Blaming Russia for every economic woe is increasingly falling flat
Americans are reeling from surging gas prices, food prices, and the price of rent - all of which have steadily risen since the start of the pandemic. US President Joe Biden has chosen to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the situation, dubbing it "Putin's price hike" - but people aren't buying it.
In addition to mile-high inflation, the US economy risks stagnating as consumers are unable to pay the higher costs of basically everything from gas to essential groceries. The logistical supply chain crisis and shortage of transportation workers - already serious issues exacerbated by pandemic-era lockdowns and movement restrictions - haven't helped matters.
Biden, who ran on the promise to "always choose to unite rather than divide," is trying to unite Americans in common cause against Russia, which he blames as the source of all of the problems ailing the United States - even ones that cropped up well before the conflict in Ukraine, and ahead of Biden's sanctions on the Russian economy.
And he's doing this all the while condemning Republicans and their "ultra-MAGA" plan to "raise taxes on working families." So much for unity.
Days after announcing the sanctions in March in support of Ukraine, Biden bragged that "as a result of our unprecedented sanctions, the ruble was almost immediately reduced to rubble."
"The Russian economy is on track to be cut in half," he continued. "It was ranked the 11th biggest economy in the world before this invasion - and soon, it will not even rank among the top 20." The prediction didn't age well, as the ruble swiftly rebounded and is now worth more than it was even prior to the conflict.
"Right now, America's fighting on two fronts," acknowledged Biden at a recent appearance. "At home, it's inflation and rising prices. Abroad, it's helping Ukrainians defend their democracy and feeding those who were left hungry around the world."
Biden, who insists that Ukraine's problems belong to American taxpayers, has pledged to provide Ukraine with an additional $40 billion in funding, all while average Americans struggle with a plethora of ongoing crises that affect them more directly than some conflict on a different continent.
Despite Biden's blame game and efforts to conduct a proxy war against Russia, Americans aren't buying his excuses. A recent poll conducted by the Democracy Institute for Express.co.uk found that some 56% of likely voters disapproved of the president's handling of foreign policy, compared to 40% who approve. On the topic of Ukraine, only 38% approve of Biden's policies.
"Americans were very pro-sanctions at first, [but] they are not as keen on the sanctions as they were," Democracy Institute Director Patrick Basham told the Express. "Biden made these predictions at the outset - the ruble would be rubble, we were going to crash the Russian economy, people will rise up, Putin will be out, the Russians will run away from Ukraine... [but] none of those things have happened."
Indeed, Biden faces disapproval on all fronts, and many Americans don't agree with his preoccupation with Ukraine. Only 16% of those polled perceived Russia as the most significant "threat" to the United States, well behind China, Iran, and even North Korea.
Biden's policies are causing a resounding backlash on Democrats, who were already polling poorly for their support of the "defund the police" movement, bail reform, Critical Race Theory, and other domestic issues that have exacerbated social divisions in the United States.
Around 50% of those surveyed said they'd back the Republicans in the midterms, compared to 42% who said they'd vote for the Democrats.
Following Biden's disastrous withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, which saw billions of dollars' worth of American gear abandoned to the Taliban and the deaths of over a dozen service members, Americans are rightly cynical about Biden's ability to make good decisions. Was Putin behind the pullout, too?
As Americans struggle with record gas prices, which are up by over 50% since Biden took office, the president continues to reduce US production capacity by canceling oil drilling sales in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico - further compounding America's dependence on foreign oil. Blaming Russia for this one just isn't going to cut it.
At the rate Biden's going, one might ask if Putin is mind-controlling him into making every effort to crater the US economy. You might even say that the US president suffers from Russia Derangement Syndrome.
With all of the failures mounting up, it's a matter of time before a "Red Wave" during the November midterms washes away the Biden administration's catastrophic policies and paves the way for a leader who is up to the task, whether it's Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, or anyone else.