JONES: Did The Biden Administration Play Politics With The Ohio Train Disaster?

[Screenshot/YouTube/WKYC Channel 3 News]

Greg Jones Freelance Writer
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Something stinks in East Palestine, Ohio, and it’s not the scores of belly-up fish littering the local creeks.

Despite a Norfolk Southern train derailing and releasing horrific amounts of chemical waste into the air, water, and earth more than two weeks ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the EPA have only now agreed to provide significant support.

It’s about time!

Since the accident, those paying attention have been peppered with a steady stream of Chernobyl-esque videos and images: a mushroom cloud of vinyl chloride dominating the sky above East Palestine; workers in full-on hazmat suits; and creek beds bubbling up with oily residue when disturbed.

As it stands, residents of East Palestine and the surrounding areas don’t even know if they can drink the water. The Environmental Protection Agency and Gov. Mike DeWine have assured them they can, but given the government’s response thus far that claim has been met with healthy skepticism by both Ohioans and anyone else with an ounce of cerebral gray matter.

Water or not, one thing is for sure: the residents of East Palestine need help.

Original requests for federal assistance by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine were refused, as the agency said the situation didn’t meet its typical standard of incidents that involve widespread residential and property damage.

It’s an odd response, especially considering that the chemicals involved have thus far proven uncontainable and will likely affect parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

After all, there are plenty of houses and property between Akron and Charlottesville.

But when one considers the demographics and political allegiances of rural Ohioans and the party currently running our federal government, the response becomes exponentially less mysterious.

For starters, East Palestine is nearly 90 percent white. One of Biden’s first actions in office was an executive order pledging to remedy past racial injustices and ensure equity. It’s therefore little wonder that the residents of East Palestine fall low on the list of priorities of the wokest administration in history.

Perhaps even worse, Columbiana County, where East Palestine is located, committed the unforgivable sin of siding with Trump in the 2020 election by a wide margin — 72 percent to be exact.

Simply put, white conservatives aren’t exactly Joe Biden’s favorite group of people, and he’s made no bones about his feelings toward the half of the country who didn’t vote for him, accusing supporters of the former President of being “a threat to this country.”

Consider that other recent disasters have fared much better.

For example, Jackson, Mississippi, will receive more than $500 million to repair its drinking water infrastructure. Hinds County, where it is located, went 74 percent for Biden.

Further, it seems that not all political parties are bent on vengeance. Flint, Michigan, received $100 million in federal funding under Trump for its water crisis, despite Genesee County going 52 percent for Clinton.

Of course, none of this proves Biden’s inaction is intentional, but it might help explain why it hasn’t caught media attention as much as other disasters.

While these funds obviously didn’t arrive overnight and are the result of Congressional action, one would think the Biden administration would be eager to lead in the face of such a catastrophic event.

After all, the environment has supposedly been the left’s bailiwick for years, and the administration has repeatedly lauded its green bona fides, even pledging to end our reliance on fossil fuels entirely.

What’s more, Democrats have claimed for decades that more government is the answer to nearly all our problems, yet in the face of one of the biggest environmental disasters in recent memory, the government has failed to fulfill its most basic duties.

At the very least, its inaction is the subconscious manifestation of the disdain for flyover America harbored by our liberal elites, the very people now in control of Democrat policies.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who, like President Biden has yet to visit East Palestine, reminded those Ohioans currently suffering that they aren’t special. “While this horrible situation has gotten a particularly high amount of attention, there are roughly 1000 cases a year of a train derailing,” he said.

So get over it, yokels!

It’s not a surprising response considering Biden’s current politics were molded during his time as vice President under Barack Obama, the man who lamented the fact that Republican voters “cling to guns or religion.”

Simply put, to modern-day Dem elitists, the residents of East Palestine represent that “basket of deplorables.”

Given such rhetoric it’s not surprising the very administration who couldn’t bother to help Ohioans for two weeks, despite the fact they are coughing up blood, has found more than $100 billion to send to Ukraine.

Like everything else under this administration, Biden’s response has been a trainwreck, pun intended. And given Democrats’ disgust for Republican voters, one can’t help but wonder if the residents of East Palestine might be better off without them.

Greg Jones is a conservative freelance writer and blogger.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.