Biden’s Attack On Mayor Pete

A Pointer to Ann Althouse for flagging this.

The Biden camp released this attack ad today. Althouse opined that it employed race-baiting and homophobia.

She’s right. The race-baiting is obvious: Joe Biden learned the lesson of the Obama administration and “Black Lives Matter”; if a white person does or says anything negative affecting a black person, it’s racist. The gay-bashing is insidious, and I have no question that it is intentional. Biden’s marketing team could have emphasized many minor aspects of a small city mayor’s duties to make the same point, but it deliberately chose topics like brightly-colored lights to make the river look fabulous, and ornamental bricks.

The fact that Mayor Pete is gay has been almost entirely ignored in media coverage, however, and if you don’t know Buttigieg is gay, none of the homophobic dog whistles  will reach your ears. I showed the video to my wife, and she noticed none of them because, I was surprised to learn, she didn’t know Mayor Pete is gay. Once I told her, she agreed that the ad probably intended to remind those who are.

The fact that Buttigieg is gay is irrelevant to his qualifications for the Presidency, but his sexual orientation is the Woolly Mammoth in the room regarding his electability. Anti-gay prejudice is not the exclusive domain of the Deplorables; it runs high in the African American community and among Hispanics as well.

I think Biden’s ad is unethical.

My still recuperating wife had another interesting reaction. She found it obnoxious for Biden to have the chutzpah to mention his role in passing the Violence Against Women Act when he habitually and unapologetically gropes women of all ages in public.

He does, you know.

19 thoughts on “Biden’s Attack On Mayor Pete

    • VAWA was co-sponsored with Orrin Hatch (R) Utah. Biden had little to no role in subsequent revisions.

      He also played down the Crime Bill of 1995 which increased black incarceration while simultaneously eliminating all avenues for post secondary education in state correctional facilities by banning their eligibility for federal student aid.

      He likes his role as benevolent overseer.

  1. Biden “helped save the auto industry” by bailing it out at taxpayer expense. But I thought I was supposed to be against huge corporate bailouts! Ahhh! I don’t know what to think anymore!

    Truthfully, Buttigieg ends up looking pretty good with this ad – passing stuff with local opposition is tough. Local politics can be brutal.

  2. At least Mayor Pete got things done. The bridge lights worked, the sidewalks got paved, the pet licensing got adjusted to better serve the public. Slow Joe, as said above, is taking credit for things that happened while he was in the room. Any person with the slightest bit of self-awareness would not go around claiming responsibility for anything related with Obama-care, unless it was the total elimination of it.

  3. “Saved the country from a depression.”

    If THAT kind of blatant lie is going to be allowed, then I’d better not hear another word from anyone about “disinformation” in campaign ads. By all measures the economy was well into recovery when Obama took office.

    If Obama and Biden had done absolutely nothing, our economic recovery would have been swift and complete. Instead it was prolonged and in many aspects made permanent. We were all essentially told that skyrocketing middle class healthcare bills, working two part-time jobs, and the erasure of the blue-collar economy were the new normal.

    • To say nothing of how taking a less-nice vacation was essential for being able to afford your medical insurance now, while Republicans who suggested that people on welfare maybe shouldn’t have cable TV got them pegged as insensitive (and racist, of course).

  4. I admit that I’m a bit perplexed here as to how Mayor Pete’s sexuality is unknown to people. And yet somehow it is:

    The only reason he’s even allowed up there with the big kids on stage is because he’s gay (Otherwise, he’s just another bland white male). When he first announced his candidacy, that appeared to be all people knew about him and all he had to offer.

    Is his campaign downplaying this now to attract voters?

    • The noting bridge project itself was defensible. In New Britain, the Republican mayor rebuilt a major highway to shield pedestrians from highway noises below, making downtown less frustrating to exist in. She also decorated it as a honeycomb, reflecting the city seal and industrial past. Everytime someone posts a picture of it, half the comments are about what a waste of money it was.

      Had Biden’s ad focused merely trying n the bridge being frivolous, it would be fair. Where it crosses into an attack on Buttegeig’s sexuality is the wimpy music and choice of language (colorfully…). Even here, noting it once and moving on could have saved the ad, but then it doubles down on the decorative bricks in the sidewalks (as if if rebuilding crumbling infrastructure isn’t a bipartisan talking point).

      Biden’s staff is clearly portraying Buttegeig as a lightweight more at home at HGTV than the White House. Criticizing frivolous expenses would be fair. Highlighting the expenses as “fabulous” rather than frivolous expenses is clearly a hypocritical, pandering, anti-homosexual attack.

  5. The fact that Buttigieg is gay is irrelevant to his qualifications for the Presidency, but his sexual orientation is the Woolly Mammoth in the room regarding his electability. Anti-gay prejudice is not the exclusive domain of the Deplorables; it runs high in the African American community and among Hispanics as well.

    I can’t help attempting a wee bit of humor here. For example, I might vote (theoretically) for Buttigieg if he would sign a statement that he would not *you know* in the White House and would opt to go to a hotel.

    There are also questions I direct to Providence: What ironical Being set it up that he has a patronymic with “Butt” in it? Could the nation bear the bad jokes that would be invented?

    OK, now I will try to be serious. One of the core arguments among the Dissident Right and the Alt-Right has to do with what they call ‘Globo-homo Culture’. That is, a strategy or a technique of social management that has to do with exporting the uniquely American ‘gay disco culture’ to the whole world as a positive value. (See: E Michael Jones). The position that opposes rampant and encouraged homosexuality is a coherent one. One could be tolerant of homosexuals and their unions and still be highly opposed to the *selling* of the homosexual option on a mass scale (and as a tool of political control).

    Anti-Globo-Homo-ism is a necessary position to have, and it is sound and can be explained and defended. It would not surprise me if in this atmosphere a homosexual man would wind up as president of the US. But it would be far too encouraging to the globalization of a bizarre sexual ethic.

    Maybe it makes people uncomfortable to put it this way, I can understand, but this is what it comes down to.

  6. Devil’s advocate here: I’m not sure the language of the ad is intended to evoke Buttigieg’s sexual orientation. The whole premise of the ad is that Biden is taking credit for substantial achievements (we’ll ignore the dubiousness of that for now), and contrasting it with the mundane trivialities of being a small-city mayor. It’s also trying to evoke a bit of a “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” vibe, as many of South Bend’s problems have gotten worse under Mayor Pete. We’re supposed to take away a sense of misplaced priorities. So the “decorative” language is there to imply Pete’s priorities are on silly, unnecessary things, while crime rates in his city were climbing, for example.

    The gist of the ad is to remind people that Mayor Pete is a lightweight, not remind them that he’s gay. I don’t think going anti-gay at this point in the process would be a winning strategy. New Hampshire Democrat primary voters aren’t going to be put off by that.

    • If it wasn’t intentional, then those responsible for the ad were insufficiently aware of the tropes and stereotypes associated with gays and gay-bashing. I guarantee that gay men are sensitive to those dog whistles, and Biden’s team should either know that, or they shouldn’t be running attack ads against a gay adversary. (I wouldn’t be surprised ifJoe himself is clueless on this score, since he is generally clueless). I’ll stipulate that the ad could have been Hanlon’s Razor in action, but it is still responsible for how it will be perceived.

      • At least the ads didn’t say that while Biden was doing the brutal work of running the US and protecting it from the Enemy…

        …that Mayor Pete had just taken a luxurious bubble-bath, gotten dolled up, perfumed, and planned to spend the rest of the evening watching old Judy Garfield show tunes on YouTube …

  7. The ad is unfair because the comparisons are invalid. Problems facing the federal government are infinitely more complicated to those of a small, college town in the Mid West.

    Where both candidates failed, for instance, is on race relations. The Obama Administration set race regulations back 50 years. Buttegieg did the same in South Bend. Their policies are very similar, though Buttegieg is far more leftist than Biden.

    I guess I can see the anti-gay rhetoric, but I see it more as diminishing the issues confronting a small town. Maybe I am deaf to dog whistles. As an aside, I hate that expression: “dog whistles” refer to frequencies only dogs can hear. So, if there is a dog whistle trope, it means the hearers are dogs. Anyone making that statement is a jerk, in my never-to-be-humble opinion.


    • I am familiar with the “you’re the dog” critique, but what’s a better analogy for words and expressions carefully chosen to signal negative/biased/derogatory attitudes and sentiments to those equipped or inclined to perceive them, while the same messages appear harmless to others? If you can come up with one, I’ll use it.

      • Please know I was not criticizing our humble and enlightening Blog Master. Oddly, this was the first time I had read or seen the comment used against a venerated and protected group. I have a visceral problem when I hear it used by the Left because it is part of their arsenal used to denigrate those who disagree with them and their pet projects.

  8. I thought the ad was actually pretty good. I mean, most of what Biden said he did was coat-tailing on Obama or something that I wouldn’t be particularly proud of… But I think we’ve been trained by progressives to hear dog whistles where they aren’t being blown.

    If Buttigeg was straight, do you think that ad would have the same oomph, yes or no? I think yes, highlighting that Straight Pete is a mayor from a small city and hasn’t dealt with issues on the same level as anyone on a national stage is a damn good one, and choosing the most frivolous items is perfectly legitimate.

    If Buttigeg was straight, would this video have been made? In light of the Iowa caucus? Hell yes.

    Sorry, but right now it seems in vogue to say that every attack ad on Pete is homophobic. I’m not buying it.

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