We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the less-than-stellar optics of the Biden administration dragging its feet when it comes to acknowledging and addressing the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

And, according to CNN’s Stephen Collinson, the bad optics are evidence of “poisonous, partisan politics”:

Collinson writes:

Trump may have brought some comfort to people in a region that voted for him overwhelmingly with his visit on Wednesday, but it was still a partisan political play.

Trump sidestepped a question over his role in weakening safety standards after he repealed an Obama administration rule requiring freight railroads to employ electronically controlled pneumatic brakes on certain trains hauling hazardous and flammable cargos. The measure wouldn’t have stopped the East Palestine disaster since the train that derailed there didn’t have sufficient cars of such a type that would have triggered the rule had it still been in force. But critics have charged that Trump’s slashing of such rules and his elimination of regulations across the board made railroads and Americans less safe.

Other current and potential Republican presidential candidates rushed to catch up with Trump. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley asked whether Biden shouldn’t be “with those people in Ohio.” Haley’s attack seemed inconsistent with her vow to be tougher than Biden on Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, the president traveled to Europe around the anniversary of the Russian invasion to warn Putin would never win the war. And former Vice President Mike Pence, who might also run in 2024, said he was “glad” that Biden went to Ukraine “but he should have gone to East Palestine first.”

Apparently Stephen was so busy complaining about Donald Trump going to East Palestine that he didn’t notice his own poisonous, partisan politics permeating his “analysis.”

Seriously, Stephen’s pissed that Trump went there first, so he’s got to figure out a way to make Trump and Republicans look like the bad guys in order salvage the Biden administration’s image. It’s an admirable goal … and one Collinson has spectacularly failed to reach.

You’d be hard-pressed to find one.

Good Lord, CNN.

Maybe Donald Trump is an opportunist who wants to use the trip to East Palestine to make himself look good ahead of the 2024 presidential campaign. OK, he definitely is. But that doesn’t change the fact that he went to East Palestine first and made the people there feel like somebody out there cared about them. The optics are indeed terrible for the Biden administration — and that’s no one’s fault but their own.



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