Undoubtedly, failed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has become the butt of quite a few jokes in the last few months and years, mostly due to his lack of action on the job. Naturally, Buttigieg and his cronies aren’t too fond of the jokes, but that doesn’t mean they are homophobic, do they?
Well, that’s what the White House is claiming after former Vice President Mike Pence recently made a joke about the former South Bend, Indiana mayor in a speech.
According to ABC, Pence was speaking at the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, DC, when the joke was made. It came as Pence was remarking on what a terrible job Buttigieg has done in the last couple of years. In particular, it was noted that during one of the nation’s most crucial transportation problems, Buttigieg dared to take over two months off for parental leave.
As Pence said, “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. Pete is the only person in human history to have a child, and everyone else gets postpartum depression.”
As I said, the political left, and the White House in general, is a bit up in arms about the joke, despite the fact that there is a lot of truth to it. And so, of course, they are making accusations that Pence is homophobic and has a real problem with Buttigieg’s sexuality.
As WH press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says, it was “offensive and inappropriate,” not only because it supposedly poked fun at Buttigieg’s lifestyle choices but because it “treated women suffering from postpartum depression as a punchline.”
Now, to some degree, she does have a point. I know a fair share of mothers who suffered from postpartum and believe you me, it’s no joke.
However, anyone with much of a brain can tell that Pence was not trying to downgrade such illness or the suffering these mothers have undergone. Instead, he’s pointing out that Buttigieg, who physically can’t endure postpartum, took time off after the birth of his children as if he did. If anyone is downgrading the illness, it’s Buttigieg, not Pence.
By the way, if you are wondering what part of the joke was “homophobic,” it’s apparently the use of the term “maternity” instead of “paternity.”
Considering that only women, and therefore, neither Buttigieg nor his husband, can give birth, the term should be paternity. However, paternity leave isn’t usually quite that long. After all, it’s not like their body needs to heal or they need to adjust to breastfeeding, etc.
Instead, these two new parents just needed to get used to having infants in the house, which I will admit is quite a change. However, when my sister recently gave birth, her husband was only allowed a week of “paternity” leave. Not two months.
And my brother-in-law’s job isn’t nearly as important as Buttigieg’s.
As Pence pointed out, during the time the transportation head was out, the nation was in the midst of a serious transportation and infrastructure problem. Airports were in complete chaos, a supply chain crisis was still going on, and yet, Buttigieg still thought he deserved a full two months to fawn over his new children.
Now, to be sure, I’m not saying those darling infants didn’t deserve the affection and attention the Buttigiegs no doubt gave them. And I’m still a firm believer that family comes first.
But at what expense? Should the state of our nation’s entire transportation system (and at a time of crisis, no less) really take second place to a few more days with babies who won’t remember that time?
That is the point Pence was trying to make. And I believe he did it quite successfully. If only the left could take a joke and not always make things into an imagined offense…