At first, President Joe Biden tried to play off rising inflation as something merely transitory. But the inflation kept rising until it wasn't transitory anymore, so he needed a better excuse. Biden then tried to scapegoat the meat industry for raising prices arbitrarily. Remember that? Nobody believed it. But when President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, that gave Biden an off-ramp from such an implausible explanation, so he chose to blame Russia. The problem this time was that inflation had been running wild for so many months before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

Now, judging by his speech on May 10, Biden has a new plan: Mumble the newly coined phrase "ultra-MAGA" at every appearance for the next six months, over and over again, until someone leads him to the nearest comfy chair.

In a Tuesday speech, which was designed to preempt whatever new and horrible inflation number comes out in Wednesday's report, Biden fumbled about for someone new to blame. He first repeated a debunked conspiracy theory about oil companies irrationally sitting on thousands of drilling permits. He then revealed his big plan for dealing with inflation: Ask companies not to raise prices.

He then turned to the all-purpose villain as his new inflation scapegoat: Republicans, of course!

Biden launched into a straw man version of various Republican proposals, many of which have nothing to do with inflation at all. In the process, he confused two different Republican senators for each other (in fairness, Rick Scott and Ron Johnson both have white hair, so he might think they are the same person). When asked specifically whether his own policies might have caused the problem, Biden played dumb and said his policies were helping, not hurting. He even tried to take credit for reducing the deficit, which has fallen — but only because he hasn't signed yet another multitrillion-dollar COVID giveaway this year as he did last year, not that he didn't try.

The whole thing was a pathetic spectacle. During his formative years as a senator, Biden could avoid responsibility and accountability because there were 99 other people in the chamber doing roughly the same things he was. He is not used to having the buck stop with him, which is one reason it never does.

Everyone who reads knows that Biden's inflation problem began with one of the first bad decisions he made in office. Ignoring friendly Democratic advisers from the Obama era, Biden insisted on making himself Santa Claus after his election, handing out yet another $2 trillion dose of COVID cash. He did this even though the economy was already well on its way to recovery, COVID restrictions were already relaxing, and vaccines were becoming widely available, meaning more people could go back to work.

The inflationary results of Biden's actions were not only predictable but predicted — and widely. Consult any economics textbook: When you put too much new money into circulation at a time of decreased production, that causes inflation.

So no, this didn't happen because Big Meat is greedy or because Democrats have only 50 votes in the Senate — or even because Putin invaded Ukraine, although that is certainly going to make it a lot worse. This happened because, mostly out of fear of the other guy, the people elected someone who can't take responsibility for his actions.