News & Politics

Biden and the Fine Art of Political Scapegoating

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Joe Biden’s presidency is failing. Democrats are crowing about the Build Back Better bill passing the House, but he faces an uphill battle to get it passed in the Senate. The bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed last week hasn’t moved the needle on his popularity by even a smidgeon. His policies are historically unpopular.

Now, the inflation monster is rearing its ugly head, threatening everything. So how does Biden turn it all around?

Biden needs an enemy, and fast. He has to be able to blame someone else for his failures. Ordinarily, he could blame the opposition for his woes. But Republicans are out of power and won’t be a credible target until after they take control of Congress in early 2023.

So Biden is about to pick the low-hanging fruit on the scapegoat tree and blame an enemy of the people that presidents have been blaming for their failures for 70 years: the most successful consortium in world history—American oil and gas companies.

In truth, there isn’t much to love about the oil giants. Being successful, they have been targets of the left in the west for several generations. It doesn’t help that their monopolistic practices in the past led to artificially high prices and eliminated most of the competition.

But really, “crimes against humanity”? The portrayal of oil companies as evil, grasping capitalists who see themselves as above the law has taken root in the culture. This makes Biden’s job to create a villain for his presidential morality play that much easier.

Biden needs an enemy to blame for the price of gasoline, which is now climbing toward $4 a gallon. And for a Democrat, tapping Big Oil to fill the role is a no-brainer.

Washington Examiner:

“If the gap between wholesale and retail gas prices was in line with past averages, Americans would be paying at least 25 cents less per gallon right now,” Biden said. “Instead, companies are pocketing the difference as profit. That’s unacceptable.”

The dirtiest word in the Democrat’s lexicon is “profit.” Coming soon: calls from brainless Democrats in Congress for an “excess profits tax.”

Perhaps Congress could tax their own excess stupidity.

He noted that prices are even higher abroad, with $7 a gallon in France and $5.50 a gallon in Japan.

“Gas supply companies are paying less and making a lot more, and they do not seem to be passing that on to consumers at the pump,” Biden said.

It’s a myth that inflated gas prices are due to environmental measures, Biden said, adding that electric cars can save up to $1,000 per year on fuel costs and that the transition to clean energy will create jobs.

Most of the president’s roughly 10-minute speech struck a more upbeat tone as he noted how grocery stores and big-box retail outlets are stocked up for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, from turkey to bicycles and ice skates.

Biden is positing a conspiracy theory for why his own policies have led to higher prices at the pump. What evidence does he have that the oil companies are price gouging? Where are the memos, the recordings, the proof? Where did the meetings take place at which this plot was hatched and coordinated?

Related: Biden to Tap Strategic Oil Reserve After Stupidly Cutting Production

Biden’s “evidence” is higher prices. He has no knowledge of how the industry works or what the costs of doing business are. So he plays to the biases of his ignorant base and blames Big Oil because they’re big and they have more money than anyone else. Naturally, they’ve got to be guilty of something, right?

Oil companies don’t need anyone to defend them. They’ve got legions of lobbyists and can afford to defend themselves. They’ve been the scapegoat for a half dozen presidents and will be a scapegoat again.

Just once, it would be nice if a president took responsibility for his own failures and stopped trying to blame someone or something else.