Millennial Democrat Pete Buttigieg received a nice bump out of the turmoil in the Iowa caucuses last week. The Democrat Party has a penchant for picking fresh-faced unknowns – Barack Obama comes to mind. However, Democrat voters apparently don’t care to investigate the backgrounds of their candidates very carefully; they seem to take it for granted that, as long as a candidate bleats leftwing nonsense and panders to them by promising freebies, that’s all that is necessary to earn the votes of the Democrat rank-and-file.

In that case of Buttigieg, the 38-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, one might think that Democrat primary voters would be interested about some of the following:

  • Buttigieg’s father was a Marxist professor. From a Washington Examiner report comes the following quote that he was “a Marxist professor who spoke fondly of the Communist Manifesto and dedicated a significant portion of his academic career to the work of Italian Communist Party founder Antonio Gramsci, an associate of Vladimir Lenin.”
  • Despite his claim that he is a “progressive,” he receives the most campaign contributions from billionaires of any Democrat running for president. According to a Forbes report, “Forty billionaires and their spouses have donated to Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.” Do the progressive activists that are the core of the Democrat Party know that?
  • A former war protestor and with a Marxist father, he somehow received a direction commission into the naval reserve as an intelligence officer. “Because of his pedigree, Buttigieg glided straight into the Navy Reserve’s direct-commission officers program, bypassing the more time-consuming training route of other branches.” How did he pass the security investigation to receive a security clearance?
  • Despite his military service, Buttigieg “declined to answer a slew of questions about his positions on leading national security and foreign policy questions posted recently by the New York Times,” including “Iran, North Korea, Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan, Russia, and the use of force for regime-change, and other issues,” as reported here. Could one reason be the fact that he is being advised by Iranian regime apologist Valil Nasr, as reported by Twitter personality and MEK supporter Heshmat Ali? Isn’t one’s foreign policy a key determining argument for voting for a president?

  • Lastly, he takes pains to hide his open homosexuality from values issue voters in particular. One Iowa woman even asked to change her vote in the Iowa caucuses after she found out he was a homosexual, as reported here (with video embedded). There are still a lot of rank-and-file Democrats who believe homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle, but how many know the reality regarding Mayor Pete?

Buttigieg was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. It was a friendly interview much like all of Stephanopoulos’s interviews of Democrats. Nevertheless, Buttigieg’s answers provide a further window into his radicalism which, admittedly, positions him quite well in the modern Democrat Party. Here is some of that Q&A:

Stephanopoulous: [W]e just heard from Vice President Biden on the program. Listening to him over the last 24 hours, he seems to be boiling down his message to a version of what we heard from Lloyd Benson back in 1988. I know Barack Obama. Barack Obama’s a friend of mine. Pete Buttigieg is no Barack Obama.

Buttigieg: Well, he’s right, I’m not Barack Obama. And neither is he. Neither is anyone running for president right now. And this isn’t 2008, it’s 2020. And this election is about where our country is headed next and, of course, how to defeat Donald Trump. What I’m offering right now, and the reason I think we have been able to succeed so far, is a message that is about building the sense of belonging and pulling together a coalition, a majority, that will not only defeat Donald Trump, but do it by a big enough margin that we send Trumpism into the history books.

Me: Buttigieg is nothing if not slick. He says a lot of words that sound good but have no inherent meaning to them. “Pulling together a coalition, a majority,” he says. Of whom? Of what blocks within the Democrat Party. And how?

Stephanopoulous: But as you know, so far that coalition, from all the polling we’ve seen, does not include a sizable number of black voters. And the point that Vice President is making is, that if you don’t get overwhelming support from black voters, you can’t win the nomination, you can’t win the presidency.

Buttigieg: And I’m going to have to work to earn that vote just as I did in South Bend. I was brought and returned to office by a multiracial coalition and the voters who know me best in the African-American community are where I get the most support. Now, I know, especially heading into the south, that I’m now getting a second look from a lot of voters who, frankly, weren’t sure if we were competitive in the first place, but know how important it is that we are prepared to build a campaign that calls everybody in, that will defeat Donald Trump. And that’s exactly the work that we’re doing. This is about belonging both within our campaign and across our country.

Me: Joe Biden would say that’s a bunch of malarkey! His response is completely disingenuous in stating that his black voters who “know him best” is where he gets the most support. He’s pretty slick, isn’t he? Buttigieg’s struggles in connecting with black voters is well documented. Maybe this is of the reason, as reported in a recent DailyBeast article: “A study found that the city of South Bend did not award any contracts to black-owned businesses for three straight years.”

Stephanopoulous: You seemed to little taken aback when Linsey Davis on Friday night, challenged you about the record of African-American arrests for marijuana procession in South Bend. Do you have to do a better job of owning your record in South Bend and explaining it?

Buttigieg: Well, I’ve never been afraid to talk about the good, the bad and the indifferent that we’ve experienced in South Bend. Look, when you’re a mayor, you’re not just calling for good things to happen, you have to be on the ground figuring it out. And when it comes to things like the systemic disparity in arrest rates and incarceration rates when it comes to marijuana, South Bend has not been immune. Now, as I was quick to point out, black residents in South Bend had a lower arrest rate for drug charges than in the state or in the country.

Me: Not so fast, Pete. Are you trying to slip another fast one by us? What about the accusations from black police officers that you never addressed racial issues while he was mayor, as reported here. You’re not going to win without the black vote.

Stephanopoulous: But it did go up over your tenure as mayor.

Buttigieg: Yes, there were ups and downs in the arrest rates and we own that, because that’s part of the story of our city. It’s also a part of the story of a country that must legalize marijuana and end these kinds of disparities once and for all. We made tremendous work progress in the city of South Bend. But, of course, we didn’t resolve all of these issues. And what we’ve got to do now is have a national effort and be ready to use the power of the presidency to reverse the harms of the incarceration policies that I have seen traumatize a generation of kids with incarcerated parents.

Me: More generalities and more soundbites, but no specifics. How are you going to “reverse the harms of the incarceration policies”? You of course side-stepped the fact that President Trump actually delivered on criminal justice reforms long promised by progressive Democrats like Obama, but never delivered.

Stephanopoulous: So, what’s the number one thing you would do January 20th in the White House, 2021, to address that problem?

Buttigieg: Well, we need to have a systemic vision for dismantling systematic racism. I put it forward. It’s called the Douglass Plan, and it’s not only about criminal justice reform, taking federal action to lead the way in decarcerating [sic] this country. But actually, it begins with economic empowerment, making sure that we are supporting black-owned business, making sure that, you know, not everybody’s going to start a business, but also just have to have basic economic policies about raising wages that we know disproportionately benefit workers of color. We got to have economic empowerment, criminal legal system reform, and political empowerment, because part of the reason decision after decisions after decision is made in a way that harms communities of color is that there has been systemic suppression of voters of color. So, we need a 21st century Voting Rights Act so the kind of voter suppression we’ve seen cannot stand.

Me: Nice list of topics. Where’s the “how?” President Trump would make mincemeat of Mayor Pete because he’s actually delivered on criminal justice reform and is personally working on opportunity zone legislation with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), both of which are major issues in the black community. What’s Buttigieg planning to do besides talk about it?

Stephanopoulous: Let’s talk about Bernie Sanders. He attacked you by name for one of first times yesterday, saying you have billionaires by the dozen contributing to your campaign, and the guy is getting a lot of money from pharmaceutical CEOs, can’t bring about real change.

Buttigieg: Look, I have never hesitated to stand up. As a matter of fact, we sued pharmaceutical companies for what they did to our community in the opioid crisis. I’m also putting together the campaign that’s going to defeat Donald Trump. Trump and his allies are doing everything they can to hold on to power. They raised 25 million bucks in one day. And if somebody wants to donate to a campaign, especially if they know that I’m going to raise their taxes and they’re going to donate anyway, fine, we need to accept and encourage and welcome help from everybody who’s part of this cause. And, by the way, I rely very heavily on grassroots donations, people contributing through PeteforAmerica.com by the hundreds of thousands. We’ve gotten over 2 million contributions. I think the average is under 40 bucks. Someone like the mayor of South Bend does not become a major presidential candidate as an establishment powerhouse. We’re here because we built a movement and that’s what’s going to carry us to the White House.

Me: Uh, nice try. You failed to mention your 40 billionaire donors – more than any other Democrat candidate, which is where the bulk of your contributions come from. The rest is platitudes for public consumption.

Stephanopoulous: You know, I was little surprised Friday night that you didn’t take on the issue of socialism directly, given what President Trump is going to do with that. Are you concerned about that? Do you believe — and I asked Vice President Biden this question — do you believe that the Democrats can defeat Donald Trump if they have to defend socialism?

Buttigieg: I think it will be lot harder. But the bigger concern that I have is further dividing the country. You know, when the campaign says that either you’re for a revolution or you must be for the status quo — most of us don’t see where we fit in that picture. And the irony is at this moment, we actually have a historic American majority, not just the line around what we’re against, we need to get rid of Donald Trump, but what we’re for. Most Americans want higher wages, want corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share, want universal health care, action on prescription drugs, action on climate change, gun violence. We have a historic majority that we’re going to need not just in order to win, but in order to govern. Let’s hold together and not blow up that American majority.

Me. What the heck is this “majority” about which he keeps bleating? That’s ephemeral nonsense. He’s been between 5-15% nationally within the Democrat Party since the race began and hasn’t faced any real pushback because nobody takes him seriously. And of course he couldn’t answer the question about socialism because he is on the extreme left in his own party and supports all the cockamamie socialist positions being touted during the Democrat debates. And, no, most people do NOT want “universal healthcare, action on climate change,” or – as you imply but don’t state outright – gun control.

Stephanopoulous: One of the things we’re seeing here in New Hampshire, I think we saw it in Iowa as well, is Democrats are real uncertain about which way to go. You know, some polls show up 40 percent still deciding this last 48 hours. I ran into a voter yesterday who’s trying to decide between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. You all seem pretty different to me. But how do you convince that voter to pick you over Bernie Sanders?

Buttigieg: Well, if we’re talking about a voter interested in progressive change, my message is that I would be the most progressive president we’d had in a half century. But also, that I’m putting together the governing coalition to get it done, that I am calling everyone into a sense of belonging that will unite Democrats who had been at our side all along, but also quite a few independents and even some Republicans who aren’t going to agree with me on everything, but know that we need a different president. That’s how we’re going to win. That’s how we’re going to govern. And in a moment when our country is frighteningly polarized and divided, we’re going to need some healing, not at the expense of our values, but in the name of our values.

Me: After all the fuzzing around, he finally admits that he’d be “the most progressive president we’d had in a half century.” What that really means is that he promises to be even more of a leftist than the Democratic Socialist who is his main primary opponent, Bernie Sanders! Damn straight that Republicans and a lot of independents aren’t going to agree with you, Pete. We’re not going to elect a socialist like you no matter how you finesse the issues and glibly and slickly package yourself in interviews such as this one.

“Mayor Pete” is a lightweight with limited experience and skeletons in his closet that are being exposed almost daily. His real gift is his ability to glibly fuzz answers – some people remark that he is “gifted” in that regard – but can he fool enough Democrat primary voters and withstand the broadsides from his primary opponents? We will soon find out.

The end.

Stu Cvrk
Stu Cvrk served 30 years in the US Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. An oceanographer and systems analyst through education and experience, Stu is a graduate of the US Naval Academy where he received a classical liberal education which serves as the key foundation for his political commentary. He threads daily on Twitter on a wide range of political, military, foreign policy, government, economics, and world affairs topics.
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