For the next month, the DC Diary will be written by a rotating cast of Spectator editors. Today’s author is Amber Athey

Biden tries to save midterms with anti-Republican pitch

President Joe Biden has suddenly become aware that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble this coming election cycle, thanks to a combination of redistricting efforts gone wrong and inaction on the nation’s top priorities. Voters’ number one issue heading into the midterms is… yup, you guessed it. Inflation. Not Ukraine, probably not Roe v. Wade (it’s a bit early to tell) and certainly not Trump.

Biden is attempting to do the one thing he has struggled with his entire presidency to turn the ship around: lead. A planned speech on his Tuesday calendar reminds us why this doesn’t happen very often. In addition to laying out his own plan to combat inflation, Biden will “contrast his approach with Congressional Republicans’ ultra-MAGA plan.” When you’ve got full control of the White House and Congress, it’s typically a good idea to run on your own accomplishments rather than a vague promise that hey, trust us, the other guys are going to be way worse!

Sure, attacking your opponent is par for the course in politics. But “ultra-MAGA”? The term has echoes of Hillary Clinton’s stick-in-the-spokes “basket of deplorables” comment during the 2016 presidential election. We all saw how that turned out. Last week, Biden claimed that the “Make America Great Again” wing of the Republican Party is the “most extreme political organization… in recent American history.”

Fast forward a few weeks and it won’t be a surprise to see Democrats and the Biden administration comparing this “ultra-MAGA” crowd (by the way, could they have made them sound less cool?) to the January 6 Capitol rioters. Check that off as another non-issue for your average American voter.

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Pro-abortion protesters target Alito’s house

In the week since a draft Supreme Court majority opinion was leaked to Politico, pro-abortion groups went from protesting peacefully outside of the Supreme Court to targeting Catholic Churches and the homes of the Supreme Court Justices and their families. I summarized the worst of the protests, some of which have turned violent, here. Last night, a few dozen protesters showed up at the home of Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the draft opinion, who is alleged to have already left his Northern Virginia residence for a “more secure” location.

The Biden administration has spoken against violence, but has also refused to explicitly condemn convening at the justices’ homes. The closest White House press secretary Jen Psaki got was to say that protests should be carried out legally. This was after one reporter pointed out in the briefing room that Virginia specifically has a law against protesting outside of a private residence.

Virginia’s law also led to some friendly fire from conservatives against Governor Glenn Youngkin, who was accused of not using police aggressively enough to break up the protests. The criticism harkened back to the 2020 “Summer of Love,” during which hardliners harangued Trump to send in the National Guard to major US cities. Trump delayed, instead proffering to work on a criminal justice form package. It could have — at least partially — cost him the election.

Baby formula shortage rocks nation

Desperate parents are scrambling to find baby formula after a series of recalls and supply chain issues have led to nearly half of the US supply being wiped out. The FDA promises they are working on the issue, but manufacturers and suppliers say they are already operating at full capacity. Food supply issues are problematic; more so when they affect the ability of parents to feed their infants, some of whom cannot subsist solely on breast milk for a variety of reasons.

Coverage of this issue was scant until a few days ago, when parents started ringing the alarm bells on social media. Some families describe driving miles from store to store just to grab a couple of boxes or even bidding for formula on eBay. Stores like Target have instituted limits on how many units of formula can be purchased online at one time. Experts recommend switching brands or reaching out to your local pediatrician if you are having a hard time finding formula.

Expect this issue to make an appearance in the midterms, alongside rising gas and food prices.

What you should be reading today

Matt Purple: What’s so ‘progressive’ about abortion?
Teresa Mull: Having fun again on Derby Day
Amber Athey: The abortion insurrection
Patricia Posner, Wall Street Journal: When did ‘woman’ become a dirty word?
Asra Q. Nomani, the Federalist: How the Washington Post and ACLU helped Amber Heard attack Johnny Depp
Washington Post Editorial Board: Leave the justices alone at home

Poll watch

President Biden Job Approval
Approve: 42.6 percent
Disapprove: 52.3 percent
Net approval: -9.7 (RCP average)

Pennsylvania Senate Republican primary

Mehmet Oz: 24.5 percent
Kathy Barnette: 23.2 percent
David McCormick: 21.6 percent (Trafalgar Group (R))

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