Commentary: After several debacles, some finally wonder why Xavier Becerra has his job

Wokeism and identity politics continue to have deadly, amoral consequences.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks at the 2019 California Democratic Party convention. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

In the past year, I’ve called for the resignation or dismissal of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and several others, yet perhaps the most unqualified Cabinet member continues to slip under the radar despite his inept performance on the biggest global issues.

President Joe Biden still hasn’t fired his hapless Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, whose incompetent leadership truly symbolizes the overall failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Biden administration runs on identity politics so Becerra likely won’t be tossed out any time this year. He brings meaningless “diversity” to the administration, after all.

This began about 20 months ago when Team Biden panicked in response to criticism from Hispanic activists who wanted more Hispanics nominated for cabinet positions. Biden assuaged the radicals and offered Becerra the vital job, despite his being a lawyer and politician with no executive or medical experience. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reportedly “had worked closely with Becerra in the House and viewed him as untrustworthy,” was ignored.

The former California congressman received zero confirmation votes from Republicans.

But even corporate media is now perturbed.

In a rare bit of brutally-honest journalism, The Washington Post reported earlier this year that the White House “openly mused” about replacing the Californian. Among more than 3,000 words, they noted assorted frustrations and said health officials complained he was “taking too passive a role” and “hasn’t shown up” while failing to exert authority.

Nevertheless, despite his woeful record, Becerra won’t be dismissed, since the article admits it “would likely draw the ire of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other grass-roots groups that pressed Biden to appoint more Latinos to his Cabinet.”

And in recent months, Becerra has failed again during a new medical crisis. The languid governmental response to monkeypox — which affects precious few Americans, but a politically powerful Democrat bloc — probably vindicates critics of the HHS secretary who claim he’s clueless.

Last Thursday, Becerra finally reacted, albeit rather late.

No outlet less than The New York Times published a damning report on Becerra’s mishandling of the outbreak which, according to the gray lady, lacks vaccines because his department failed “to ask that bulk stocks of the vaccine it already owned be bottled for distribution.”

Vaccine doses also were delayed because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sitting under Becerra’s purview, took forever to approve the Nordic company that makes it.

The Times’ article includes denouncements of Becerra, with many mentioning his aloof approach to serious situations.

In the end, the White House’s slow reaction to monkeypox appears to be hindered by the same bureaucratic delays that we saw during the COVID-19 outbreak.

After perusing the Times piece, liberal pundit Josh Barro finally realized Becerra is not qualified.

Some of us mused this long ago and have the receipts. But also listen to Tim Carney.

The Washington Examiner columnist eviscerated Becerra’s incompetence last Friday, arguing that “beyond having no competence, experience, or training in public health, Becerra can’t fight this fight because he was brought here precisely to be a left-wing culture warrior. Becerra met Biden’s standards for health secretary because Becerra is an abortion extremist and a culture warrior who relishes in persecuting religious conservatives.”

Indeed, until 2021, Becerra’s most noteworthy experience was the egregious lawsuit he filed as California attorney general, forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide birth control to employees.

Wokeism and identity politics continue to have deadly, amoral consequences. Someday the media, progressive politicians, and society should wise up. Maybe Becerra’s comeuppance is a small step.


A.J. Kaufman
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A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.