Pete Buttigieg finally comes out of the woodwork on supply chain mess — to complain about Tucker Carlson
Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, who it turns out has been away on "family leave" these past months as America's supply chain has collapsed, has finally come out of the woodwork.
Did he come out to announce how he's making the situation better?
Nope, what brought him out was some harsh criticism by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who asked if Missing Pete on "family leave" was trying to learn how to breastfeed. That's hardly a burning issue to anyone else but Pete, given Tucker's larger and more important point.
According to Mediaite, the exchange went like this:
"Well, look, in his case, I guess he just doesn't understand the concept of bottle feeding, let alone the concept of paternity leave," said [Buttigieg] the secretary. "But what is really strange is that, you know, this is from a side of the aisle that used to claim the mantle of being pro-family."
[MSNBC host and former flak Nicolle] Wallace, responded, "It feels homophobic to suggest that you were trying to figure out breast-feeding. I mean, it feels dirtier than that. How does this attack land for you and [your putative 'husband'] Chasten?"
"Well, look, this attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk," said Buttigieg, referring to the controversy over Carlson's yearbook saying he was in the "Dan White Society." (Dan White was the man who assassinated Milk.)
"So, obviously, we know that there's some dark places where some of these attitudes come from," Buttigieg continued. "But I also note that that doesn't speak for the country. I don't think that even speaks for most people on the other side of the aisle from the party that I belong to."
Who the heck cares? The supply chain is collapsing, shortages are getting Venezuelan-looking, inflation is heating up, all as a result of the supply chain breakdown. But Pete's more interested in salving his wounded pride, playing identity politics cards as the "first" gay transportation secretary, and busy trying to gauge Carlson's motives in a disguised counterattack. Who cares?
Pete's ire sure as heck doesn't address the issue at hand, which is that the supply chain has been stressed for the past year, the administration has known all about it, and instead of doing something, it's let the matter go as Pete went on an extended and unannounced "paternity" leave.
Result: A large number of ships are now anchored and idled off the California coast, unable to get unloaded at ports, while store shelves are going empty at major retailers and suppliers. Desperate retail behemoths such as Walmart and Costco are starting to arrange their own flights and shipments into the country to get around the matter and avoid total catastrophe while little retailers get it in the teeth again, as if COVID's lockdowns, which exempted big-boxers, weren't punishment enough. All this is happening as the Christmas buying season approaches, and Joe Biden is actually stating that the public may not be able to get the toys and gifts they want. That's one thing but not the whole thing: autos, auto parts, appliance parts, factory parts, fertilizers, farm equipment, medicines, tires for trucks, and other vital goods that propel the economy along and serve the needs of the public beyond simple retail simply are going to have to wait.
What's obnoxious here is that Pete is trying to pass himself off as an ordinary working stiff entitled to family leave as part of the great working proletariat while the company operations go on. He forgets he's the leader here, and his leadership in this crisis is necessary. Other public servants and, for that matter, CEOs work 80 hours a week, sacrificing family life either to keep their companies afloat or else to serve the public. Pete doesn't sacrifice. He's got plenty of cash and doesn't hire a nanny. Nope, he's got diapers to change, so the public gets nothing for that $221,400 annual salary he makes as transport secretary. And too bad about all those empty shelves and inflated prices working families confront as they walk into their local Walmart while Pete stays absent. Family values, it seems, stop at the Buttigieg household gate. To heck with ordinary families.
Normal people, if they really feel they cannot fulfill their duties at work in vital positions because they must take family leave, resign. They don't go collecting their salaries for months on end and do nothing as the crisis builds.
Buttigieg's public relations team has been trying to counter Buttigieg's reputation for being missing in action at critical crisis times by putting out press releases about his suddenly many media appearances and absurdly claiming that while he's on leave, he's busier than ever working on the crisis, in a bid to have it both ways. According to Politico:
"For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated," said a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation. "He has been ramping up activities since then." As he does that, Buttigieg will "continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children," the spokesperson added.
That ramp has been steep this week, as Buttigieg reverts to his "go everywhere" media habits.
So the "ramping" is just camera-hogging, and it took Tucker Carlson to get him to come out of the woodwork because identity politics is the only thing that excites him. The ports remain in crisis, and the only thing he's done about this problem he's known about for a year is attending a meeting with Joe Biden. Lot of good that did. He's just not into the job of secretary of transportation.
He ought to be fired for this sort of grandstanding while the supply chain is collapsing, but we know he won't, given that his boss, Joe Biden, also has a habit of disappearing on "vacation" whenever a crisis builds. A fish stinks from the head down, and it's now reached the Buttigieg level. We don't really have a secretary of transportation anymore. We just have an identity politics guy who gets excited when Tucker Carlson brings him up.
Image: Screen shot from Fox News video via YouTube.
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