- - Wednesday, June 1, 2022

When French Queen Marie Antoinette was informed that the peasants of Paris were rioting because of food shortages and starvation, it is reported that she famously quipped, “Let them eat cake.” Her insensitivity and uncaring response have earned her the reputation of being one of the most cold-hearted persons in history.

This year’s nominees for the Marie Antoinette Award are the entire Biden administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As things go, this is a very close contest. The Biden administration is filled with individuals who resemble the elitists who always receive preferential benefits in authoritarian governments, while Mrs. Pelosi provides the same aristocratic privileges to congressional staff.

Members of the Biden team are practically pros at demonstrating detachment.



White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre laughed when reminded of the concerns about baby formula shortages and asked by a reporter who is “running point” on resolving the crisis.

Of course, Ms. Jean-Pierre is replacing the equally nonempathetic Jen Psaki, who has made prevarication an art form while insistently being insensitive to the needs of Americans. Her response to the formula issue was nothing short of a classic in the field of Marie Antoinetteisms: To concerned parents of babies, “Call your doctor.”

An older favorite comes from someone who has no vibe for what Americans are thinking and feeling, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. He seems to always wax eloquent when disparaging Americans, but a favorite quote that typifies his talent to be like Marie Antoinette involves the spike in gas prices that are vexing all Americans and helping raise all prices.

To Americans feeling the pain he advises: to avoid high gas prices, buy an electric vehicle. Well done, Mayor Pete.

Of course, Mr. Buttigieg’s boss also demonstrated his empathy on gas prices by urging Americans to buy electric vehicles, denying there was inflation, and then finally admitting it is a “real tough problem” while suggesting Americans are just too dumb to understand the difficulties of inflation.

And, when considering the strength of performance by the Biden team, who seems to consciously attempt to sound like Marie Antoinette on every issue, we cannot overlook the deceptive comments of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

Mr. Mayorkas, under oath mind you, told Congress that the border is operationally secure, which means that the more than 200,000 illegal aliens encountered at the border every month simply aren’t real.

While he admitted that among the more than 800,000 illegal aliens the Biden team has released into the country “undoubtedly” includes murders, rapists and child molesters, he appears content on his current path.

The body of work of the Biden administration may seem to overwhelm Mrs. Pelosi’s one-woman wrecking crew, but she is equally impressive.

To shortlist Mrs. Pelosi’s Marie Antoinette-like elitism, let’s showcase just one recent example. While Americans are laboring under a withering rise of prices caused by Mrs. Pelosi and the Biden team, Mrs. Pelosi has decided to give 21% increases in wages to congressional staffers.

That alone takes some chutzpah, but Mrs. Pelosi has also worked out with Capitol Hill food suppliers for members to get delivery of booze to their offices and attempted to provide Peloton exercise services to Hill staffers.

While glaringly insensitive in normal human considerations, for purposes of looking like Marie Antoinette, Mrs. Pelosi is particularly adept.

And now, the winner of the 2022 Marie Antoinette award. Well, it may seem like kissing one’s sibling, but it’s a push. It’s a tie. Mrs. Pelosi and the Biden Team seem to have worked assiduously to demonstrate a certain savior faire in showing cold-hearted, insensitivity to the American people. 

And, truly both contestants richly deserve this award.

• Andy Biggs is an American attorney and the U.S. representative for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.

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