Mike Pence’s ‘Reggie White Moment’, Nation Swats Down Bigoted Words From Former Vice-President About Pete Buttigieg


Pete Buttigieg holding one of his twin newborns in the hospital.

Conservatives would not stand before a crowd of elected notables along with the national press and openly mock or laugh at the Irish, Mexicans, Blacks, or Jews. But gay people are still the one group where those same conservatives have never met an ugly bigoted bridge they will not gleefully cross so to play to their base.  Such was the case this past weekend when Mike Pence took off after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at the Gridiron Club Dinner.   He demonstrated a lack of awareness about what constitutes good and solid parenting that our nation understands can be nurtured with parental leave.  Additionally, while conservatives often lack empathy over a bevy of issues, what pray tell, is the humor to be found with postpartum depression, which Pence wished us to find mirthful?

The charismatically challenged former vice-president delivered flat remarks, even when trying to distance himself from the autocratic actions of Donald Trump. But it was when Pence turned nasty and bigoted regarding Buttigieg’s two months of “maternity leave” following the adoption of newborn twins and then facing a medical crisis with one of them in 2021 that our nation rightfully said ENOUGH! It did not take long for social forces to pounce on Pence’s ill-advised and mean-spirited homophobic remarks.

“When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months’ maternity leave whereupon thousands of travelers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, and airplanes nearly collided on our runways.  Pence’s stand-up routine included, “Pete is the only person in human history to have a child and everyone else gets postpartum depression”. 

Had Pence taken the time to be better informed he would have noted a column that much of the nation read last year which placed the medical needs of the newborns in clear and precise language. He would have discovered the babies that Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, adopted were born premature, and soon developed RSV. Both ended up needing oxygen, and the boy was put on a ventilator and transferred to a bigger hospital two hours away. The two parents moved into a nearby hotel and took turns, one staying with their son, unconscious and in critical condition in the hospital, with the other staying with their infant daughter in the hotel room, living out of suitcases.  That, for me, sums up family values, you know, the term that conservatives tout as cheap partisan campaign lines when targeting transgender citizens and those who participate in drag shows.  Meanwhile, the Buttigieg family was proving what parenting looks like in the 21st century.

When Pence failed Saturday night to think about the foulness of his words, he reminded this Wisconsinite of how Reggie White bombed when addressing the Wisconsin State Legislature.  In the mid-1990s I sat in the public section above the Assembly chamber and heard the following words uttered by Reggie White, then a player with the Green Bay Packers.  It was without doubt the most tin-eared speech I have ever heard in person. Knowing your audience before speaking was not a concept White had clearly ever stopped to ponder. Well, let us be honest and say there were many things White never pondered.

“I’m offended that homosexuals will say that homosexuals deserve rights.”

“In the process of history, homosexuals have never been castrated, millions of them never died. Homosexuality is a decision. It’s not a race. And when you look at it, people from all different ethnic backgrounds are living this lifestyle, but people from all different ethnic backgrounds are also liars and cheaters and malicious and backstabbers.”

I sat dumbfounded and watched as the Joint Session tried to look away from the insanity that was coming from the podium. That was in my mind as I read the powerful retort from Chasten Buttigieg to Mike Pence, the modern Reggie White.

“An honest question for you … after your attempted joke this weekend…If your grandchild was born prematurely and placed on a ventilator at two months old — their tiny fingers wrapped around yours as the monitors beep in the background — where would you be?”

When it comes to places like the Gridiron we do not expect to see blatant anti-gay rhetoric. But for Pence it was just another speech to another audience where promoting homophobia was just part of his routine.  What we all can be proud of, however, is that our nation responded and let it be known even though some may slip homophobia into a night of speeches and fun it will be slapped down.  Society is making progress and I know that many in our country are coming to better understand the meanness that is homophobia. And they are also finding one more reason to dislike Mike Pence.

11 thoughts on “Mike Pence’s ‘Reggie White Moment’, Nation Swats Down Bigoted Words From Former Vice-President About Pete Buttigieg

  1. Cornelius_Gotchberg

    This is a nicely manufactured smoke-screen to obscure the catastrophically abysmal manner in which the DoT is being managed, with the word managed used advisedly.

    FAR more interesting is what Lefty chooses to ignore, though you may think it’s probably just NEWS in Deplorably Red areas, am I right?

    Doesn’t matter; to wit:

    JoKe tells The Daily Show guest host Kal Penn: “I can remember exactly where my epiphany (on SS marriage) was

    I remember about to get out of the car and I look to my right and two well-dressed men in suits kissed each other. ​… And I’ll never forget it, I turned and looked at my dad and he said, ‘Joey, it’s simple. They love each other​,’​

    “​I​t’s just that simple, it doesn’t matter whether it’s same-sex or a heterosexual couple, you should be able to be married […] So what is the PROBLEM?​” (bolds/caps mine)

    The problem is, that was ~ 1960; let’s have a look see at what happened AFTER this…um…epiphany

    1973: Senator JoKe told his Delaware constituents that his “gut reaction” to a question about gays working for the federal government was that they would be “security risks.” ​​
    1994: Senator JoKe supported a measure proposed by Republican Senators. Robert Smith of New Hampshire and Jesse Helms of North Carolina that cut federal funds to schools that taught acceptance of homosexuality.
    1996: Senator JoKe votes for DOMA
    2006: Senator JoKe on Meet The Press-“Look, marriage is between a man and a woman and states must respect that.”
    2008: Senator/democrat candidate for POTUS JoKe declined support for SS marriage in the democrat debates.

    In all fairness, candidates Hopeless Changey AND Hillarity agreed.

    This word epiphany JoKe uses? The Gotch doesn’t think it means what he thinks it means.

    And this is what we in the business call EPIC HYPOCRISY.

    That Lefty doesn’t POUNCE like they did with Pence?

    Priceless!

    The Gotch

  2. As a gay man, I can assure you my post was not a smoke screen but my gut-level response to what was said by Mike Pence. His words were vile. The hysteria you manufactured in reply to my post is amusing, but history always bends toward justice. Hey, even among conservatives. Sen. Thom Tillis is my example for you. When he was House Speaker in North Carolin he was favoring banning same-sex marriage. His quotes can be pulled up too, and they mirror those that you posted in your comment, Late last year Tillis voted to codify the right to same-sex marriage into federal law. So was that also a case of using your words, “EPIC HYPOCRISY”? Or modernity. which is always good to see from either end of the spectrum. Social pressure always builds and arcs toward enlightenment.

    1. Cornelius_Gotchberg

      This guy lies right to EVERYONE, and you tap dance right around it?

      Priceless!

      Not only that, but Lefty FACT-CHECKERS are positively AWOL; busy with their NCAA brackets, perhaps…?

      “Manufactured hysteria?” Meh.

      One needs a mighty thick smoke-screen (or other fact-based Reality filter) to look past JoKe’s hateful, bigoted, homophobic, and to use your word vile history, AND the comically inept leadership of the DoT, but evidently one’s up-n-running.

      And it’s not like he has a RAYcist past…waxing poetic about working with segregationists-n-all (leave alone recent…er…slips of the tongue)…unless you believe a voluminous, documented history AND his VP’s pre-election claims, am I right?

      Anywho, this ARC of which you speak seems to be kind of a long one.

      Does is start with JoKe’s hilarious BULL $#!T circa 1960 epiphany, or the 1973 beginning of a well-documented 39 year hateful, bigoted, homophobic, and (to use your word) vile, albeit consistent, approach?

      “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” — Maya Angelou

      The Gotch knows that, like him, you have stacks of books in the queue, but consider giving MASCOT POLITICS, by the inimitable Dr. Thomas Sowell, a read; you may find it illuminating.

      The Gotch

      1. History is filled with changes in the attitudes of pols as facts and experiences allow people to change and grow and mature with more reasoned views and attitudes. Otherwise, we would still have segregated lunch counters. That is why we want and need diverse public schools and should encourage advanced schooling as it prepares people to live in our larger society given the broad experiences they will encounter. Those experiences which open new horizons should continue throughout life, especially for pols who are shaping laws for a modern society. Was Rob Portman wrong when he opposed gay marriage and opposed gay civil rights? Yes. Was Portman right after having facts presented to him and then having a gay son at the dinner table and reversing his harsh conservative views on gay issues? Yes. I have been a Biden supporter since 1987 when Joe first entertained the idea of a WH run. I have been his champion along the way for decades. If I had pulled support from every person who did not hold my views about gay civil rights over the years I would never have needed to head to the polls. But by staying engaged and active and pressing forward over time, and with the same force from millions of others, the needle moves. And then we see how awful and outside of acceptance are the words of Pence. Hence, my post.

  3. oop nort

    Sad to see gotch sully a thoughtful post. But that is his schtick; hyperbole, willful ignorance and, of course, his poor attempts at humor. Not to mention his horrible spelling and the sticky bold key.

    Thank you for calling out Pence on his homophobic rant. He, like DeSantis, belong nowhere near the White House. And for calling gotch on his nonsense.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Cornelius_Gotchberg

      If Pence issued a “homophobic rant,” what’s JoKe’s half century body of work, the Magna Carta?

      And The Gotch understands his schtick (an acquired taste, to be sure) isn’t everyone’s cup-o-tea; heck, it even irks him time-n-again.

      But your laughable pot-shot opinion against those of (arguably) hundreds of admirers? Sigh; who to believe.

      Horrible spelling? Citation, or do the right thing; waddle back and issue an appropriately contrite and groveling apology for an egregious breach of a fact-based reality.

      The Gotch

      1. “If Pence issued a “homophobic rant,”….? Now we are getting a more honest comment from you. Wow. Why can you not stand up to that element of the GOP and wretched conservative thinking which is not the direction of modern society and harmful to the long-term growth of the Republican Party?

        1. Cornelius_Gotchberg

          FF‘sS, it’s a hypothetical syllogism.

          Same deal oop nort (who apparently believes a “discussion” is everyone confirming his bias) got: Show where The Gotch has supported hateful, bigoted, homophobic, and to use your word vile rhetoric…or…

          And stop tap-dancing for a moment; simple question: If JoKe is lying through his teeth about this “epiphany,” then is it forgivable ’cause he “thinks” the right way?

          That’s a hypothetical syllogism, too.

          1973 was happenstance. 1994 was coincidence. 1996 (DOMA) was ENEMY ACTION! And that doesn’t even factor in 2006 & 2008.

          The Gotch

          1. Oh, please…..if lying were truly offensive to Republicans they would not have abided and continued to carry water for Trump as it was documented each and every time there was either a lie or a truly misleading claim which totaled 30,573 over his one term, 4 years. So please do not think that a conservative–you–can take a higher road now about anyone “lying through his teeth”. As to what inference one should take from “If Pence issued a “homophobic rant’….. It was a homophobic rant and there is no way to deny it. And here we are back to the topic of the post.

            1. Cornelius_Gotchberg

              FTR; The Gotch is not a Republican.

              Oh please; and WaPo stopped with the Lie-O-Meter because JoKe doesn’t lie, right?

              You’re contorting yourself defending a guy with a proven history of hateful, bigoted, homophobic, and to use your word vile statements/actions/support AND who backed (with the blessings of the criminally insane Clintonistas!) LEGISLATION that blatantly discriminated against gay people and relegated them to second class status.

              Next Stop? STOCKHOLM

              “It was a homophobic rant and there is no way to deny it. And here we are back to the topic of the post.”

              And here we are back to this topic: If it was, then what were JoKe’s five (5) actionS?

              The Gotch

              1. No contortions here, rather I can say over the decades with national resolve and political skills the gay civil rights movement has made tremendous inroads and a series of successes. That effort around the nation is why Biden and Obama moved on the issues of the time relating to gay rights. Smart pols move with society…some pols get out and lead on pure convictions…..but even Abe Lincoln knew the need to never get too far ahead of where the majority of the nation resided. LBJ would make horrible racial comments and act awfully, but then as president mastered his power of office to impact a nation needing to usher in a series of laws on race relations. Should MLK have refused to deal with LBJ on those issues based on the Texan’s past statements? Gosh, I was only a teenager when GOP Gov. Dreyfus made Wisconsin a national talking point for what could be achieved with bipartisan efforts (thanks David C.) at proving diversity matters and could be used to move voters. Over the decades, gay people took our faces into every business and back to our homes, our churches, and sports outings and worked to grow our base of support. Addition in politics is key. Meanwhile, look at your comments today. Take it to urban centers and let me know how not calling out homophobic rants land you. Take it to the suburbs and see what women and moms might say about not standing up to homophobia. See where spinning away from the topic at hand lands you at any university in America. I say this for a reason. Your mindset is one that others share within your political grouping, I readily admit, but it is not the direction that the nation is moving or where colleges or media personalities or sports figures, or musical artists will join. The reason Republicans and conservatives get taken to the mat on late-night TV, SNL, newspaper editorials, and within much of the media is due to what was showcased here today. a lack of being able to state what was clearly visible to the majority of the nation. Mike Pence made homophobic remarks.

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