Is it asking too much for members of the Biden administration to show up for work when we really need them?
Biden and key members of his team have been AWOL at pivotal moments lately.
It took less than nine months under Biden's boot for America to devolve from prosperity to empty, Venezuelan-style store shelves amid soaring prices. While this fiasco has many fathers, Biden and the Democrats exacerbated things by extending generous unemployment benefits earlier this year.
Such largesse encouraged people to pursue Netflix rather than their careers. This exacerbated a truck-driver shortage which, in turn, slowed the arrival of big rigs to haul away shipping containers brimming with goods from China and other Asian manufacturing nations.
The result? Some 100 freighters are marooned outside the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, waiting to be unloaded. Pre-COVID, just 17 such boats typically waited in the water to be served.
This is a classic transit bottleneck, which demands the attention of America's Transportation Secretary.
So, where has he been?
Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been on paternity leave — for two months!
This interval is excessive, and it would be, even if America's stevedores were clearing steamers with the speed and smoothness of a Broadway musical production number. Instead, the whole thing is like watching tap dancers burdened with lead ankle weights.
Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, adopted newborn twins. This must be challenging, but it's not as if Chasten is bedridden from a Caesarean section, healing after hours of labor, or sore from breast feeding.
Whatever one thinks of gay adoption, Americans surely can agree that it lacks the physical health challenge of bouncing back after actual childbirth.
Regardless, Secretary Buttigieg has been playing daddy while the maritime bottlenecks remain corked up.
Team Biden also was on break for much of August's meltdown in Afghanistan. As Kabul fell to the Taliban, and Americans and U.S. allied-Afghans scrambled to get the hell out of Dodge, Press Secretary Jen Psaki famously was on vacation. Her e-mail away message served as the White House's de facto comment as the chaos erupted.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken predicted at a June 7 hearing of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee: “If there is a significant deterioration in security, I don’t think it’s going to be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday.”
Well, in fact, that is precisely what happened. The Taliban seized Kabul between Friday, August 13, and Monday, August 16 — as if they specifically wanted to make Blinken look like a total idiot.
Blinken soiled his reputation, such as it was, even further. During that fateful Friday to Monday, Americans expected Blinken to be at his desk at the State Department. Surely he was working with U.S. diplomats and his foreign counterparts to speed the evacuation of this country's citizens and friends out of Biden's deadly mess.
Blinken had more pressing priorities. He was in Long Island's East Hampton, enjoying the warmth and comfort of a late-summer weekend in one of America's poshest locales.
Too bad the hundreds of Americans whom he and Biden left behind could not have been there to savor the splendor of his family home on exclusive Lily Pond Lane.
As for Biden, he remained at Camp David for three full days before emerging from the Catoctin Mountains, helicoptering back to the White House, and giving a televised speech from there on Monday, August 16 — his first remarks on this life-and-death matter in six days. After that, Biden led his national-security team as they hunkered down and grappled with this desperate situation.
Biden flew back to Camp David immediately after he concluded his statement. His time at the White House was so brief, Marine One's blades barely could stop revolving before he re-boarded the chopper and rushed back to Camp David for some badly needed and well-earned rest.
And let's not forget Vice President Kamala Harris. That normally is easy to do, as the woman one aorta pump from the Oval Office maintains such a low profile and such a light schedule.
Biden named her border czarina, whereupon she sedulously avoided the southern frontier as if it were patrolled by Napoleon. Harris finally made it to El Paso, which is on the border but hundreds of miles east of where illegal aliens are invading America, like Frenchmen breaching Russia in 1812.
Harris also was 2,091 miles off the mark on October 8, when a high-level U.S. delegation met with Mexican officials in their capital, to discuss bolstering security on the border.
The vice president of the United States should have led American efforts to win on the biggest issue in her portfolio. Instead, Harris took Air Force Two to New Jersey, visited Tonnie's Minis in Newark, and devoured four of that bakery's specialty: cupcakes.
Love or hate Donald J. Trump, he and his team were Johnnies on the Spot when taxpayers wanted them at their posts, doing their jobs. Trump stayed in the West Wing for two months, as the COVID-19 catastrophe unfolded in spring 2020.
As ABC News reported on May 2, 2020: Trump "is itching to get out of the confines of the White House after hardly leaving the White House grounds, aside from a couple of occasions, over an eight-week period."
During that time, Vice President Mike Pence and the other members of the Corona Virus Task Force met just about daily in the Executive Mansion.
Trump, Pence, and an array of Task Force personnel briefed journalists practically every day, while Trump took questions — often aggressive and nasty ones — sometimes for 30 to 45 minutes at a go.
Conversely, Biden has created something akin to a new tango step as he too often twirls away from his podium and shuffles off stage without letting the press corps query him.
This republic was served robustly for four years by an Energizer Bunny and his engaged team. These days, Americans are lucky if Biden and his top aides drop by their offices at all.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Read Deroy Murdock's Reports — More Here.
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