We all knew it was coming, but it’s very disappointing to see that the right-wing began launching homophobic attacks against the man who could be the country’s first openly gay presidential nominee so early in the election cycle.
GOP political strategist and polling analyst Patrick Ruffini took to Twitter today and made a very unsubtle jab at Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, mocking the Democratic fixation with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin by wondering if the notorious homophobe would “fear” Buttigieg.
Adding in a half-hearted “lol” at the end does nothing to mellow the repulsive implication that all but the most credulous can see plain as day — that Buttigieg’s sexuality would make him a weak leader on the global stage.
For everyone spun up about Russia:
Would Putin fear Buttigieg?
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) April 7, 2019
It’s an appallingly disrespectful way to speak of the mayor, who more than proved his toughness during his seven-month tour in Afghanistan while in the Naval Reserve.
Ruffini obviously doesn’t actually care about standing up to Russia, since the president of his party is accused of colluding with Russian agents during the 2016 election and spent his presidency metaphorically rolling over and presenting his belly to be rubbed by Putin, who is openly the subject of outright hero worship by Trump.
There are many reasons to criticize the Mayor, like his refusal to back free college or his praise of Israel’s shooting of thousands of unarmed Palestinian protestors as “something we could learn from,” but his sexuality definitely isn’t one of them.
The rest of the internet quickly piled on and dragged Ruffini for his homophobic attack, dumping thousands of angry responses on him in the space of just a few hours:
He’s a combat veteran and you appear to be a homophobic liar who thinks anyone on Earth is afraid of Fat Donny.
— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) April 7, 2019
Is the idea that Putin wld March over this effete gay intellectual girlyman who read Ullyses and speaks Norwegian?
Admittedly Ulysses is a strike against him. But Rhodes scholar, combat vet, successful elected official. Where we goin here?
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 7, 2019
Curious why you picked Buttigieg, out of all the Democratic candidates, for this thought experiment?
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) April 7, 2019
Patrick, you should delete this tweet and admit your mistake. Putin is running roughshod over Trump. And your definition of strength is so wrong. It is a perpetuation of a very old harmful model.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) April 7, 2019
He doesn’t fear Trump, does he? Not many Masters fear their slaves.
— LiA (@LibsInAmerica) April 7, 2019
I don’t understand what you mean by this. Is it that his deployment in Afghanistan doesn’t impress you? That he’s an intellectual? Or that he’s gay?
— G. Elliott Morris (@gelliottmorris) April 7, 2019
4 questions on this
a) what do you mean w/respect to Buttigieg?
b) do you think Putin fears Trump?
c) which potential presidents do you think Putin would fear?
d) is making Putin fearful an important quality for the next president?
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) April 7, 2019
Putin would certainly prefer Trump, a feckless and corrupt coward even on his best day, to Buttigieg, a calm and collected former Naval intelligence officer.
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) April 7, 2019