Democrat analyst blames ‘capitalism’ for reason why Buttigieg did little to help stranded travelers

Liberal political analyst Richard Fowler, who was a guest co-host on “The Five” Wednesday, predictably came to the defense of ineffectual Transporation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, claiming that it was solely Southwest Airlines’ fault that thousands of flights were canceled.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

It reportedly took Buttigieg four days to even comment on the catastrophe unfolding at Southwest Airlines. To be sure, it is the airline itself that canceled the flights but Buttigieg oversees the airline industry and this is not a new problem at Southwest. Since Dec. 22, the airline has canceled over 15,700 flights due to weather, software glitches, and human resource problems. Southwest accounts for 90% of flight cancelations over the past week.

CNN is contending that the system meltdown at Southwest Airlines has to do with underinvestment in the company’s operations. It should never have been allowed to progress to this point and the mounting problems at the airline were evident during the pandemic. Add to that fact that the retirement age for pilots has been set at 65 and Buttigieg has been at the forefront of demanding that airlines be more diverse while mandating COVID vaccinations. Throw in the unions and their demands and it is no wonder there is a pilot shortage.

Buttigieg has vowed to hold the company accountable but it is kind of like locking the barn after the horse is out. Many feel that he should have been checking to make sure the airlines were all prepared for the holiday rush in bad weather, not just reminding the carrier that stranded travelers are entitled to meal and hotel vouchers.

The Fox News show started out with co-host Tyrus suggesting that the federal government use buses to help some travelers get to their destinations just as it does with illegal immigrants who are stranded in the US.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

“Where were the federal agents?” Tyrus demanded. “We don’t see any help from this administration when American people are in trouble because Buttigieg could make some things happen. He can get some buses… It might not be ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.’ It might not be the way you get there, but we will get you there because that’s the American way.”

Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy quickly agreed with the suggestion.

“We have paid for so many flights and bus trips for illegals throughout this,” she posited and then asked Richard Fowler if Democrats are “embarrassed” by Buttigieg’s incompetence as transportation secretary.

“Richard, I’m gonna ask you a sincere question,” she said. “Democrats had a lot of hope in Pete Buttigieg. Are they embarrassed of just how he’s performed over the last couple of years?”

Fowler laughed at the assertion and came to Buttigieg’s defense.

“This is not even about Pete Buttigieg, though,” he claimed and then proceeded to blame Southwest Airlines’ executives for the chaos. “Ninety percent of the flights that have been canceled in the United States is from one airline. A majority of flights canceled around the world is from one airline.”

“You have bad management, they have bad software,” he charged. “You can’t blame the flight attendants, you can’t blame the pilots, you can’t blame the ramp agents. You have to blame the people who sit in the corporate suites of Southwest Airlines for canceling flights. Period, the end of story. To blame Pete Buttigieg for the fact that Southwest can’t manage its planes is ridiculous.”

Campos-Duffy pointed out to Fowler that the federal government could have used resources to help stranded passengers but didn’t.

“I mean, sure,” he responded. “But once again, this is about capitalism and an airline that cannot manage it. Don’t fly Southwest Airlines.”

For context, four months before Southwest’s mass cancellation of flights, 38 state attorneys general wrote to congressional leaders asserting that Buttigieg’s agency “failed to respond and to provide appropriate recourse” to thousands of consumer complaints concerning airlines’ customer service, according to Lever News.

“Americans are justifiably frustrated that federal government agencies charged with overseeing airline consumer protection are unable or unwilling to hold the airline industry accountable,” they wrote back in August, arguing that Congress should pass legislation empowering state officials to enforce consumer protection laws against the airlines.

Buttigieg’s fellow Democrats saw this coming evidently.

Weeks before the attorney generals wrote Buttigieg, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) sent him a letter warning of “the deeply troubling and escalating pattern of airlines delaying and canceling flights”, particularly during holidays.

Democratic US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Alex Padilla also warned Buttigieg, according to Lever News.

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