Rush Limbaugh has now said, in his usual blunt style, that Pete Buttigieg’s sexuality will be a detriment in the general election, should Buttigieg win the Democratic nomination.
It would be cowardly for me to avoid expressing my own opinion on this question if I’m going to comment on it. Pete Buttigieg’s sexuality isn’t an issue for me. I rather like Mayor Pete (in a totally un-gay way, of course), and he’s definitely a smart fellow. He’s served in the U.S. military in a combat theater (something I haven’t done). He’s proven his manhood, so far as I’m concerned.
I wouldn’t want Pete in White House because I disagree with his positions on the Electoral College and open borders. His pro-abortion stance is more radical than what I’m comfortable with. Need I go on? Pete is a Democrat and I’m a Republican. We see the world differently, and he wouldn’t be my first choice for president if he were heterosexually joined and the father of four children. That said, I’d much rather see a President Pete Buttigieg than a President Bernie Sanders.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s consider the second part of this: Are any voters, in fact, going to care that Pete Buttigieg is gay?
Of course some voters are going to care—and not just Trump voters. During the Iowa caucus, there were at least a few recorded cases of Democratic voters expressing the desire to change from Pete to another candidate, after they learned that he was gay.
Until now, Pete hasn’t exactly concealed his sexuality, but his husband has mostly remained in the background. Many people still don’t know he’s gay. If he becomes the nominee, that will change.
Pete’s sexuality will almost certainly cost him some votes among African American voters, who aren’t—as a group—all that keen on Pete to begin with. African Americans, while still predominantly Democrat, are much less eager to celebrate alternative sexualities than are white progressive elites. All of the polls bear that out.
So the question is by no means out of left field, and it’s already on the table, in fact, within Democratic circles.
The progressive mainstream media is currently virtue-signaling about Limbaugh’s statement because a.) they love to virtue-signal about Rush Limbaugh, and b.) Limbaugh expressed his opinion in a satirical, irreverent manner.
For a certain kind of progressive, LGBTQ individuals, and LGBTQ issues, are topics that one should never joke about. It’s time to get off that particular horse. It’s 2020. We should no longer have to genuflect every time we mention a public figure who happens to also be LGBTQ.
Rush Limbaugh, it should be remembered, is first and foremost a political satirist—an entertainer. During the late 1980s, he famously referred to the Western media’s overblown infatuation with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as a “Gorbasm”. He joked that Bill Clinton “couldn’t keep it in his pants”.
And now Limbaugh is joking about “a gay guy kissing his husband onstage”. If Limbaugh made sexualized jokes about Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton, what made you think that he was going to give Pete Buttigieg special treatment?
Limbaugh, I repeat, is a satirical entertainer. He isn’t a serious analyst, and he used to make such a disclaimer all the time on his show. He knows full well that he’s yanking your chain. That has always been what Rush Limbaugh has done.