When even the Washington Post is not on your side, it is time for the Democrats to abandon ship. Or the train derailment, depending.
I mean the ship wreck figuratively, but the train wreck literally; in the roughly three weeks since the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, President Joe Biden’s administration has implicitly blamed former President Donald Trump, claiming he rolled back standards on brakes for freight trains carrying hazardous materials.
Here’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, for instance, saying on Twitter that the administration was “constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe.”
We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe. https://t.co/xRyyYpGOwd
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) February 14, 2023
Now, granted, despite Harry Truman’s famous adage, it has been the norm for U.S. presidential administrations to assert that the buck stops with my predecessor. (Assuming, of course, he belonged to the opposition party.)
But, in the instance of the Biden administration, these claims are quite precise and serve primarily to detract from the reality that the government botched the response, at least from a public relations aspect. (Buttigieg did not visit East Palestine until more than two weeks after the disaster, and President Biden has neither visited nor announced a visit.)
And, according to the Washington Post’s chief fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, pure nonsense.
Yes, it is true that Kessler was not immediately fact-checking the various claims by Democratic officials that regulatory changes under the Trump administration caused the crash. Instead, he was examining the veracity of Trump’s claim, “I had nothing to do with it.”
The fact that the denial, rather than the baseless claims, is being fact-checked tells much about the Post’s bias, but at least they didn’t claim the statement was false: “So far, Trump’s rollback of regulations can’t be blamed for Ohio train wreck,” the headline on Monday’s piece read. (“So far.” Nice.)
“Trump’s comment during his tour of East Palestine was widely interpreted to mean that he had nothing to do with regulatory rollbacks during his presidency — an odd remark since he frequently celebrated how many regs he had eliminated. (He often exaggerated the impact of his record, but that’s another story),” Kessler wrote.
“Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, said Trump was speaking more generally about regulatory changes being falsely blamed for the derailment of 38 train cars, including 11 carrying hazardous materials, in East Palestine on Feb. 3. Biden administration officials have strongly suggested that the Trump administration buckled under pressure from rail industry lobbyists, laying the groundwork for an accident.”
More on this story vi The Western Journal:
First of all, I know of no one who thought Trump’s statement was “an odd remark” or who “interpreted [it] to mean that he had nothing to do with regulatory rollbacks during his presidency.” Then again, I don’t frequent Glenn Kessler’s group chats, nor he mine, so where this was “widely interpreted” as such is probably a matter of, well, interpretation. CONTINUE READING…