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Pete Buttigieg made a very strong case for Americans learning how to pronounce his weirdass train wreck of a name this weekend. In a CNN town hall broadcast Sunday from Austin's South By Southwest, Buttigieg came across as genuine and assured, dare we even say "presidential," although that adjective has taken a beating in recent years. This one appearance seems pretty certain to boost his support, taking him from a novelty (the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, thinks he can be president?) to one of the contenders who might go well past the first couple primary states. Dude's scary smart -- like a whole bunch of the other 2020 candidates, too. We want to see him talk economics with Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris!


Here's a video of the whole town hall, for however long CNN's lawyers allow it to stay up:

CNN Town Hall with Pete Buttigieg [FULL] 3/10/2019 | CNN BREAKING NEWS Today Mar 10, 2019 www.youtube.com

CNN anchor Jake Tapper started the conversation off with the vital question: How do you pronounce "Buttigieg"? And just look at how sweetly that also normalized the homosexual agenda, yay!

Buttigieg really won us over with his answer to a question about universal health care: "I think anyone in politics who lets the words 'Medicare for All' escape their lips also has a responsibility to explain how we get there" -- which he then went on to suggest, at least in draft form. He'd like to see a transition from Obamacare to "Medicare for All Who Want It," by putting a buy-in to Medicare on the exchanges as a public option, to get people used to the idea.

Then Buttigieg went into some nerdy detail about how Medicare can be made more efficient, noting that our costs of bureaucracy to patient care is awful compared to other countries. He didn't specify what "unglamorous technical work" he'd tackle, apart from using automation to streamline the authorization process for care -- but it sure sounded like he had to hold himself back from outlining a 12-point plan right there.

Buttigieg said his own father's recent death from cancer illustrates why there has to be universally available care:

The decisions we made only had to be about what was medically right for Dad and what was right for our family. We didn't have to think about whether our family would be financially ruined, because of Medicare. And I want that kind of security, that kind of freedom, frankly, to be available to every American.

On a question about how his candidacy may be important to LGBTQ folks, Buttigieg said, "I think the whole point of politics is everyday life," as illustrated by his marriage -- he noted it was only possible because of a single vote in the SCOTUS. More concretely, he called for a federal "Equality Act" to ensure equal laws for everyone, and said the current administration is just awful on equality:

For a transgender teen to get the signal from the White House that the highest officials in the land can't tell the difference between her and a predator, and make it harder for her to go to the bathroom, shows you just how out of whack the climate is in our country right now.

An audience member asked about that Pence guy: Is Indiana like Mike Pence, or is Indiana Pete Buttigieg? "Please don't judge my state by our former governor," he replied -- a good laugh line. Buttigieg had some empathy for how difficult it must be for some conservatives to adjust to gay people being treated like people, though that's no excuse to discriminate by insisting your religion requires you to discriminate.

Asked if Pence would be actually better or worse than Trump, Buttigieg said he didn't like THAT choice, no thanks, But then he got serious about Pence:

Buttigieg said he at least used to think Pence was sincere, if completely wrongheaded, about his rightwing religious beliefs, but then how could Pence even "get on board with this presidency?" For Buttigieg, Christianity is about "protecting the stranger, the prisoner, the poor person, and that idea of welcome. That's what I get in the Gospel when I'm in church." And sure, Pence's faith is a lot more based in "rectitude" and conservative strictures on sexuality.

But even if you buy into that, how could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in Scripture when he started believing Donald Trump? I don't know.

As for his youth and inexperience, Buttigieg -- at 37, just two years older than the minimum constitutional age for the job -- freely acknowledged he's not a Old. But then, nobody is actually "ready" to become president, and Buttigieg said he has some advantages, too, being a young whippersnapper and all.

It allows me to communicate to the country a vision of what the country is going to look like in 2054 — that's the year I'll get to the current age of the current president. It's not like it's an achievement on my part, it's just the math.

When a candidate is actually likely to live that long, then that brings a very personal perspective to issues like climate change, which isn't just an abstract threat to be faced by one's kids or grandkids, he said:

We don't have the luxury of treating climate change like somebody else's problem. We're going to pay the bills for the unaffordable tax cuts for billionaires [...] and statistically, we run the risk of being the first generation in American history to actually be worse off economically than our parents if nothing is done to change the trajectory of this economy. To me, that's not just a concern for our generation, it's a concern that calls on us to build an alliance among generations...

As a middle-aged boomer fart, we wholly support that perspective.

All in all, it was a hell of a good performance from a guy who's clearly very, very comfortable in the town hall format. We aren't sure we want this young pup to be president, but we for darn sure want to see him go farther in the process. We like his ideas and may even subscribe to his newsletter.

[Indianapolis Star / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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