The current poster boy for incompetent Biden appointees and subordinates who are apparently immune from firing is Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. Like so many in this administration, Buttigieg was hired to please a Democratic Party constituency, not because there was any reason to believe he would be good at his job. He was an ineffective mayor of a small city: that gave him neither experience in key transportation systems or a background in running a large bureaucracy. Buttigieg’s sole qualifications for the Cabinet position were and are that he is openly gay and in a same-sex marriage, making him “historic.” I know, I know: I don’t understand how where you want to put your whackadoodle makes you better at keeping the trains running on time either, but that’s apparently the theory.
To call Buttigieg a disaster in his job would be too kind. The supply chain fell apart on his watch. Shortly after taking over his 58,000-employee department, a supply chain breakdown damaged businesses, harmed consumers and fueled inflation. Meanwhile, the DOT Secretary has prioritized touch-feely DEI measures above actually overseeing the transportation systems. In the midst of the worst of the supply chain crisis, he took two months paternity leave. Throughout Buttigieg’s tenure, railroads had been unable to reach an agreement with the dozen labor unions representing their workers. Buttigieg was vacationing in Portugal when a rail strike seemed imminent in September, so Labor Secretary Marty Walsh stepped in to avert one. So far.
When soaring gas prices made highway transportation too expensive for many Americans, Buttigieg’s contribution was to lecture us on the need to buy electric cars. A system wide collapse at Southwest Airlines resulted in thousands of flight cancellations and delays over the holidays, stranding thousands of travelers. A primary cause was inadequate oversight of the airlines by the agencies under Buttigieg’s command. Then this week, a safety system outage forced the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ground all U.S. flights for the first time since the 9/11 attacks.