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Di Leo: Quoting Out of Context, from Inflation to Petroleum



PBS photo

By John F. Di Leo - 

The Biden-Harris regime is delighting in the opportunity to pin the blame on Putin’s War – for skyrocketing fuel prices today, and for the food shortages and economic challenges of tomorrow.

As the regime’s lies go, we must admit: this one isn’t a lie.  Putin’s War has indeed caused the interruption of certain international supply lines.  Necessary sanctions against Russia have almost immediately ended the flow of considerable export business that employed countless American workers, and the import bans and duty rate hikes being imposed on Russian products will cause some shortages, from grocery shelves to factory stockrooms.

Ukraine was long known as the breadbasket of Europe; this war zone won’t be producing a harvest in 2022.  If dozens of countries have grown accustomed to getting their energy from Russia and their grain from Ukraine, these buyers will definitely be paying more, to other vendors, as their supply chains adjust.

From Joe Biden’s speechwriters to his cabinet and his press secretaries, we now hear these points made with frequency and… perhaps even… with relief?  It can hardly be our imagination, as we take note of the genuine ease with which these experienced spin artists direct the blame for our current problems toward Putin’s War.

But there’s a problem.

The American people – and frankly, the entire world – have too good a memory for this con to work.

With some complex issues, only the experts really understand the area well enough to see through misdirection.  Monetary policy, atmospheric science, nuclear power – these are complicated areas where a talented politician can sometimes fool his audience.

But today’s issues are too big, too fresh, and too fundamental, for that strategy to work.  It doesn’t take an expert to know why the economy became so vulnerable virtually the day that Joe Biden was installed.

Gasoline and Diesel Prices 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, 2022 is reducing our available petroleum supply.  Sure. But Joe Biden’s executive orders  of January and February 2021 – killing some oil drilling and slowing down the rest, killing some exploration and jacking up the cost of all the rest – reduced our available petroleum supply far more, causing infinitely greater economic disruption across our country.  For most of us, the price at the pump had already doubled in the first year of having the Biden-Harris crowd at the helm. That pain is recent enough that everyone remembers it.

Food Shortages

The Russian invasion will reduce agricultural product availability. But the cost of the modern Left’s ongoing attack on agriculture is doing far more damage.  Democrat policies – such as denying water to crops in California, raising the price of the trucking that transports both seed and harvest, diverting food to illogical purposes (such as mandating above-market prices to use corn for ethanol instead of selling it as food), and tax and regulatory policies that cause agricultural equipment prices to climb – all these are contributing to price increases in American agricultural goods… and it was already happening long before Vladimir Putin’s troops crossed into Ukraine.

The Almighty Dollar

The Russian invasion will hurt the U.S. Dollar.  By cutting off Russia from the western banking community, we have pushed Russia further into the arms of Red China and its dictator, Xi Jinping. By increasing Russia’s dependence on China (the one major economy not participating in the rush to sanction Moscow), this war is an unexpected gift to the Chinese Renminbi. It was already a major currency, but nobody actually preferred it to the Dollar.  But after a year of Biden-era inflation, already hovering around 6% by the time Putin crossed into Ukraine, the US Dollar had already lost its luster, and some were already ready to cast it aside in favor of the long-derided Renminbi. The Biden-Harris regime kept on implementing massive stimulus bills throughout 2021, and kept the Fed printing currency at a record pace. They didn’t need Vladimir Putin to wreck this economy, they were doing it quite well without his help.

Similar stories could be told about dozens of issues. 

The regime’s spin will always be to blame everything on Mr. Putin, but the American people know better than to fall for it. Every time Joe Biden, Jen Psaki, or Jennifer Granholm cheerfully trots out the official line – that “Vladimir Putin did it to us!” – the American people will remember that it was already happening beforehand.

Prices were skyrocketing in 2021.  Gas prices, food shortages, supply chain disruptions, and the like were all developing problems from almost as soon as Joe and Jill Biden moved from their basement in Delaware to the basement of the White House.

And as much as the spinmeisters may try to make them forget it, audiences will remember the real timeline.

We have been conditioned, over fifty years of watching him, to assume that Joe Biden never tells the truth about anything.  Even when he doesn’t need to, even when the truth would serve him better, he has always come up with some fictional life story, some intentional misdirection, from slanderously claiming that his first wife was hit by a drunk driver to making up a story of a childhood spent in the coal mines.

But today, for once, he tells a truth, just a partial one. 

Politicians usually get upset when they are quoted out of context. It’s always been the first defense of every pol, from alderman to president, when nailed on an untruth or an ill-timed insult, to say “But that’s really not what I meant at all! In context, it’s much less offensive! Consider the context!”

This is a rare change for Washington-watchers: to watch politicians admitting to a real statistic or citing an agreed cause, getting it right, and just hoping that the media won’t share the context along with it.

We hear the subliminal instruction from our nation’s capital:  Forget the context, forget the timeline, forget your own miserable experiences from January 20, 2021 through February 23, 2022.  Forget all recent history, and just listen to the relay race of Biden and Psaki at the mic. It’s so much simpler without all that confusing context – disregard that year of executive orders and spending bills, of regulatory overreach and a terrified, strangled economy. Just don’t believe your lying eyes, they seem to chant, just listen to us.

Sorry, but it won’t work this time.  The truth was too recent, too impactful, too severe, to be forgotten so quickly. The public knows they were muttering “Let’s Go, Brandon…” and worse… under their breath, long before the first tanks rolled into Ukraine on February 24.

For once, the politicians are the ones working out of context, and all the American people are doing is looking forward to when these politicians are out of a job.

Copyright 2022 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.

 A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.

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