Pete Buttigieg Shows Up GOP During ‘NBC Sunday’ Biden Defense

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg effectively gave Republicans a reality check Sunday on NBC in a discussion of the military recently shooting down a Chinese balloon believed to be used in espionage operations that drifted over portions of the United States and Canada.

“It sounds simple — I suppose if you don’t think about it for more than a second,” Buttigieg quipped on NBC, in comments applicable (with ease) to figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Trump himself. “But this thing was above American airspace, in terms of where most of the aircraft fly… The metal equipment there is larger than a bus. When they did shoot it down, the debris field was about seven miles, and so the concern of course is, how do you do it in a way that absolutely minimizes the danger to American lives on the ground and any kind of aviation operations? That’s exactly what happened. The FAA worked closely with the Pentagon, this thing was brought down in a safe manner, and flights are back to normal in the U.S.”

Buttigieg also spoke of the opportunity for the U.S. and authorities to counter any potential threats from China in economics, including in specific fields like the manufacturing of electric vehicles. Biden and Democrats in Congress also shepherded through a piece of legislation supporting the formulation of technological components known as semiconductor chips in the United States. Notably, despite what remains just about endlessly aggressive rhetoric accusing Biden and his allies of some kind of covert allegiance to China, some Republicans opposed that tech industry measure as political retaliation for the emergence of what was known as a budget reconciliation deal. That other deal was what became the Inflation Reduction Act.

Before the military shot down the balloon Sunday, Republicans like Greene and Trump clamored against the Biden administration’s response, acting as though reacting was a matter as simple as just making a decision and hitting a big button. The ignorance of basic factors like the potential impacts on random bystanders on the ground was just staggering. “You heard the man from Montana,” Greene ranted on Twitter Friday, responding to a post from a Montana Congressman. “Shoot it down! The official response saying shooting it down could harm people on the ground doesn’t sell. In rural America, there aren’t people everywhere. There’s land.” You can’t just hope for the best when suddenly dropping something the size of a bus from tens of thousands of feet in the air, Marjorie!

Also revealed in recent days was that similar incidents apparently took place at least three times during the Trump era, which Trump predictably denied. Biden’s response was more stern than what seems to have been Trump’s lack of a substantive reaction. Maybe Trump was too busy with his Twitter account to focus on the basic job responsibilities associated with serving as president of the U.S.