Nolte: Buttigieg’s Radical Take on Jefferson Proves John F. Kennedy Would Be Republican Today

CLAREMONT, NH - MAY 19: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg greets supporters after a town hall with Fox News Channel on May 18, 2019 in Claremont, New Hampshire. Buttigieg, one of 23 Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination, pitched four distinct tax hikes at the event when asked about …

Mean Little Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s desire to erase Thomas Jefferson from history again proves John F. Kennedy would be a Republican today.

When asked on Friday if the Democrat Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner should be renamed “because both [Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson] were slaveholders,” Buttigieg was unambiguous about wanting to erase our country’s history, even as it pertains to an irreplaceable Founding Father like Jefferson:

Yeah, we’re doing that in Indiana. I think it’s the right thing to do. Over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor. … Jefferson is more problematic. You know, there’s a lot to, of course, admire in his thinking and his philosophy. Then again, as you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew that slavery was wrong.

It’s not like we’re blotting him out of the history books or deleting him from being the Founding Fathers. But naming something after somebody confers a certain amount of honor. The real reason I think there is a lot of pressure on this is the relationship between the past and present that we’re finding in a million different ways that racism isn’t some curiosity out of the past that we’re embarrassed about but moved on from. It’s alive, it’s well, it’s hurting people, and it’s one of the main reasons to be in politics today, is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that. We better find ways to live out and honor that principle.

Compare that to then-President John F. Kennedy’s tribute to Jefferson at a White House dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners in April 1962:

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet.

Buttigieg attempted to walk back those Jefferson comments during a Sunday town hall appearance on the Fox News Channel with Chris Wallace.

Naturally, Mean Little Mayor Pete lied about what he said on Friday.

Naturally, the utterly useless Chris Wallace let him get away with it:

BUTTIGIEG: I think there’s a reason why the Democrat Party, when we’re thinking about the future, about events, especially thinking about how burning of an issue something like racial equity is, we’re thinking twice about naming our events after Jefferson and Jackson. But this is a great example of how the media noise machine on the right wing takes things out of control. So I mentioned this — how some counties are rethinking how some of our events…

So I said basically how Democrat functions might name our event. Maybe we should name it for a person who’s living. Maybe we should name it after a person of color.

Next thing you know, you would have thought I proposed blowing up the Jefferson Memorial in D.C. And folks from Laura Ingraham on this network to columnists actually in the New York Times — so it’s not just a Fox thing — just jumped on that.

Here’s Wallace’s blistering follow-up question:

WALLACE: Do you have a guilty pleasure on television?

Buttigieg straight-up lied when he told Wallace his Friday comments were only about renaming events hosted by Democrats. That is not all how he presented the issue.

“Over time,” he said 72 hours earlier, “you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor. … Jefferson is more problematic.”

“Naming something after somebody confers a certain amount of honor,” he added, along with, “One of the main reasons to be in politics today is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that.”

Buttigieg was not talking about a small, specific political event; he was talking in the most generalized terms about “things you honor” and how you get into “politics today” to “reverse the harm” of honoring people like Jefferson.

The only benefit of the doubt you can give Buttigieg is that he misspoke on Friday, which I doubt, but if that is the case, he should have told Chris Wallace that. He should have said he regrets not being more precise.

Instead, the Mean Little Mayor attacked everyone else for taking his words seriously, especially in this fascist climate where we are already erasing our history.

Man alive, though, how about that Chris Wallace rolling over like a whipped puppy as Buttigieg not only lies to his face, but takes a swipe at Wallace’s colleague, Laura Ingraham?

Even on Fox News … Democrats sure got it good.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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