Saturday, December 21, 2019

Speleunking the Wine Cave

If you were a gay multimillionaire hoping to change America's stereotype of gay men, could you find a better avatar than Pete Buttigieg?  He's articulate and intelligent (Harvard, Oxford), a decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and good-looking – but not at all effeminate.  He's comfortably out, and happily married.  Who could ask for more?

It's safe to assume that a lot of the early money that turned a small-city mayor into a viable presidential candidate came from wealthy gays; and entirely understandable that they wouldn't be comfortable with press coverage of his fund-raising events.  Democrats being Democrats, none of his opponents is willing to say that his sexuality detracts from his "electability" — but a "wine cave" sounds like exactly the sort of place a cabal of mega-rich gays would like to hang out and be gay together.  The coding is subtle, but clear.

Personally, I have a different problem with Mayor Pete: it's hard for me to trust someone who seems to have prepared a list of accomplishments prerequisite to political power while still in high school, and then carefully checked off each item, one by one.  It makes me wonder if that person has any higher objective than power itself.  I'm not at all clear regarding why Pete Buttigieg wants to be President of the United States; and it bothers me.

It was inevitable that one of his opponents, however subtly, would have to inject sexuality into the primary debates.  I'm just sorry it turned out to be Elizabeth Warren.

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