Even in Indiana?

Things are getting really interesting in Indiana.

A recent (Republican) poll confirms that Mike Pence continues to lose support, largely because of RFRA (although his vendetta against public schools generally and Glenda Ritz specifically have certainly played a part). The poll also found that a majority of Hoosiers support amending the state’s civil rights law to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation–an amendment our fundamentalist Governor adamantly opposes.

Then, to make things even more interesting, a couple of days ago South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigeig announced that he is gay.

Buttigeig is a businessman, Afghanistan veteran, runner, musician and at 33, America’s youngest mayor of a city with over 100,000 residents. He’s also a Rhodes scholar who studied at Oxford University, a valedictorian who was class president at his South Bend high school, a Harvard University graduate, and a lieutenant in U.S. Navy Reserve.

To top it off, Buttigeig is a nice guy who has by all accounts also done an excellent job as Mayor. (I think he’s what they call an overachiever.)

It will be interesting to see the reaction to Buttigeig’s eloquent announcement. Indiana is (accurately) seen as socially conservative but, as the recent polling attests, homophobia in the state is waning, and for some time now, Hoosiers in more urban areas of the state have proved to be far more accepting of diversity than our reputation would suggest. (Indianapolis’ Pride Festival drew over 100,000 attendees last week.) Even in much smaller South Bend– home to Catholic Notre Dame– the reaction to the Mayor’s revelation has thus far been largely positive.

Buttigieg has been widely viewed as a political “comer,” a star with a bright electoral future.  I predict that he will win re-election in November by a comfortable margin, despite this announcement. The more intriguing question is: will coming out affect his prospects for higher office down the road?

I know the timing is all wrong, but replacing Mike Pence with a gay Democrat would repair the damage to Indiana’s reputation in one fell swoop…


  1. Or replacing him with a former teacher turned politician who received more votes than this horrible governor in his last election.

  2. Just replacing Pence as governor will not repair Indiana’s reputation. But replacing the majority of republican legislators, most importantly Bosma, and Pence will be a beginning to repairing this state’s reputation.

  3. I think, even at 33, Pete is the most qualified person to govern this state. I think he needs to get another term (or two) under his belt as South Bend mayor first. I also think his coming out was smart in so many ways. He now has name recognition all over the state (and country even) and that recognition will continue to build because the press will now go to him for his political opinions. Especially on social issues.

  4. A few days ago, you posted a piece in which you boasted of the wonderful Indy “Pride” event.

    Almost nobody in Indy would ever attend one, so we rely on anecdotes.

    The Star published a letter to the editor that gave us the real truth and detailed the sickness and depravity that occurred at the “Pride” event. It’s quite revolting.

    What you claim to see might not be reality.

  5. I was proud to march in the parade. (depravity ?)
    I assume you are referring to the scantily dressed
    individuals. No different than you would see at
    any “Madi Gras” one could encounter in several
    parts of the world, the “Big Easy” for one …

  6. Incidentally, like many others at the parade,
    I was able to purchase a “Pence Must Go” Sign.

  7. Gopper–your comment is so off-base, it comes across as sarcasm. Indiana’s largest employers were at the Pride event in full-force, and there were 100,000 in attendance. The letter you refer to, was crafted by a talk radio host who’s desperately trying to build a fan base. He probably hopes to have a career path that mimics our imbecilic governor (also a former radio personality). If joy, camaraderie, and fellowship equals “depravity,” then I’m glad I witnessed it. Sorry your life is so dismal that you can’t see past the gloom.

  8. The angry old white man is back at it. Attacking nice, intelligent and sensible people. You all know whom I am referring to.

  9. I would agree with poster Kevin F. above. Mayor Buttigeig is young enough to establish his credentials at governing with another term as Mayor. Lets not push Mayor Buttigeig to run for Governor simply because he is Gay. I would like to see Glenda Ritz run against Pence.

    As far as the Gay Pride having some sexual overtones, well how about the scantily clad Pacer and Colts cheerleaders and all the beer commercials during sporting events.

  10. One of the perspectives that confuses some folks is the thought that liberals are pro gay. Whatever that might mean. I believe that sexual orientation involves no more choice than race, gender, height, or handedness. So I’m not even sure how one can be pro it.

    The liberal-conservative issue then is about the right to live ones life openly and freely.

    One of the reasons that this subtlety seems worth mentioning to me is that oligarchs originally sold conservatism through the media by advertising the brand as freedom loving. That’s the essence of the Tea Party and libertarian movements and is no more true than ads that purport to make one more manly or feminine. It’s all pure BS plain and simple.

    Liberals have suffered from not having a source of funding and advertising expertise coordinating the message presenting our DNA as freedom loving. The closest we come is campaign advertising which has to be about the person not their worldview.

    I don’t know if this thought is actionable. I try to present myself to people who don’t know me first and foremost as a freedom lover. It has always amazed me how many take that first as meaning a Tea Partyer. Then finding out that I’m an ex middle of the road Republican moved towards the left by the country’s redefinition of the right disarms people. Dislodges their stereotypes.

    Try it. See if it works for you. After all if you are a liberal you are freedom loving and demonstrate that by being democracy loving. Power to the people instead of institutions.

  11. In spite of Pence’s shockingly low poll numbers as the result of his shockingly low performance, his Defenders-in-Chief – Abdul-Shabazz, Tim Swarens, Russ Pulliam – can find only positive things to say about him. I’m sure we’ll get a steady diet of their views via the Star right up to election day. Eat light.

  12. Don’t worry, GOPer–apparently you can still take a dump on poor women with impunity.

  13. I’m hoping Hoosiers finally realize what the right wing Republicans are all about. I call them the party of evil. Almost everything they stand for is wrong or regressive.

  14. This isn’t the only poll that shows Pence in the dumpster. The problem is now for those who have seen the light to vote in accordance with those new insights. It’s a little daunting to see the list of legislators–who designed some of this regressive legislation–who now aspire to be governor or senator, and who have a solid base of support. (Ever tried to have a reasonable conversation with one of them?) Pence is just one out of many who keep us in the dark ages.

  15. @ Daleb-
    Those names-Abdul-Shabazz, Tim Swarens, Russ Pulliam, it seems to me I recall some of their opining years and years ago (before I canceled in disgust my subscription to the Indianapolis Star). Go on line to the Guardian for the news.

  16. The Indianapolis STAR can be counted on to sensationalize most any story or event including the Pride parade. We keep having to remind ourselves that the news media usually doesn’t report what is representative of society and groups but rather what isn’t and what grabs attention. It’s too bad since that practice leads folks to draw false conclusions. If all we knew about Indianapolis were the crimes, fires, and other calamaties reported on the news, few of us would choose to live here.

  17. I cancelled my Star subscription when I obtained a Weber
    Grill that had a Gas Burner to start the Charcoal.

  18. “Indiana’s largest employers were at the Pride event in full-force”

    Because if they aren’t, the shrill activists will excoriate them for being “anti-gay.”

    It’s just extortion to wring tribute out of people who couldn’t care less.

    Red, the very purpose of Mardi Gras is to indulge in excess and licentiousness prior to the Lenten fast.

    Is the very purpose of Gay Pride to partake in simulated sex acts and for transvestites to hand out condoms and lube to attendees?

  19. Gopper, they were handing out condoms and lube? Geez, I didn’t get any!! Where were you standing? You must have been at a better spot.

  20. “It’s just extortion to wring tribute out of people who couldn’t care less.”

    I would guess that everybody “who couldn’t care less” stayed home.

  21. Michael Gradison use to hand out Condoms at the State Fair every year

  22. If the science is any good, State LGBT human samples would not be taken by “urban” and “rural” locations of polling and surveying citizens. If IQ tests are any good, then a mobile family’s sons and daughters would yo-yo by testers’ residencies. In the USA, there is no urban “rural” country, just undeveloped areas.

  23. Pence on front page of Indianapolis Star yesterday and again today. Gee; I wonder which candidate the Star, USA Today and Gannett will back? I did’t bother with yesterday’s article and barely scanned the one today headed, GOV. PENCE: I’M READY’. Well so are we; and we have long memories of his actions and non-actions since being inaugurated.

    “Pence did not directly address a question likely to nag him throughout the campaign. Will he support statewide civil rights protection for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people?” He has already answered that question by signing RFRA into law then his infamous “unfix” which barely apply to 11 areas of Indiana, the majority of the state offers nothing. He is also against jobs, raising minimum wage, quality health care through the state system, refusal of Medicaid expansion funds, cut food stamps to jobless, against women making their own birth control and health care decisions, denying support of Planned Parenthood clinics (HIV becoming epidemic in southern part of the state due to lack of available testing in these clinics), depriving public schools of much needed tax dollars while funding private schools – most are religion based – and a full attack against Glenda Ritz to deprive her of her authority regarding education. She received more votes to become Superintendent of Education (to oust Tony Bennett) than Pence received as governor. He is ready to continue these action and to continue doing nothing to support Indiana residents other than the wealthy.

    Yesterday’s blog resulted in many interesting comments; Gopper waded in with his usual blathering and was shot down. Theresa Bowers; I especially loved your’s…and AgingLGirl’s. Indiana is no better at supporting all minorities than South Carolina and we have almost daily shootings in Indianapolis. Honest to Goodness, Indiana – why the hell would you want to reelect Pence?

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