Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA) used a homophobic dog whistle while calling for the impeachment of out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“[We] have a president who actually put someone in place of the Department of Transportation who was instilled [sic] there on identity politics, not due to the fact that he actually knew what the job entailed and how to do the job,” Collins said during a Wednesday Fox News interview.
The out Transportation Secretary has faced homophobic criticism for not visiting the derailment site sooner.
When the Fox News anchor asked Collins, “Is impeachment on the table, congressman?” Lee answered, “Well, if he doesn’t resign, everything’s on the table because you can tell after two and a half years of a culture of ‘wokeism’ in this department, you see the results of it.”
The congressman’s statement is just the latest homophobic attack by right-wing politicians on Buttigieg. These attacks have escalated in response to a February 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The derailment released hazardous materials, potentially endangering locals. Buttigieg visited the town on February 20 and was criticized for waiting so long even though the former transportation secretary under former President Donald Trump (R) never visited train derailment sites.
Earlier this month, Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Buttigieg “flamboyantly incompetent.” Donald Trump Jr. suggested Buttigieg’s only job qualification was being gay. A GOP official called Buttigieg “Pete Buttplug,” and Donald Trump referred to the Secretary as Pete ‘BUTTedgeeddge.”
Additionally, Republicans have tried to rile up their conservative base by declaring war on “wokeism” and “identity politics,” proposing and passing legislation that marginalizes LGBTQ+ and non-white people. This is perhaps most evident in Florida where Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) passed a “Don’t Say Gay” law banning LGBTQ+ content from schools and a”Stop Woke Act” that essentially prohibits government-funded instruction that implies anyone has ever been oppressed because of their race or gender.
In late February, conservative politician Tulsi Gabbard compared President Joe Biden (D) to Hitler for having a diverse cabinet of secretaries who reflect the racial, gender, and sexual makeup of the United States.
“They’re are proud to be judging people, hiring people, selecting people based on race,” Gabbard said on Fox News. “It’s based on genetics, race, based on your blood, your genes… the very same geneticist core principles embodied by Nazism and Adolf Hitler. This should be something that is sickening and alarming to every single Democrat and every single American. We have seen where this philosophy can lead.”