Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

If you want to see what kind of leader a man or woman is, watch them during times of difficulty. Anybody can lead when nothing happens. Case in point: the United Nations. But when something major happens, like…oh, I don’t know…a massive derailment in East Lebanon, Ohio, causing deaths, toxic chemicals being released, and a fire, among other things..the real leaders step up and take charge.

Then, there’s the Biden Administration. When something like the train derailment referenced above (a completely made-up and not at all real scenario, mind you) occurs, the government moves at the speed of light…colored sloths partying with Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson in Amsterdam. I mean, it only took 10+ days for the White House to contact the mayor of East Lebanon…in this completely hypothetical example, of course.

This sort of situation would fall under the auspices of the Department of Transportation. So…yeah. We’re gonna talk about it this week.

the Department of Transportation

What the Left thinks it means – a federal agency that oversees any transportation concerns on a national level

What it really means – a federal agency that needs a serious revamp

The year was 1966. Miranda Rights became a thing, well before there was a “Sex In the City.” A young Ronald Reagan became Governor of California. And in 3 short years, an amazing young man would be born, one who would capture the imaginations of a hungry nation. That man, of course, is Paul Rudd.

Oh, and the Department of Transportation came into being via an act of Congress. And, as if this couldn’t get any better, the Department’s first day of work was April 1, 1967. Quite the April Fool’s joke.

The Department of Transportation’s mission statement is:

To deliver the world’s leading transportation system, serving the American people and economy through the safe, efficient, sustainable, and equitable movement of people and goods. 

To accomplish this, there are 11 agencies and bureaus that are under the DOT’s umbrella. They are:

U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary (OST)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Office of Inspector General (OIG)
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS)
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Maritime Administration (MARAD)

Now, unless I’m completely off in my reading comprehension, I do believe railway safety might be in the Department of Transportation’s wheelhouse. Good thing there hasn’t been a major railway accident recently or things might get really embarrassing!

On a larger level, the Department of Transportation has its fingers in a lot of pies, which may not necessarily be bad as long as those fingers are actually accomplishing something or staying on top of issues affecting transportation on a national level. And with 55,000 employees, the job duties alone must keep them pretty busy.

I’d like to think that, but then I looked into the bullshit they’re working on instead of their jobs. Since February 3, the DOT issued 5 press releases, the most recent of which being announcing a Biden Administration initiative for a national network…of electric car chargers. Great for EV owners, not so good for the people of East Palestine…you know, if something happened there. And a quick search of their press releases shows…a big fat goose egg referencing the train derailment (that I completely made up off the top of my head).

But this is par for the course in government these days. For all of the talk (or lack thereof) about accountability, very few government drones get anything more serious than a tersely worded memo with all the force of a pillow fight. And even when some heads roll, it’s never the people running the department or agency. It’s usually the lowest-level drones with the least connection to the crime. Remember Lois Lerner? After a pretty public scandal where evidence showed she had a hand in committing tax fraud against conservative groups, she skated away like Brian Boitano.

So, what’s happening with the current DOT Secretary, Pete “Mr. Mom” Buttigieg? Well, that’s kinda hard to say, but what is clear is he’s doing his best to downplay the severity of the train derailment (which, I remind you, is completely hypothetical). After all, there are a thousand derailments per year, according to the Secretary, so this one (which is still completely hypothetical) is no big deal.

But at least he’s maintaining the DOT’s five core policy goals: safety, jobs, equity, climate, and innovation. Well, with the completely made up situation in East Lebanon, one has nothing to do with transportation (equity), one is guaranteed due to the derailment (jobs), and the other three are FUBAR. Even if you make the argument everyone in the community will be getting sick equitably, that’s a MOAFU: Mother of All Fuck-Ups.

It’s that this point we need to ask ourselves why we even have a Department of Transportation if they can’t even handle the basics of their jobs. You’ll get no argument from me on that front. Just judging from the shape of many of our interstates here in Iowa (where three of our four seasons are Construction), we could do better hiring the Three Stooges to take care of our roads, and they’re all dead.

Instead of just making jokes at the DOT’s expense (which is a lot of fucking fun), let me offer a solution. We currently have an infrastructure problem, as we’ve heard from people claiming health care and child care are infrastructure. But, nobody’s really doing anything about it. Even the recent Pork-A-Palooza…I mean omnibus spending bill split $87.3 billion between the DOT and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is an increase from the $81 billion from the 2022 fiscal year.

As much as the Left tells us we need more money to fix what’s broken, we need to figure out how exactly the Department of Transportation is spending the money we’re giving them. And judging from their self-published news stories, they’re focusing a lot of energy on passenger railroads, not commercial ones. And no matter how much is getting spent, it’s clear nothing proposed or earmarked would have stopped the derailment. You know, if it actually happened.

This means we need to do a full audit of what is being spent where and on what. If we’re spending more on feel-good but utterly irrelevant programs than we are on railway infrastructure, that has to change. Any derailment, large or small, disastrous or minor, is one too many. Even if Secretary Buttigieg and President Puddin’ Head Joe are blase about them, it’s not a good look because, well, trains are fucking transportation. Locate what needs to be fixed and spend the money to fix them. Even if it puts more Left-friendly projects on the back burner, learning how to be more inclusive in LGBTQIMTHEVERYMODELOFAMODERNMAJORGENERAL circles is less important than making sure trains don’t derail with the frequency of a celebrity going into rehab for the 248th time.

Along with this audit, we need to figure out what jobs they do that can be done at the state level. States have a vested interest in maintaining roads, bridges, and the like because otherwise no one would visit. Why not let them decide what needs to be fixed when? A bridge that’s more unstable than Lindsay Lohan on a bender with Charlie Sheen can’t wait to get fixed while millions get spent on a port in a completely different part of the country. Even if the port is in poor shape, it should be handled by those closest to the port rather than at a national level, where spending decisions are made by people who don’t care about either, but love the votes those decisions garner.

At this point, the Department of Transportation needs to be under the microscope so we can get a grasp on the problems we see everyday. And when there’s a major derailment that threatens the lives of people in a community, it shouldn’t take an act of God to get the Department or the President to say or do something.

Good thing I made up that scenario at East Palestine, Ohio, because if it really happened, there would be a lot of people looking like assholes right now.