Inflation was ramping up in the United States well before Vladimir Putin ever gave the order for his forces to march into Ukraine. But Joe Biden doesn’t want you to remember that. Biden’s excuses for inflation, as Gerard Baker explains in The Wall Street Journal “keep rising.” He writes:
‘Make no mistake, inflation is largely the fault of Putin.”
Even by the high standards of political mendacity, the attempt by President Biden last week to assign blame for the acceleration of prices that began just over a year ago to a war that began just under three weeks ago is remarkable for its cynicism, its dishonesty and its desperation.
The cynicism is so sweeping that you have to sit back and marvel. How much contempt do they have for the intelligence of Americans to think that there are enough who would believe such a proposition?
In fact we have a good sense of the depth of the disdain the president has for Americans’ understanding of their economic circumstances. In that same speech, to the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference, he bemoaned that all his hard work doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
“The American people just trying to stay above water don’t understand this. You tell them what the American Recovery Act was, and they look at you like, ‘What are you talking about?’ ”
(He seems to have meant the American Rescue Plan, but the mislabeling proves his own point. If he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, why should they?)
It’s cynical in a much more dismaying way too: as a grotesque effort to enlist an act of brutality by an autocratic aggressor in the service of domestic political expediency. The arts of political message creation may be darker than Vladimir Putin’s soul, but did someone in the White House really watch Ukrainian cities burn and images of wounded pregnant women being ferried from maternity hospitals and think “#Putinpricehike!”?
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for the Richardcyoung.com free weekly email.