Fire Buttigieg: Mediocrity Kills

Incompetence should not be accepted. Joe Biden should fire Department of Transportation Sec. Buttigieg and bring accountability for the failures of his administration.

by Newt Gingrich

President Joe Biden must fire Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. From the Southwest Airlines computer meltdown, to the Federal Aviation Administration’s unprecedented collapse of air travel (the first time since 9/11 that every plane was grounded), to the total failure to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Norfolk Southern Rail disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, Buttigieg has proven he is incapable of doing the job.

The woke personnel policies of the Biden administration took the mayor of South Bend, Indiana (a town of 103,000) and placed him in charge of the most complex transportation system in the world. It has been a hopeless mismatch of identity politics and the demands of the real world.

As Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote, “Our government is playing with our lives as it prefers diversity, equity, and inclusion over ensuring the best qualified employees are hired on the basis of racially and gender-blind competitive tests and experience.”

Sen. Marco Rubio was exactly right when he wrote President Biden demanding that Secretary Buttigieg be fired. Sen. Rubio rightfully pointed out that Buttigieg “has repeatedly demonstrated a gross level of incompetence and apathy” that has demonstrably harmed Americans.

As Rubio wrote, for his entire term, Buttigieg has prioritized putting in place woke social programs and ignored his core duties. He avoided addressing the East Palestine, Ohio, tragedy until he couldn’t anymore – and still refuses to accept any responsibility for our national railway system. And before this latest disaster, he ignored the seaborne logistics challenges in 2021, vacationed in Portugal during a critical rail workers’ strike last year, and has been largely absent as we’ve seen critical transportations systems erode.

I agree with Sen. Rubio that “I do not have confidence that Secretary Buttigieg is capable of keeping the American people safe.”

From my perspective, the East Palestine rail disaster is the final straw. The Secretary of Transportation cannot find the time to visit the town, look at the site, and try to coordinate help for his fellow Americans. Meanwhile, President Biden chose to visit Kiev over East Palestine and enthusiastically pledged more money for Ukraine while his Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected Gov. Mike DeWine’s request for an emergency declaration.

A major factor undermining the performance capacity of the government is the inability to fire the incompetent. There are plenty of examples. In 23 schools in Baltimore City, none of the 2,000 students meet math standards. The intelligence community got Afghanistan and Ukraine totally wrong. The current disaster in the Defense procurement system is threatening to leave the United States short on defense equipment. Clearly corrupt and dishonest senior agents in the FBI suffer no consequences for meddling in politics – over multiple elections. The list goes on.

The Secretary of Transportation is a good place to start bringing accountability for failure.

Fire Buttigieg now!

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