Forced into a state of panic by a series of cataclysmic polls, the Democratic Party has entered a new phase in its attempt to turn around its waning fortunes: lying directly — and unashamedly — to your face. To paraphrase Elena Gorokhova, “You know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know you know they are lying, you know they know you know they are lying, but they are still lying.”
About what? About everything, that’s what. They’re lying about inflation — which first wasn’t going to happen at all, which then wasn’t going to happen for very long, and which is now being blamed on a Russian invasion of Ukraine that started a year after prices started to rise. They’re lying about their agenda — which began as a New Deal–sized transformation of America, which was then transmuted into an “infrastructure” package that for a brief moment was sold as a $0-in-cost unicorn, and which has finally and ridiculously been recast as a means of fighting the inflation that, as of this week, the White House is calling “Putin’s price hike.” They’re lying about gas prices, for which Joe Biden is or isn’t responsible depending on the day you ask them, and which have inspired the most incoherent set of policy answers in recent memory. They’re lying about Afghanistan — which was definitely not going to be a catastrophe until it was a catastrophe, at which point a catastrophe had been the plan all along. They’re lying about Florida’s education policy, and about the nature and scope of science, and about the motivations of the Supreme Court, and about American gun law, and about anything else they can think of that might distract the public from the mess over which they currently reside.
One can comprehend why, in their desperation, the Democrats have started to point fingers at anyone other than themselves. One can learn less easily why they believe that this is going to work. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Huey Long-Esque demagogue who pretends on television to be an intellectual, has spent the last six months insisting that every bad thing in America — silicon-chip shortages, the rising cost of groceries, high gas prices, expensive meat, you name it — is the fault of “greedy corporations” that are taking advantage of the moment to maximize their gains. This claim, naturally, is not true. But it’s also somewhat weird, in that it must prompt the voters who hear it to wonder, “Why now?” Surely, if our beastly corporations were going to fabricate a series of crises in order to rake in that sweet, sweet, emergency-relief cash, they’d have done so while a Republican was president, rather than while Democrats had unified control of Washington? Joe Biden likes to cast himself as good ol’ folksy Joe, and yet, if Warren and Co. are to be believed, it was his election that provoked this outpouring of corporate greed. Is that supposed to be an argument in his favor?