Sec. Buttigieg … What Would You Say You Do Here?


Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is concerned about a lot of things. Racist bridges, non-inclusive aviation software, inequitable contracting procedures, an excess of white construction workers. The only thing he doesn’t care about is transportation.

Few Americans could name our previous transportation secretaries, but Buttigieg has become a household name, not only from his failed presidential run but also from all the disasters during his tenure. He thought he could just Zoom into a meeting or two while he enjoyed months of paternity leave and vacationed around the world at taxpayer expense. Who knew minimal effort and competence were required?

The unbearable lightness of Buttigieg has resulted in two long years of failure. Supply chain mishaps, soaring fuel prices, air travel tangles, near strikes by railroad workers, and now, the East Palestine, OH, derailment creating an environmental nightmare.

After 10 days of silence, Buttigieg was finally shamed into commenting on the mess. Where, of course, he shifted the blame.

“You think this one train derailment is bad? I’m responsible for 1,000 of those every year!” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. If choo-choos have been Thelma-and-Louiseing off the rails three times a day, maybe Pete should have scrolled the stats before today.

Also, Donald Trump is to blame.

Buttigieg noted Tuesday evening that his agency had taken a series of steps to improve rail safety through “historic investments,” but said it was constrained by the Trump administration action. You see, an obscure braking rule was withdrawn in 2018 because it violated a law signed by President Obama in 2015, called Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

“We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe,” the transportation secretary added. “And of course, I’m always ready to work with Congress on furthering (or in some cases, restoring) our capacity to address rail safety issues.”

The legislation established a new process, including independent study and testing, for the DOT to use in developing an updated regulatory impact analysis (RIA) related to the ECP brake provision, according to the Government Publishing Office. The DOT stated in 2018 that the ECP brake requirements weren’t expected to be cost beneficial under any scenario assessed.

The DOT needs an RIA on the ECP from the GPO — that’s why Buttigieg ignored the East Palestine disaster for a week and a half. Darn, that Trump!

Before we send one more dime to Washington, DC, the Department of Transportation needs a visit from The Two Bobs.


Published in Domestic Policy, Politics, Technology
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  1. Steve Colombo Coolidge
    Steve Colombo
    @Steve Colombo

    AMEN. Sadly spot-on. 

    • #1
  2. Django Member

    The expression is probably unacceptable today, but back in the working world I frequently heard “Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.” The little mayor is similar in some ways to many managers I encountered in what I laughingly call my career. I had to explain this once to a co-worker who was getting frustrated with all the meetings where nothing was settled and no actions were taken. You see, to the typical manager a meeting is successful if it leads to another meeting. People such as myself and my co-worker considered a meeting successful if we came out with a series of actions to take, something resembling a plan, and no immediate need for another meeting. 

    So what does Pete do? He holds meetings and talks alot. 

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Who knows how bad things actually are in East Palestine? Clearly (or not so clearly) Director Pete does not. Those poor residents. . . 

    • #3
  4. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby

    Secretary Buttigieg has clearly had no idea how to deal with any of the several transportation mess-ups that have occurred in the last two years. He always looks like he’s in way over his head – like a high school student suddenly expected to head up a major corporation. But then several people I know in Indiana pointed out years ago that he was way over his head trying to be mayor of South Bend. He apparently has no idea how to get anything done in any type of organization. His supporters touted his “business experience” as a consultant, except consultants are not actually responsible for implementation. I’m not sure he could run even a small trucking company or a fast food restaurant. Yet some people seem to think he’s qualified to be President of the United States? I hope his disastrous tenure as Secretary of Transportation will finally convince any remaining supporters that he has no usable executive or managerial capability. 

    • #4
  5. Buckpasser Member

    Pete Buttjudge is on the case!

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens

    They don’t care because they are racist.

    • #6
  7. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer

    Too many White construction workers?  Almost none in California.  But he is gay, he’s got that going for him.

    • #7
  8. Stad Coolidge

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Sec. Buttigieg … What Would You Say You Do Here?


    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos

    It is amazing how useless most of the federal government is in a crisis.  FEMA (a) pays states to pretend they have a written plan (during Katrina, a bunch of the Louisiana contacts had been dead for a long time); (b) keeps the Red Cross on speed-dial and (c) keeps mobile checkbooks ready for pols to pass out aid. 

    And the scope of DOT is absurd.  The idea that Buttigieg has such a granular grasp of the vast verbiage of federal regs that he was aware of the change to railroad braking rules is preposterous.  

    • #9
  10. Django Member

    So, What Exactly Does Pete Buttigieg Even Do? – RedState

    • #10
  11. psmith Coolidge

    Life imitating art: the government described in the novels of Anthony Trollope and Jim Geraghty.

    • #11
  12. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    He is absolutely horrible at his job. You never see him taking the reins on anything, and there have unfortunately, been too many opportunities on his watch. The whole Biden team is a terrible mess. Biden also has to be shamed into addressing these balloon stories – he never takes questions on anything. He walks off with a smirk. Harris was supposed to be in charge of the border, in charge of other important issues. She jets off to Asia or somewhere that people won’t notice her job performance. 

    Honestly, in any business from a ma and pa Starbucks to a major corporation, no  one in this administration would survive a job performance review.  I cannot believe we have 2 more years of this!  

    • #12
  13. CACrabtree Coolidge

    Best photo of Buttigieg that I’ve ever seen.  He looks like he’s sniffing some of the chemicals from East Palestine…or perhaps he just broke wind.

    • #13
  14. Django Member

    According to the NTSB, he lies. From Washington Examiner via MSN. 

    Pete Buttigieg‘s first reaction to the train crash in East Palestine, Ohio, was to lie in an effort to cast the blame on someone else. He asserted that the crash had occurred because of a regulatory decision that occurred during the Trump administration. And his assertion was a lie.



    NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy told the public in a series of tweets on Thursday that the board was doing everything in its power to figure out what went wrong in East Palestine, Ohio, and how to avoid any future derailments.

    Homendy highlighted an argument about the type of brakes the train supposedly would have had if the Department of Transportation wouldn’t have withdrawn a rule under then-President Donald Trump. Current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has pointed to that rule, saying it has constrained him and his department.

    However, Homendy pointed out that regardless of whether the rule was in effect or not, the train traveling through East Palestine that derailed on Feb. 3 wouldn’t have had the brakes.

    The only question now is, why does the Biden administration tolerate a cabinet secretary who deliberately spreads disinformation on social media? Should the NTSB have to debunk falsehoods from the actual transportation secretary? No, of course not.

    Biden’s NTSB says that Pete Buttigieg spread disinformation about East Palestine; he needs to go (

    • #14
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