MSNBC’s Mitchell on Buttigieg: Is a married gay white man ‘less threatening’ to voters than a woman of color?

The hierarchy of victimhood is a complicated and often conflicted issue for Democrats, given all the factors contributing to the identity politics that they believe define who they are.

In today’s gender-fluid era, gender, race and sexual orientation just skim the surface of possible distinctions. Does the color of one’s skin trump being a woman, and does being gay rank higher or lower? Is a white gay male on equal footing with a gay male of color?

The only certainty for liberals is that a straight white male comes dead last.

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell seems to have her pecking order worked out, as seen in a question to WBUR senior news correspondent Kimberly Atkins about Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Ind., who’s running for president.


As an openly gay man, Buttigieg’s candidacy is getting more traction that you might expect for a politician with such a limited resume, a reflection of the possibility that he would become America’s first openly gay president.

A possibility that doesn’t appear to be sitting well with progressive women, who’ve been hammering away at their own glass ceiling.

“Speaking of other candidates in the race, there are a number of women who have not been getting very much traction, have been overlooked shall we say,” Mitchell bemoaned. “[Sens.] [Amy] Klobuchar, [Kirsten] Gillibrand, even Kamala Harris with her very big rollout, has not been getting as much attention at Pete Buttigieg.”

Putting the onus on voters and their prejudices, the NBC correspondent asked, “Is it possible that a married gay white man from South Bend, Indiana is less threatening to some of the voters than a woman or a woman of color?”

The irony here is that her own network plugged an appearance by Buttigieg on Rachel Maddow’s show throughout the segment — Maddow being a gay woman.

Atkins responded by suggesting that Democrats worry about whether a woman can defeat President Trump in 2020 — and the GOP is called the party of sexists?

“I think that is one thing that some Democrats are believing,” she replied to the inquiry that pits a gay white male against women. “I had Democratic operatives say to me they are not sure, they’re worried about a woman getting nominated and how that would be going against Donald Trump at the end of the day.”


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