Pete Buttigieg articulated the truth about the East Palestine train derailment effectively that too many in the Biden administration have been ineffective in stating. Having a Trump NTSB holdover, Jennifer Homendy is not helpful.
Pete Buttigieg his narrative effectiveness once more.
Reporters confronted both Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy, requesting a response to Trump blaming the Biden administration for the East Palestine train derailment life-endangering chemical pollution catastrophe. The response from each administration official was starkly different.
President Biden’s NTSB Chair is Jennifer Homendy. When she was asked to respond to Trump’s attack on the administration, where he claimed the Biden administration did not care about the people in East Palestine and was slow to respond, her response was grossly deficient.
“Enough with the politics,” Homendy responded. “I don’t understand why this has gotten so political. This is a community that is suffering. This is not about politics. This is about addressing their needs and their concerns. That’s what this should be about. So I don’t care about the politics. Politics is not part of our investigative process. Our credibility rest on us carrying out an objective thorough investigation. And that is what we will do here.”
The NTSB Chair is 100% correct. But her answer was incomplete and naive. Her nonpolitical answer in itself was political. She did not answer the question. The administration cares about the people in East Palestine. The administration was not slow but prudent, as Buttigieg would later allude to with the necessary humility. But let’s not turn this private sector profiteering capitalistic failure into a failure of the government. It is the doings of the private corporations and their lobbyists.
While Homendy did not correct the damaging rhetoric from her old boss, Pete Buttigieg’s response to a similar question was on point.
“One thing he [Trump] could do is express support for reversing the deregulation that happened on his watch,” Buttigieg said squarely, putting the onus right back on Trump. “I heard him say he had nothing to do with it even though it’s in his administration. So if he had nothing to do with it and they did it in his administration against his will, maybe he could come out and say that he supports us moving in a different direction. We are not afraid to own our policies when it comes to raising the bar on regulations.”
After watching these two pressers, I tweeted a video I made on the subject.
Soon after, I received an understandable pushback.
While I agreed with it in principle, these are different times.
The reason so many Americans remain ill-informed, misinformed, and dis-informed is that we have ceded the narrative to the liars. We think we are too pure to fight them on all grounds.
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