Sarah Westwood of the Washington Examiner explores Democrats’ excuses for their current troubles.

It’s not us — it’s them.

Facing the prospect of a brutal midterm election defeat and pressure from party operatives to devise a plan to stop it, Democrats are increasingly blaming their problems on messaging, not on the substance of their ideas.

Speaking to donors in Portland, Oregon, last week, President Joe Biden acknowledged his party’s strategy of seemingly abandoning efforts to address the country’s problems in favor of simply spreading Democratic messages.

“I admit to you, what I haven’t done, and the reason I’m getting out on the road again instead of dealing with the day-to-day emergencies in my office, is making the case of what we’ve done,” Biden reportedly said at a fundraiser.

The White House’s focus on spinning its troubles rather than dealing with them head-on has been most apparent when it comes to inflation. Biden and his allies have at various times blamed inflation on the unemployment rate, the supply chain, corporate greed, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the White House has taken few significant steps to lower prices for people, and its shifting characterization of the problem, from labeling it as “transitory” to downplaying its impact on regular people, has sunk the public’s faith in Biden’s ability to do so.

“I think there’s some disagreement among Democrats,” Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist, told the Washington Examiner. “I think some Democrats look at the new jobs numbers and feel that we should talk about jobs exclusively.”

Jobs numbers have indeed been encouraging over the past year. The economy added more than 6 million jobs in 2021, bringing the unemployment rate back to pre-pandemic levels.

But polls show voters still feel increasingly pessimistic about the economy, and most haven’t thus far been persuaded by Biden’s frequent focus on the employment picture.

“Democrats shouldn’t overlook the fact that inflation is a big problem and it’s hurting lots of people,” Bannon said.