Channeling Buttigieg, Meyers Blames Trump, GOP For Ohio Train Derailment

NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers has a theory on Wednesday as to why the train carrying toxic chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio, derailed: Donald Trump. This theory was basically a retelling of the talking points being spouted off by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

During his “Closer Look” segment, Meyers declared, “And by the way, rail workers and their unions have been warning for years about deteriorating safety conditions and demanding better work standards. Instead, these massively profitable rail companies poured money into stock buybacks and dividends and lobbied for safety regulations to be repealed. For example, in 2018, the Trump Administration rolled back a train braking rule meant to keep oil tankers from exploding near communities. I mean, of [bleep] course he did.”

Meyers also claimed that decision proves that “We’ve been done a disservice by movies that taught us evil guys were all geniuses and scientists, and we forgot you can be an evil dummy in a ball cap that doesn’t fit. What else did Trump do while we weren’t looking? I wouldn’t be shocked to read a headline that said, ‘Trump rolls back rule meant to keep dastardly villains from tying damsels in distress to railroad tracks.’”

Launching into an extended Trump impression, Meyers suggested, “he said to me, ‘sir, please make it easier for trains to explode near communities.’”

Moving on from Trump to Republicans generally, Meyers proclaimed, “So there’s a lot of actual policy Republicans could be discussing right now, like we could force wealthy companies to pay for cleanups after disasters, or we could impose stiffer financial penalties, we could tax them more and redistribute that money to workers and safety improvements, require electric braking systems, or maybe we could reimpose some of those silly little regulations designed to, you know, stop trains from exploding.”

Rule or no rule, since 1990 there has been an average of 1,704 derailments per year. Meyers also doesn’t explain why the Biden Administration, with all of its love for trains and infrastructure, didn’t reverse Trump’s decision in the two years they’ve been in office.

This segment was sponsored by Arby’s.

Here is a transcript for the February 15 show:

Late Night with Seth Meyers

2/16/2023

12:47 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: And by the way, rail workers and their unions have been warning for years about deteriorating safety conditions and demanding better work standards. Instead, these massively profitable rail companies poured money into stock buybacks and dividends and lobbied for safety regulations to be repealed. For example, in 2018, the Trump Administration rolled back a train braking rule meant to keep oil tankers from exploding near communities. I mean, of [bleep] course he did.

And I’m sure we didn’t hear about it, because it was the same day he tried to buy Greenland or challenged Angela Merkel to a putting contest or drank water weird.

We’ve been done a disservice by movies that taught us evil guys were all geniuses and scientists, and we forgot you can be an evil dummy in a ball cap that doesn’t fit.

What else did Trump do while we weren’t looking? I wouldn’t be shocked to read a headline that said, “Trump rolls back rule meant to keep dastardly villains from tying damsels in distress to railroad tracks.” 

“We don’t have damsels anymore, and it’s very sad, it’s very sad, because with no damsels, the villains don’t have anyone to tie to the tracks and you see — and now you see the villains, they’re just milling about in the train station with their big hat, and they have a big coil of rope with no one to tie to anything one of the villains came up to me, tall guy, evil guy, tears running down his face, and then shooting down his handlebar mustache like it was a waterslide. Tears flying up and then down. And he said to me, ‘sir, please make it easier for trains to explode near communities.’ 

So there’s a lot of actual policy Republicans could be discussing right now, like we could force wealthy companies to pay for cleanups after disasters, or we could impose stiffer financial penalties, we could tax them more and redistribute that money to workers and safety improvements, require electric braking systems, or maybe we could reimpose some of those silly little regulations designed to, you know, stop trains from exploding. 

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