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Democrats love the environment…unless it’s Ohio

Allie Vugrincic/The Vindicator via AP, Pool

For a party that pontificates about a greener Earth, climate change, and other environmental issues, Democrats were painfully lethargic in responding to this train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Pete Buttigieg finally recognized the train derailment as a legitimate issue this past week. It took Joe Biden two weeks to release federal resources to the area, but only after rejecting Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance for days.

What prompted the quick turnaround? Donald Trump announced he would visit the site and its beleaguered residents. The Democratic Party is all about the environment unless it’s a red state.

It’s a delicious irony: the party that wants us all to go green, ban gas stoves, and clean up waste was as soporific as ever, tending to a legitimate crisis in Ohio. The safety of the drinking water is beyond dubious, with government officials seemingly changing their tune about the surrounding region when the media attention increased. It’s what prompted Erin Brockovich, who has fought these legal battles against chemical companies, which led to the eponymous film starring Julia Roberts, to highlight how tests of this nature don’t change overnight. The unreliability of government officials telling the truth about the town’s safety is why she partially said this federal response is devolving into a nightmare.

Joe Biden should have been there; he opted to go to Ukraine instead. He still has no plans on visiting Ohio, but that doesn’t mean other top officials, like Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, are exempt. Petey did show up, decked out in the most durable disaster gear from Brooks Brothers, donned the orange vest, a symbol of political mockery, and then had a mini wreck of his own while speaking to the press. The worst moment was when he said he lost his “train of thought” momentarily.

I’m not going to say that Pete should have stayed away—he needed to go, but this bumbling rollout embodies the incompetence this administration exhibits on the simple things. Before Pete arrived in East Palestine, he said he wasn’t in the Buckeye State right now because he was on his “personal time.” The overall message about the Biden White House’s reaction to this train wreck is that they don’t care. East Palestine is deep Trump country, with 70 percent of its residents roughly voting for the former president in the last election. Joy Behar marginalizing and dismissing this disaster as something these residents voted for isn’t an outlier. It’s the prevailing opinion liberals have about this derailment.

This schadenfreude about East Palestine is another unsurprising ironic twist emanating from the party of the environment.

The Biden administration line is that red state catastrophes are warranted, its people deserve them, and they should be mocked for their poor voting decisions.

The clean-up at the site could take years. Fish and farm life died in the days after the crash. It’s quickly becoming a national crisis if the Biden team continues to drag their feet over something they prided themselves in being advocates of in public life. Either this administration doesn’t care, which I think is the case, or they’re so disorganized and poor at crisis management that it appears as such. It could be a bit of both, but given the self-righteous and condescending disposition of American liberals—they don’t care unless this happens in blue states.

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John Stossel 12:00 AM | April 24, 2024
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