By HOWARD POLSKIN, April 4, 2019
Well it looks like Joe Biden wasn’t the only darling of Democrats having a tough week. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg just joined the presidential-hopeful piñata club.
After a favorable March 29 live appearance on HBO’s influential “Real Time with Bill Maher” and a gushing April 2 New York Times op-ed by David Brooks, you’d think South Buttigieg would be sitting on top of the world as the shiny, new, Democratic presidential hopeful.
But as fast as you could say Howard Schultz, Buttigieg’s fortunes sagged as the right-wing press pounced on his perceived weaknesses. His biggest issue was the political leanings of his late father who died in January. Joseph Buttigieg worked for almost 40 years as a professor at University of Notre Dame and was well known for his translations of the Italian Marxist intellectual Antonio Gramsci. (Sara Marcus of the left-leaning The Nation first pointed out the “red thread connecting father and son” almost two months ago.)
In other words, Professor Buttigieg had the right-wing press seeing red.The Washington Examiner was one of the earliest conservative publications out of the gate with a piece on April 2 that traced Joe Buttigieg’s academic records. But the headline said it all: “Pete Buttigieg’s father was a Marxist professor who lauded the Communist Manifesto.”
PJ Media weighed in with a short article that quoted extensively from the Examiner story. However, the clever headline demonstrated how much “fun” the conservative press is going to have with the Communist inferences: “Chip Off the Ol’ Eastern Bloc: Pete Buttigieg’s dad was a Marxist.”
Writing in Foxnews.com on April 3, Laura Ingraham warned her readers that we should beware of Buttigieg who she labeled “just another media creation.” Surprisingly, Ingraham didn’t make too much of the father’s leanings. Her concern about Mayor Pete centered mainly on him being a tool to get rid of Trump. “Beyond his boy scout demeanor and Mayor Peach schtick, Buttigieg is but another creation of a media apparatus desperate to oust Trump,” she wrote. “It's the same reason they built up AOC and Beto - to whip up the Democrat base, keep them excited, keep them engaged. Anything to divert voters' attention from the growing 401Ks, bigger paychecks and all that good news that happened because of Trump's policies. Oh, and another thing: The cool fact that Cool Pete speaks seven languages doesn't change the fact that socialism doesn't work in any of them.”
Rush Limbaugh also got into the dump-on-Buttigieg bandwagon. His April 2 radio broadcast featured a “How Mayor Pete hides his radicalism” segment. While the segment didn’t answer that provocative teaser, Limbaugh did take some predictable shots at Buttigieg, asserting that to the Mayor, “being free means the government taking care of you…”
Not to be outdone, the Washington Free Beacon recalled an incident from 2012 when Buttigieg was criticized for firing the first African-American to lead the South Bend police force.
In the face of all these attacks coming from the right, it’s fair to wonder the following: Will Buttigieg fire back at his detractors like a Pistol Pete or will he tap-dance away from charges like a Sneaky Pete? Time will tell.
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