Source: Doris O’Brien

Pete Buttigieg may be politically driven, but in his new job as Secretary of Transportation he seems as effective as a speed bump on the road to relieving the supply chain hang-up at our Southern California ports.  His clueless inaction suggests that he was tapped for that cabinet post because his seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan included occasionally driving other personnel in a Toyota Land Cruiser outside “the wire” of his camp and along the clogged streets of Kabul.

Like other Joe Biden cabinet appointees, such as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Buttigieg appears to be struggling in his new role, though all three men boast impressive academic credentials. 

While he was at Harvard and Oxford, Buttigieg vehemently opposed the war in Afghanistan, but later adopted a pro-war stance that at the time was embraced by most progressives. Following his conversion, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve. 

Two years into his first term as mayor of South Bend – and during the worst scandal of his administration — Pete was called to active duty and deployed to Afghanistan, leaving the control of the city temporarily in other hands.  Benefitting politically from his military service, he was elected to a second mayoral term.

Mayor Pete’s tenure was plagued by racially-related problems.  And in terms of safety, one report in 2019 put South Bend in the 31st percentile, meaning that 69% of American cities were considered safer. 

In his recent move up the career ladder, Buttigieg has already made history as the first openly gay cabinet member to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.   At age 39, he is the youngest present cabinet member – and the youngest-ever Secretary of Transportation.   

What clearly gave a boost to his political ambitions was the fact that immediately upon withdrawing from the Democrat primary in March of 2020, he threw his support, such as it was, behind Sleepy Joe. 

These days, Pete, himself, seems a bit sleepy, being in the midst of a lengthy paternity leave that began in mid-August with the birth of adopted twins, and that presumably has him walking the floor at all hours with his and his partner’s newborns.   

But while the diapers accumulate, so, too, do the cargo ships off the coast of two of America’s busiest ports.  This dilemma could prove ironic if the supply chain crisis lasts long enough to keep diapers from distribution. For months, the crippling pileup has only worsened, and like its monumental inertia, the Secretary of Transportation hasn’t been on the move to find a way forward.

Meanwhile, Mad King Joseph said recently in a town hall meeting with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he would consider sending National Guard troops to intercede in the port problems.  Of course, this is something that is usually the province of state governors, as the White House later admitted.

It’s not clear whether Pete Buttigieg interrupted his paid maternity leave to go to the Long Beach or Los Angeles ports to observe what is (or isn’t) going on (or coming off.)    

During a recent interview, he agreed that the issue would “certainly” be around a while, but that passing Biden’s costly “Build Back Better” bill would ameliorate it.  His answer to whether there will likely be a shortage of gifts during the holiday season was simply this: shop early to avoid possible disappointment. 

In the same vein, he rather lightheartedly postulated that there are two types of holiday shoppers:  those who do it in advance and those who, like himself, wait until as late as Christmas Eve to run to some nearby store like Walgreens for a last-minute gift.  What he did not mention is how such shoppers best be aware that many Walgreens in some cities are no longer in existence, due to crime waves and looting sprees.

Nor did it occur to the fledgling Transportation Secretary that not every American has the financial largesse to “just in case” fork out dough early. (One suspects his own children will be better served.).

Back in the days of his run for the Democrat presidential nomination, Buttigieg narrowly won the Iowa caucuses, but in the long haul did not perform well with his party’s voters. The much-publicized problem he had with the Logan tragedy in South Bend — a wrongful death suit filed by the family of a Black man shot by an exonerated white policeman — put a national spotlight on Pete’s uneasy relationship with his city’s  minority residents, and may have caused him to lose campaign  momentum in  the South.  

By the end of the primary, Pete had garnered only 21 electoral votes, fewer than Harold Bloomberg and more than only Tulsi Gabbard and Amy Klobuchar, with whom he battled it out for the support of Midwestern voters.

It is interesting to reflect in hindsight on the lack of enthusiasm many of my liberal friends expressed for Joe Biden’s candidacy, but backed him anyway, claiming that he would “surround himself with good people.”  Many of these people are invisible to us as they manipulate behind the scenes the cognitively challenged puppet in the White House. But too many of Biden’s appointees are failing in their duties to the American people. The chief executive’s impaired judgement has resulted in an administration whose “public servants” are proving as incapable as their nominal boss. 

Naturally, Buttigieg considers his new parental role to be “hard work.”  And no doubt it is rewarding in its way.  But for Pete’s sake, get back to work already.   The newborns really don’t need you as much as you think they do.   And Americans are beginning to feel the same.