naïve. Promising to achieve it is not going to work.

  10. PaulBC says

    What I have found most annoying about the reporting on Buttigieg is all the gushing over how smart he is. Maybe we’re just accustomed to the stubbornly ignorant in politics (but mostly on the GOP side I have to say). I’ve known plenty of smart people, including ones who are intellectually curious, who know lots of languages, who are serious polymaths equally comfortable with technical and literary subjects. It’s cool if Mayor Pete is like that, but it doesn’t mean he’s any more suited to be president than a number of my acquaintances (who are definitely not!).

    For that matter, Obama too is very smart (and the best writer of any president in my lifetime), but in a more focused civic-minded way. It doesn’t come off as mere ornamentation, like Buttigieg picking up Norwegian on a lark. I mean, good for him, but don’t expect me to gush. And maybe he could try going for something on a state or national level before trying to jump from mayor to president.

    There’s also a fair dose of American military worship in the support for Buttigieg. Again, that’s a path he took, and it is a hard choice to make. But don’t expect me to gush. Convince me that you are the most suited to be president. I’m not seeing it.

  11. anat says

    …sowing unity … is … doing … nothing …? huh?

    The only way to have ‘unity’ with racists, misogynists, homophobes etc is to not threaten the status quo in any way, however small. So yes, sowing unity is promising to do nothing. Because changing things for the better is too ‘divisive’.

  12. jrkrideau says

    @ 10 microraptor

    Okay, but how does it compare in the real world?

    At last look, the PMs still have it but the Trump regime is so chaotic it is difficult to know who or what is play the levers in the US. In fact, it is not really clear if the US still has a functioning, coherent, senior Administration.

  13. blf says

    it is not really clear if the US still has a functioning, coherent, senior Administration.

    They’re in the Kremlin.

  14. PaulBC says

    The last time I remember a really “collegial” relationship between opposing parties was the Reagan/Bush Sr. era. When you consider that Democrats held the House of Representatives the whole time, and held the Senate part of the time while mostly ceding the initiative to the Republican privatization program, slashing social services, and lending gushing, enthusiastic support to Bush Sr.’s Gulf War.

    Do I want this back? Fuck, no.

  15. drew says

    Last time, the machine finally managed to wedge the malleable, midwestern Truman into place instead of lefty Wallace to follow FDR. That worked well for them. This time, they’re trying to skip FDR completely, writing Sanders out of the news and treat Buttigieg like a real candidate. Let’s hope it doesn’t work. Treating Trump like a real candidate made him president, so I’m not entirely hopeful.

  16. says

    @#9, Brian Pansky:

    I have no interest in finding common ground with fucking Trump voters or with other assorted white supremacists.

    Then what’s the next best option?

    Like all worshippers of compromise, what you seek is a middle ground which cannot meaningfully exist.

    Nazis want Jewish people, Roma people, gay people, neurodivergent people, and a large number of other groups dead. (History strongly suggests that if they ever succeed with wiping out all the members of their initial lists, they’ll move on to demanding more deaths.)

    If you are a member of any of those groups which are hated by the Nazis, then there is no meaningful compromise: either the Nazis lose, or you are dead. One or the other has to be true.

    You seem to think that it’s okay for those of us who are not on the list (entirely by chance, since most of the “qualifications” are accidents of birth) can somehow broker a deal and get both sides to come together. There is no deal possible. Pretending there is one, and that the victims are unreasonable to not want to cooperate, is disingenuous — and in any practical situation puts you on the side of the Nazis by requiring that the groups Nazis hate do more work to defend themselves.

    “But the quote is about white supremacists, not Nazis!” I hear you cry. That is meaningless nit-picking — there is no meaningful disagreement between any other white supremacist group and the Nazis, and white supremacists who claim they aren’t Nazis invariably end up coming down on the side of Nazis (sometimes materially aiding them) whenever there is any discussion of them.

    If you want to compromise with white supremacists, then de facto you are a white supremacist, whatever your rhetoric may be. If there was ever some kind of middle ground, it has long since vanished.

  17. consciousness razor says

    They really have much less governing power, assuming US checks and balances work, than the prime minister of a British-style parliamentary democracy (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK) with a functioning majority.

    But a president doesn’t need “a functioning majority” in the legislature, and this is largely because checks and balances here don’t work as intended in making the president answerable to Congress.
    In actual practice, even without this functioning majority, they’re still Commander-in-Chief, they still make “executive agreements” with foreign countries and “executive orders” domestically, they still have “executive privilege” and “emergency powers” whenever the hell it suits them, and nearly everything in the federal government that you’d call an “agency” or “department” does their bidding.
    The last bit is especially important: everyone in the cabinet is the president’s inferior. They’re not “other influential people in the party” who the president needs to compromise with or else the whole scheme falls apart (if any of them are influential enough so that this “functioning majority” exists in the first place). The relationship is not the roughly-equal one that prime ministers have with their colleagues, but that of a boss and a subordinate. It shouldn’t be, but it is a lot more like declaring allegiance to a monarch than some would like to admit.
    Congress could (theoretically, if our system worked as it was meant to) do many things to limit these powers, but in reality that happens only rarely if at all … they have mostly expanded presidential powers over the years, so that the president can do almost everything there is to do with impunity while Congress doesn’t do shit (except sign the checks). Meanwhile, prime ministers in the UK get tossed out like yesterday’s news all the fucking time. (You said it’s about “job security,” but what this represents is a lot of political power.)
    There’s also something to be said for the fact that the president is “elected” (indirectly, and yes, the electoral college is very dumb). So at least initially after being elected, they have some claim of being supported by people all over the country. No matter how powerful they are, no member of Congress (or the Cabinet or anything else in the government) can make that kind of claim.

  18. PaulBC says

    Brian Pansky@9

    Then what’s the next best option?

    Win elections to establish political dominance and pass legislation that will help all Americans, even the ones too ignorant to believe it, and drag the recalcitrant kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Sorry. Democracy is a way to settle differences using a fair process, not a way to please everyone.

    First off, it is not an “option” to find middle ground with a side that refuses any such overtures (Obama could probably give you some insight earned by trial and error). Second, the compromise solution is gonna look like crap anyway (consider the Affordable Care Act, better than nothing, but…) so only seek one if there is a good reason to. “We cannot negotiate with those who say ‘What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is negotiable.'”

  19. says

    I have no interest in finding common ground with fucking Trump voters or with other assorted white supremacists. I have no interest in making sure those groups don’t feel demonized. I have no interest in making them feel COMFORTABLE when they have made so many Americans, and the world beyond, feel the precise opposite. I’m allowed to be angry at the state of things and I’m sure as hell allowed to loudly call out those responsible for it.

    Given that I live in Iowa, I had the opportunity to listen to a Buttigieg representative and to a few people thinking of supporting him. The pitch was, essentially, that Buttigieg can win over the racists in the midwest swing states who aren’t so racist that they could vote for a Democrat. One of the potential supporters concerned me as well as he wanted to get our values back. Yet, he later expressed that he was unaware of how many of his friends and family were racist until Trump came along. So what “values” is he wanting to get back to? I can only suspect he wants to get back to a time when he was blissfully ignorant of just how racist Americans are. I need not tell anyone here how problematic that attitude is. Buttigieg’s campaign has similarly been running an ad here where he has a debate clip, I guess, where he says, “We will fight when we must fight, but I will never allow us to get so wrapped up in the fighting that we start to think fighting is the point.” I cannot help but interpret that as him signaling to the racists out there that he’s not going to challenge them on their racism.

  20. anat says

    Ray Ceeya @4:

    Pete would kill it if he ran for the House or Senate though.

    Unfortunately he is in Indiana, so success of a Senate run is highly unlikely. House maybe.

  21. imback says

    @PaulBC: I, for one, appreciate your comments.

    @Leo Buzalsky wrote:

    I can only suspect he wants to get back to a time when he was blissfully ignorant of just how racist Americans are.

    inspiring this doggerel:

    Get me back to a time when I was not aware
    in America how many racists are there.
    Get me back to a time when I could still be friends
    with somebody who goes Nazi-marching weekends.
    Get me back to a time I could safely ignore
    institutional bias with the blinders I wore.
    Get me back to a time I’d repress privilege
    and live blissfully free, and vote Buttigieg.

  22. hemidactylus says

    Ok I’ve seen both PaulBC‘S and Brian Pansky‘s comments taken in odd directions on this thread. What’s up with that?

  23. rydan says

    I know it is a long shot but he can still win the nomination. Are you seriously going to sit out 2020 if that happens simply because of Big Pharma payments?

  24. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    You thinks he’s gone. Then someone says “Beetleguese, Beetlejuice, Buttigieg” and suddenly he’s back. They never really go away.

  25. lpetrich says

    It’s not just the presidency that we ought to be concerned about. It’s also Congress and state offices and local offices. If that’s too much of a load, then at least check out your Congressional district’s Representative and your state’s Senators.

    Try voting in the primaries. You’ll have a good chance of having more meaningful choice there than in the main election.

    That’s how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got into office – she primaried a 10-term incumbent in a largely Democratic district. Ayanna Pressley also got into office in that way, as did Ro Khanna.

  26. aramad says

    hemidactylus @28
    Some people here have an incredibly low threshold before they go full Godwin. WMDKitty in particular.

  27. lpetrich says

    A big red flag for me is Pete Buttigieg’s accepting lots of big corporate money. That’s turned me off of Kamala Harris also. Of the two, I’d prefer KH because she has more national experience – she is a Senator. I also like that she is in her 50’s, and not as old as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Joe Biden. Though if I had to choose between JB and KH, I’d choose KH.

  28. hemidactylus says

    That Kamala Harris has a prosecutor background is a bit of a negative, but maybe that’s an asset if she were to stand toe to toe with Hair Furor in a presidential debate. I recall her bulldogging Biden, who I really despise, in one of the mega-debates. I would enjoy seeing her pull off the gloves and going medieval on Trump. She might make a good VP choice for Warren. Please not Biden again in any capacity.

  29. Sonja says

    Passionate issue debates amongst Democrats over Presidential candidates just make me laugh. It doesn’t matter! Warren and Sanders are both US Senators right now — Sanders wrote the damn bill for Single Payer. But has it passed? No, and it won’t pass any sooner if he or Warren are in the White House. So relax. These are all good candidates, just pick one and vote Trump out. More importantly, give money or time to a candidate who might flip a US Senate seat.

  30. mountainbob says

    We shall see what comes to the fore during primary season and what the convention yields. I sure hope you (PZ) have the wit to understand that your vote is vital and that if you fail to vote, or vote for a third-party candidate you are doing your level best to award the future of our country to the incumbent, president T. I’m not sure we could survive as a relatively free and independent nation after another term under T. The American Taliban wants to determine our future, and T will likely let them.

  31. John Morales says

    mountainbob:

    We shall see what comes to the fore during primary season …

    That’s a thing… most places, elections take place over weeks or, at most, possibly a couple of months. In the USA, they take fucking years!

    (Also, who cares who people actually vote for? The actual election is done by the Electoral College, anyway. A weird, weird form of supposed democracy, where someone can get nearly 3 million more votes than their opponent, and still lose)

  32. wzrd1 says

    Odd, I’ve repeatedly said, I’m uniquely unsuited to the office, to lose massive ground on the incumbent.
    At least I’d insist upon advisors and candidates well suited to controlling and protecting their agencies, even if we ended up in bare knuckle fights on occasion.
    Congress, well, a largish number would get a caning, with my now aluminum cane, since Dad’s cane broke off on me.

    That said, I have precisely zero clue how I’d end up in that Twilight Zone.
    Because, if I was God for a day, I’d be entirely and fully an atheist.

    And for the record, “mayor Pete” offered diluted nonsense, while being Biden/Clintonesque, leaning far too right to be acceptable to most.
    Wishy washy BS is utterly unacceptable to me, Bernie still holds my preference, but he’s starting to slip, likely due to illness. Going through much the same, which can be trivially addressed via medication.

    Frankly, waiting to hear end game strategies.
    Which will take until end game to be revealed.

    Every candidate promises the sun, moon and stars, might give a chicken and all of its shit, the latter being the actual end result.

    Frankly, note my prostitute vs politician joke above, frankly, I respect the prostitute more than any politician.
    That, not paying attention to far right BS from Russia, with loathe, erm, love or something.

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