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President Joe Biden's Department of Transportation, led by Secretary Pete Buttigieg, was widely mocked online and even faced ethics questions over a meme that the department posted to its official Twitter account.
The meme features a man and a woman texting the following exchange back and forth:
WOMAN: What are you thinking about?
MAN: I'm thinking about how the new infrastructure law is going to make getting from place to place so much better over the next decade and how when combined with the Build Back Better Act, it will create millions of new jobs.
"Congress has enacted federal laws on the use of federal funds that prohibit agencies and employees from 'lobbying' the Congress or the public in favor of legislation that is pending in Congress although it is unclear if the tweet from the Department of Transportation violates that law,"
Fox News reported. "The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which typically investigates Hatch Act violations, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News."
Chuck DeVore, vice president of national initiatives and the policy director for the Election Protection Project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, suggested that the meme could be some sort of violation.
"This appears to be lobbying,"
DeVore said. "I didn't think federal agencies were allowed to be so blatant in promoting specific legislation. The Secretary of Transportation can, of course, but the DOT's official website? Seems unusual."
Notable responses to the tweet included:
- Spike Cohen, Libertarian Party: "You are being robbed to finance cringeposting."
- Dean Cain: "Holy s**t. 🤨"
- Andrew Kloster, former White House official: "They found Chasten a job he's qualified for. Great job!"
- Stephen Miller, political commentator: "38 state wipe out."
- Omri Ceren, national security adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): "A lot of you are dunking about how cringey this tweet is, and totally running past how the meme is almost hilariously The Left Can't Meme awful. ... Check me on this because it's been a while. But as I remember the summer and fall of 2020, the conventional wisdom in DC - all the way from the hard left to the center right - was that whatever other concerns one might have about a Biden admin at least adults would be in charge."
- Geoffrey Miller, psychology professor: "How many miles of high speed rail will this actually build? How many new metro/subway systems in cities that don't have them? How many new airports?"
- Frank Fleming, The Babylon Bee: "It's some of the trillions in Build Back Better going to go toward teaching the left to meme?"
- Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of Center for Immigration Studies: "Whoever did this should look for a new line of work."
- Logan Hall, Director of social media at The Daily Caller: "The absolute state of liberal memes."
- Ian Miles Cheong, writer: "Buttigieg said he was going to go after racist roads but so far all he is doing is posting s****y memes of white people."