by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
God bless the pointy little head of Pete Buttigieg, the insufferable and smug embodiment of what’s left of bourgeois values and McKinsey-certified respectability among Democrats. Not since David Brooks was ensorcelled by the crease in Barack Obama’s slacks has simple propriety seemed so remarkable.
Mayor Pete has one or two things in common with Barack Obama. Barack Obama was the first African American elected president, and Buttigieg, if elected, would be the first gay man elected president. …
… But though Buttigieg would be the first gay man elected president, he does not seem to have been invested with anything like the historical import that was attached to Obama. Partly that is because Buttigieg is a less charismatic figure than Obama and one who, so far, has resisted Obama’s messianic pretensions. But the more important factor there is that the discrimination and violence that have been inflicted on gay Americans are, while by no means trivial, not nearly as consequential to American national political culture and history as the enslavement and relentless oppression of African Americans, which is without equivalent in our past.
Buttigieg is sometimes criticized by those who want him to be what I suppose we must describe for lack of a better term as “more gay.” In a now-infamous (and almost immediate suppressed) essay in The New Republic (which still exists, if only in name), Dale Peck, a gay writer, reviled Buttigieg as a the “gay equivalent of Uncle Tom” and worried that the mayor, who made his sexuality public only later in life, had not sufficiently sown his wild gay oats and thus probably could not be expected to concentrate on the responsibilities of the presidency.