Nobody likes Secretary Pete Buttigieg these days
As I understand, the mission of the Department of Transportation is "to deliver the world's leading transportation system, serving the American people and economy through the safe, efficient, sustainable, and equitable movement of people and goods." The department is run by Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who was appointed by President Biden.
Like many of you, I had a simple question about Pete Buttigieg: what experience does this man have in transportation matters? My question was relevant, given the supply chain issues related to COVID and other matters where a little knowledge might help. The DoT website does not address his experience, but we are reminded that he is the first "openly gay person confirmed." And he is "married" to a man, and they are raising a couple of babies. I guess he is the first person confirmed to do that, too.
The secretary's problem is that there are serious issues on his plate, and he has the "deer in the headlights" look. Or maybe I should say "gay deer in the headlights" to avoid being called homophobic.
We heard today that the criticism is now coming from a Democrat. Take a look:
Progressives are taking aim at Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg over the Southwest airlines holiday travel fiasco that continues to cause mass delays and cancellations across the country, urging further scrutiny of the department's practices.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a leading left-wing lawmaker on Capitol Hill, took to Twitter on Thursday to question the Transportation Department's handling of the debacle that left travelers deserted and frenzied and administration officials scrambling.
"Nearly six months ago Bernie Sanders and I called for Buttigieg to implement fines and penalties on airlines for cancelling flights. Why were these recommendations not followed?" the congressman tweeted. "This mess with Southwest could have been avoided. We need bold action."
Khanna, who co-chaired Sanders's 2020 presidential campaign, was referencing a recommendation that the Vermont senator put out in late June asking department officials to demand airlines compensate travelers for canceled or significantly delayed flights and cover their basic expenses like food and accommodations, which Khanna endorsed.
Obviously, Southwest has a lot of problems. I'm not sure what the secretary could have done to prevent this week's mess, but he could have been more proactive. We've had some airline issues for a while. It seems that the secretary does nothing but go on TV to talk about how the administration's spending is helping you and me. Not sure that those souls stranded in airports feel as though anybody is helping them.
What happens to Buttigieg now? Nothing. His results are awful but how can you fire the first openly gay man confirmed? The party activists just care about checking the identity politics boxes. Did I tell you about the press secretary?
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Image: Gage Skidmore.