Monday, March 25, 2019

2020 Challenger Lineup: Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg! The guy with the last name that has "butt" in it that no one knows how to pronounce. Also the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate ever. He's also only 37, so we can't dismiss him for being "another old white guy."

Buttigieg has been the mayor of a town in Indiana since 2012 and is a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and veteran of the War in Afghanistan. For me, this is a red flag.

He seems to have been a pretty popular mayor in South Bend, Indiana. His biggest accomplishments have been his Vacant and Abandoned Properties Initiative to repair or demolish 1,000 decrepit properties in 1,000 days and his second term's "Smart Streets" program to fix one-way streets, widen sidewalks, and add bike lanes to downtown.

But it wasn't all good times during his time as mayor. There was apparently a "scandal" in the city's police department wherein some high-ranking cops were accidentally recorded on their phones saying racist shit about the city's first black police chief. When the police communications director discovered the mistake and the racist, she told said first black police chief about it, and he ordered her to continue the recordings, I'm assuming because racism.

When this all came to light, it looks like all the cops freaked out because some of the recordings may have been illegal wiretapping. And, you know, because cops caught being racist. But that's not what they focused on. Guess who Buttigieg sided with?

The matter became public in 2012, when Mayor Pete Buttigieg demoted Boykins and fired DePaepe, citing a then-ongoing investigation into whether the recordings violated the federal Wiretap Act.

Boykins is the former police chief and DePaepe is the communications director.

The whole thing exploded, DePaepe ended up getting a settlement from the city for wrongful termination, and the legal battle over what's in the tapes, which tapes are legal to listen to, etc. went on for years. The last news on it was in summer 2017.

So Buttigieg will need to answer for that. And I'm suspicious of the white military man who sided with white police on their alleged right to be racist little shits on the phone.

But uhhhhh he can speak a lot of languages.

So what are his campaign positions?

Well, you wouldn't know if you looked at his campaign website. What is the deal with all these campaign sites that don't even list any positions on key issues? The about section tells me nothing I didn't learn from Wikipedia and also what the fuck is "boot edge edge"?

Thankfully PBS is picking up some of the slack.

Buttigieg is an advocate of "smart sewers." He, uh, migrated South Bend's sewer system to the cloud. It sounds gross but apparently the data saved the city $100 million in new pipes. Cool.

Also, he supports the Green New Deal, is pro-labor and anti-NAFTA, is pro-gun control, says he supports single-payer healthcare but wants to first transition to something that "would not eliminate private insurance companies" (suspicious), supports trans people's right to transition in prison and serve in the military, and is in favor of the Equality Act.

On immigration, he supports DACA, has been a vocal critic of Trump's immigration policy, and "vehemently opposes" sending U.S. troops to the Southern border. But maybe not for the right reasons. He called it a "waste of time" for the military.

He also wrote this HuffPost piece about how great these Trump supporters are for standing up for the one undocumented person they knew.

On foreign policy, he supports pulling troops out of Afghanistan but has "criticized Trump’s plans to withdraw from Syria." He also called Iran the biggest threat to Israel on The View.

Looking at his Twitter account, he has specifically condemned white nationalism, calling it a "deadly disease."

I really don't feel great about Buttigieg. I don't think I can give him better than a C+ considering the crap he pulled with his police force and his military background. I also feel like he doesn't have much of a chance and that this might be another ploy to get political attention. But either way, don't fall for yet another handsome-ish white male candidate. His gayness isn't making up for his imperialistic leanings.

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