Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is being slammed by an Ohio congressman whose constituency is at the center of a devastating train derailment.
On Saturday, GOP Rep. Bill Johnson spoke to Fox News about the Feb. 3 disaster in which a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near the town of East Palestine, Ohio, contaminating the town and surrounding area with toxic chemicals.
Johnson told Fox News that residents of his constituency, which includes eastern Palestine, remain concerned and anxious because they are not getting straight answers about the disaster. “There are lots and lots of questions,” he said.
He also criticized the rail company Norfolk Southern, which was responsible for the disaster, for not showing up at a town hall meeting for the community to ask these questions. “The rail company, Norfolk Southern, did not show up at last night’s town hall meeting to be able to ask them these questions.”
But he saved his harshest criticism for Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden’s transportation secretary. He criticized Buttigieg for not showing his face after the disaster, giving him an “F” for his response to the situation.
“I’m giving Secretary Buttigieg an F. I mean, he didn’t show up,” Johnson said, “how can you rate if you’re not there? So, gets an F.”
Johnson is absolutely right to call out Buttigieg for his lack of concern for the people of East Palestine. After all, he is the Secretary of Transportation, and the disaster happening in Ohio right now was caused by a train, which falls under his department.
When a major disaster like this occurs that makes transportation headlines, one would assume that the Secretary of Transportation would immediately try to figure out what happened, minimize the damage, and find ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
But instead, Buttigieg has been a complete no-show and seemingly showed no concern for the people affected by this dangerous situation that arose on his watch.
At the same time, however, it is expected. Buttigieg, remember, didn’t pick Biden as transportation secretary because of his skills, but because he’s gay. In essence, Buttigieg was purely a variety fare.
Despite the moral implications of having a man with such an apparently sinful life in one of the nation’s top jobs, there is the fact that Buttigieg has shown himself time and time again to be an incompetent transportation secretary.
During his tenure, the country saw transport crisis after crisis. He presided over supply chain shortages, a railroad strike, massive flight delays before Christmas and a technical glitch at the Federal Aviation Administration that grounded all flights last month.
Now, Buttigieg is dealing not only with train derailments in eastern Palestine, but potentially dangerous derailments in other parts of the country.
So, I think it’s safe to say that we should not only give Buttigieg an “F” for his handling of this latest crisis, but also for his entire tenure as transportation secretary.
Buttigieg was not hired for his merits, but rather so the Biden administration could tick diversity boxes. The results of that strategy are proving disastrous for the nation.
The people of East Palestine — and the American people at large — probably all feel that it’s time for Buttigieg to go and for the Biden administration to replace him with someone more competent.
But, then again, that competence hasn’t exactly been a hallmark of the Biden administration so far, so maybe it’s better to keep him around, because his replacement will likely be even worse.
This article was originally published in the Western Journal.