Back in 2016, I was living in Baton Rouge when an unprecedented flood submerged much of the metropolitan area and its suburbs. Presidential candidate Donald Trump flew to the area, visited the suffering, and handed out water. That same weekend, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went to Martha’s Vineyard for a $50,000 a plate campaign fundraiser at Lady Rothschild’s place. You see how that turned out for her.
Yesterday Trump went to East Palestine, Ohio, site of the massive toxic train derailment. Salena Zito was in town reporting for The Free Press. Excerpt:
But while Trump and Vance and Gabbard are all showing up, the actual people running this country have been missing in action. It took until February 16—nearly a full two weeks after the crash—for the first top Biden official, EPA administrator Michael Regan, to be on the scene. Meanwhile, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg—who has one job, overseeing the infrastructure of this country—has not yet witnessed the catastrophe in person nor did he acknowledge it until February 13, though he is scheduled to arrive today. President Joe Biden released a fact sheet about the accident and tweeted about it, but he hasn’t given a speech about it, let alone visited the town. In fact, on Monday, he was 5,000 miles away in Kyiv, meeting with the president of Ukraine and pledging more aid in the war against Russia.
That the president ignored East Palestine and chose to make a big splash in a foreign country symbolizes what matters most to the White House, the town’s mayor Trent Conaway said.
“That was the biggest slap in the face,” Conaway fumed on Fox. “That tells you right now he doesn’t care about us. He can send every agency he wants to, but I found out this morning that he was in Ukraine giving millions of dollars away to people over there and not to us… on President’s Day in our country, so I’m furious.”
The optics are very bad. Maybe Biden will be caught on camera saying to his Transportation Secretary, “Petey, you’re doing a heck of a job.” That throwback would be just perfect.
Watch this clip of Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance at a creek near East Palestine. Watch the chemicals bloom in the water when he scratches the creek bed:
This catastrophe in Ohio offers Vance a chance to tack differently than how Republicans usually do. He can, and I hope he does, tear into the rail industry over safety concerns — and if that means going against some in his own party, so be it. Put the people of East Palestine above the profits of those in boardrooms. J.D. Vance, the hillbilly elegiast, was elected to stand for people like the working-class folks of East Palestine. His moment is now.
The post The Forgotten (East) Palestinians appeared first on The American Conservative.