Does Pete Buttigieg know what his job is?
Joe Biden's transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, can't let it go.
Two weeks after drawing public criticism from the likes of Fox News's Tucker Carlson for taking family leave at a time of multiple transportation crises, including a big supply chain breakdown at West Coast ports, he's decided to campaign for...family leave. Never mind the ports.
According to The Hill:
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is aiming to use the fierce criticism he faced from conservatives over taking paternity leave as a way to have a conversation about the issue, amid efforts from the White House to get paid family leave into a social spending bill pending in Congress.
"The negativity was unfortunate but, in a way, maybe some good comes out of it too because it's helped us have a conversation about parental leave," Buttigieg said this week.
That's what he was talking about on the Sunday talks. That's his priority. It would be like Gen. Mark Milley discussing the importance of weight loss while Afghanistan was collapsing, which even Milley didn't do.
The brouhaha began about two weeks ago, when the ports went into crisis and more than a hundred cargo ships found themselves stranded off the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, while independent truckers, forced to buy new trucks and banned as independent contractors in the state of California, suddenly became scarce.
As an unprecedented supply chain crisis rippled through the American economy, unbeknownst to the American public, Buttigieg was on family leave. He said nothing. He attended a single Zoom meeting. Joe Biden had to appoint someone else to sort through the port crisis since Pete wasn't up to the job. Then Tucker Carlson noticed and made a remark about breastfeeding, which suddenly got Buttigieg's goat. Since then, Buttigieg, who is still AWOL from his job, has found lots of time to campaign for family leave — without finding time to do his duties as transportation secretary in an ongoing crisis.
Wasn't the whole point of family leave to demonstrate that one can do one's job as well as care for one's family? He still hasn't explained why he didn't appoint a deputy as he took his extended leave from his important public service job. He just left the post vacant, with the ships hanging around in the water, the store shelves going empty, the truckers absent, and Christmas set to bring shortages. Family first, you see, but only his family — never mind about the public's.
What's more, the crisis is continuing:
RECORD 100 Ships Anchored in LA and Long Beach Ports. https://t.co/8TuT0ag3h0— ACTforAmerica (@ACTforAmerica) October 24, 2021
There's also the airline crisis over the COVID vaccine mandates.
Energy prices are set to skyrocket, which affects transportation across the country. What's Pete doing when he ought to be now showing that he's still competent? Making himself Mr. Family Leave.
What he's really doing is what interests him — not ensuring a top-of-the-line transportation system for the entire country but making himself a victim. What's important to him is this chance to play "victim" — to, of all things, Tucker being mean.
With this absence of serious purpose, he ought to be fired from his public service position and freed to pursue his victim status. Will Joe Biden do that? Not a chance. The only person who's more incompetent at his job than Buttigieg is Biden himself.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.
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