- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 21, 2023

If presidents are defined by their responses to crises, Joe Biden gets a failing grade.

As East Palestine, Ohio, Mayor Trent Conaway said on Fox News: Biden’s trip to Ukraine is “the biggest slap in the face,” and “giving millions of dollars away to people over there and not us” basically “tells you right now he doesn’t care about us.”

America Last.

It’s the phrase that haunts this president.

And no matter how hard the media try, no matter how much the media attempt, no matter how many buckets of water the media carry for this president, the fact is Biden’s legacy isn’t just rapidly becoming America Last. It’s America Not At All. What’s more, Biden’s taking his whole party down that path.

“East Palestine derailment proves Democrats don’t care about the little guy,” the New York Post wrote in a recent headline.

Since Feb. 3, when the train derailed in East Palestine, and hazardous chemicals spilled into the air, and federal authorities set the chemicals on fire as a means of preventing an out-of-control explosion, and the nation watched as massively black clouds of smoke poured from the scene — since that time, Biden and his leading Transportation guy, Pete Buttigieg, have done nothing but compounded the federal bungle by failing to provide adequate answers. Oh, and by withholding the FEMA aid requested by East Palestine’s mayor.

“What East Palestine needs is much more expansive than what FEMA can provide,” said one Team Biden official quoted by the New York Post.

Say what?

The White House solution to American terror at breathing burnt vinyl chloride and drinking water with a side of butyl acrylate and sucking in deep breaths of hydrogen chloride and phosgene, it seems, is to head to Ukraine. With open pockets. With open wallets.

“East Palestine residents worry rashes, headaches and other symptoms may be tied to chemicals from train crash,” CNN wrote in a recent headline.

The story opens this way: “Some residents of East Palestine, Ohio, say they have developed rashes, sore throats, nausea and headaches after returning to their homes this week, and they’re worried these new symptoms are related to chemicals released after a train derailment two weeks ago.”

Umm — yeah.

And just because the official White House response to those fears is a constant drumbeat of some derivative of “correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation,” doesn’t calm suspicions that, well, the train wreck combined with the federally set fire caused the release of harmful chemicals that are now causing these adverse health affects in residents.

The people need a leader.

What they’ve got is a puppet and a finger-pointer — a Biden-Buttigieg double-whammy of do-nothingness. 

America should not be surprised. This is the president whose cut-and-run of Afghanistan launched his legacy of leaving allies behind — and whose subsequent foreign policies have put Russia on the military charge; China in near control of the world stage; and Iran waiting gleefully for the green light on nuclear development.

This is the president who pretends inflation is a good sign for the economy; who tells taxpayers he wants them to hire 87,000 more IRS agents who will then target them for collections and audits; who turns blind eyes to America’s borders while demanding more money, more money, more money to help Ukraine secure its borders.

This is the president who’s driven up the national deficit by $4 trillion since taking office — much of which came about because of his COVID-19-tied demands for Americans to stop working, stay home, shut up businesses and shut up and take the shots and live off the stimulus dime.

“The average American family has lost $7,100 in purchasing power under Biden due to inflation and high interest rates,” The Heritage Foundation reported.

And all the while, Team Biden’s busily focused on transforming the federal agencies into models of diversity, equity and inclusion — into apparatuses of environmental, social and governance goals.

On East Palestine, Biden could have emerged as a leader. He could have visited the site, comforted the residents, toured the community — drank the water. He could have led by example and encouraged by his presence. He did not.

And that’s how he rolls. 

Whenever there’s a crisis, the American people can count on one thing from this White House: the president will fail to properly address the situation. Biden, because he’s Biden, will always put the American people as a low-level priority. On that, his legacy is clear.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE  or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.

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