The Single Biggest Danger in Stephen Breyer’s Retirement

By Peter Wolfgang Published on January 31, 2022

The single biggest danger in Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement from the Supreme Court is someone who won’t be on the court. It’s Pete Buttigieg. Bear with me, reader. It’s prediction time.

First, the usual caveat. I have no crystal ball. Anything can happen. What follows is just my educated guess. We clear? Ok, onward.

You’ve heard the speculation that Biden might put Kamala on the bench to get rid of his running mate problem. It’s considered unlikely, but everyone agrees it’s possible. It’s the only way Biden can rid himself of a political albatross.

Here’s what I think. Yes, he’s going to put Kamala on the Court. That’s not the real danger. With Kamala gone, he’s going to make Pete Buttigieg the new vice president. That’s the real danger.

Kamala and Pete

It makes all the sense in the world. In fact, had history not been thrown off its course by the pandemic and racial “reckoning,” Buttigieg was on track to be our next president in 2024. But for the pandemic and subsequent events, Trump would have been reelected in 2020. By 2024, the normal cycles of history would have kicked in, in two ways.

First, not since 1988 has a two-term President been followed by a president from his own party. Indeed, Bush 41 was the first sitting vice-president elected president since Martin Van Buren. It doesn’t normally work like that.

Typically, a two-term president is followed by the other party taking the White House. The USA was on track for that to happen in 2024 before Covid.

The 32-year Cycle

Second, the 32-year thing. My other cycle-of-history point. So far as I know, this is unique to me. This explains why Buttigieg was on track to be our next president.

In 1960, “the torch” had “been passed to a new generation of Americans.” You remember. That guy. JFK. Much was made, by him and by others, of his being young, the first president born in the 20th century, a WWII vet, etc. He was symbolic of his generation.

All that “passing the torch” stuff was true. The WWII generation held the White House for the next 32 years, from JFK to Bush 41. Enter Bill Clinton in 1992. Another passing of the torch. Our first Baby Boomer President, followed by three more from his generation. It will be 32 years from 1992 to 2024.

By 2024, the torch was going to be passed to the next generation. The Millennials. Sorry fellow Gen Xers, but we were going to be skipped, just as the Silent Generation was skipped. Or at least, it was skipped until Covid screwed up the historical cycle and elected Biden.

Remember when Dole ran against Clinton and commentators noted how unusual it would be for voters, having already anointed the next generation of leadership in the person of Clinton, to change its mind and elect a guy from a previous generation? That’s essentially what happened in 2020 when Biden beat Trump.

But again, it’s a historical anomaly. My point is that the normal cycles of history are attempting to reassert themselves after the Covid interruption, which means we Gen Xers will be skipped. The Millennials are the next big generation after the Boomers. We Gen Xers are a second Silent Generation.

Who’s the Millennial Candidate?

So who would the 2024 Millennial candidate for President be? Who would be as representative of the Millennials as JFK was of the WWII generation and Bill Clinton was of the Boomers?

This is an easy one. No single politician in America today better represents the Millennials than Pete Buttigieg.

Gay, arrogant, gay, morally preening, gay, utterly full of himself, gay, thinks he’s so superior to everyone, gay, misrepresents everyone who disagrees with him as motivated by bigotry, gay, utterly insulting toward those who think differently, gay, someone who weaponizes liberal Christianity and aims it back at orthodox believers, gay, and an ideological crusader for the cultural hard left.

Also, did I mention he’s gay?

I had some fun with the possibility of Buttigieg as the 2020 nominee a few years ago, in a Stream article titled A Social Conservative Chooses Buttigieg. What I did not mention at the time was that Buttigieg as the 2024 nominee worried me. Now the possibilities opened up by the Breyer vacancy worry me most of all.

Biden’s Best Bet

Biden’s best bet would be to put Kamala on the bench and make Buttigieg his VP. He gets identity politics brownie points all around, the thing that most matters to the Left. First black female VP, first black female Justice, first gay VP.

He gets rid of a liability, as Kamala is the worst VP in recent memory. And, as the oldest president in American history, he is essentially appointing the first gay president in history. Many observers have said all along that Kamala would likely have to finish out Biden’s presidency.

But what if, instead, it’s Buttigieg? What if, in 2024 or 2028, we are running against an incumbent President Buttigieg?

I was gung ho in my 2020 column for the Republican candidate to run against Buttigieg … in 2020. He had nothing going for him at the time other than military service, being the mayor of a small city, and mentioning that he was gay every five minutes.

What We’re Up Against

Running against an incumbent President Buttigieg is a tougher hill to climb. Yes, he’s a lousy transportation secretary. But he’s a good politician. He’s got mad political skills that remind me somewhat of Connecticut’s own Chris Murphy. You look at him and you think, “There’s no way he could have climbed that high that quick. How did he pull all that off?”

That’s what we’re up against, both in the person of Buttigieg and, I believe, in the cycles of American history.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

Peter Wolfgang is president of Family Institute of Connecticut. He lives in Waterbury, Connecticut, with his wife and their seven children. The views expressed on The Stream are solely his own. His previous article was Apostle Marvin Williams, Your Catholic Friend Says, Rest In Peace.

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