Amy Klobuchar Employed Old-Fashioned Dirty Political Tricks to Disparage Pete Buttigieg
Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s comment to Pete in last week’s debate about his preferring to “turn the channel and watch cartoons” instead of monitoring the events going on in the impeachment trial was a gross and knowingly deceitful mistruth. I can no longer let it pass without responding to it.
I am generally not in the business of disparaging other Democratic candidates. But Sen. Klobuchar’s derision of Pete in the debate was so egregious that I feel it must be addressed.
When Senator Klobuchar made that remark, she knew it was completely out of proper (and moral) context. What Pete actually said was that the impeachment hearings were so difficult to watch that sometimes folks felt like turning the channel and watching cartoons instead. But, he continued, he URGED his rally-goers to NOT turn away from the trial, as hard as that would be for many. In fact, he said, they needed to watch it closely because “the verdict is in our hands’; meaning that the Iowa caucus-goers to whom he was speaking needed to get out, attend the caucuses, and vote to end the reign of Donald Trump.
So the remark the senator made wasn’t simply out of context; it was out of desperation. Waning in the polls, she wanted to give the millions watching the debate the memorable impression that Pete is far too young to ascend to the presidency, and could be counted on to be watching cartoons while in the Oval Office. Then to compound the deception, she added, “But I have a job to do. I am in the arena.” But I contend she was in the arena that night knowingly spreading defamatory disinformation about her poll-surging competitor. That’s not the job, Senator.
One more thing. During the debate, the senator also described Pete as a newcomer — and then compared his “newness” to Trump’s in 2016. “Where did that get us?” she asked the audience. For her to align Pete with Trump in any way whatsoever was a similar act of political desperation. As she had hoped, it helped her score political points in the polls and in this week’s New Hampshire primary.
Pete rolls quite differently. He prefers to adhere to the unimpeachable truth, and avoids gaining ground on pillars constructed out of mistruths and out-of-context disinformation. Indeed, he should (must) be more forceful in the debates ahead and punch back when he is unfairly mischaracterized. But last week’s debate has ended and those who know Pete best must rise and call this out for what it is: Dirty politics by someone who knows better.