State Rep. Brian Sims Flipping Off the VP: Heroic Gesture or Stupid Stunt?

As you might imagine in this time of elevated discourse, opinions are divided.

brian sims, mike pence

L: Pa. Rep. Brian Sims has a message for Vice President Mike Pence (Photo via Brian Sims) | R: Mike Pence (Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons)

In a 2016 speech endorsing then presidential-candidate Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama offered a motto: When they go low, we go high.

It appears Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims has had enough of that mentality.

As pretty much any civically engaged Philadelphian knows by now, Vice President Mike Pence came to town on Tuesday. So Sims decided to give Pence a rather, shall we say, Philly welcome. It included few words, was mostly symbolic, and certainly sent a message.

Here’s his full post:

“OFFICIAL WELCOME: Vice President Mike Pence let me be the first person to officially welcome you to the City of Brotherly Love, and to my District in the State House!”

To be clear, we’re a City of soaring diversity. We believe in the power of all people to live and to contribute: Black, Brown, Queer, Trans, Atheist, Immigrant, we want you and we’ll respect you.

So keep that in mind while you’re here raising money to attack more families, spread more lies, blaspheme with your bible, and maybe even talk to a woman without your wife in the room. We have plenty of them, and they’re pretty much all more powerful and more real than you have ever been.

So…get bent, then get out!”

As you might imagine, Sims’s middle finger has sparked plenty of debate.

Some people love it, asserting that in desperate times (especially during the Trump administration, which has allowed thousands of immigrant children to be separated from their parents at the U.S. border), going low is necessary (or at least worthy).


Other people think it’s simply unnecessary.



Whether or not Sims’s middle finger actually accomplishes anything is up for you to decide. He’s stood by the gesture since — and, of course, found the time to respond to some of the haters.