In recent weeks it's become clear that Republicans' base strategy is to simply blame anything and everything on Democratic President Joe Biden, regardless of whether or not it makes any sense. Their latest ploy is particularly ridiculous: according to them, Biden is now in league with Russian hackers.
Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn has repeatedly blamed Biden for the fallout of Russian hackers attacking one of the US's most important gas pipelines last week.
58% of North Carolina’s gas stations are still out of fuel. Biden’s weakness on the world stage is costing the working families of NC-11.— Madison Cawthorn (@Madison Cawthorn)1621277487.0
Cawthorn's home state of North Carolina was among the hardest hit by the gasoline shortages caused by the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston to the New York City area, following a ransomware attack by Russian hacking group Dark Side.
Because the pipeline carries roughly half of the South's and Eastern Seaboard's gasoline, widespread outages and hours-long lines at gas stations ensued in several states. These shortages were exacerbated when spooked customers panic bought and hoarded gasoline.
The White House has said that Biden does not believe the Russian government was involved in the hack that shuttered the pipeline. And as many have noted, though the Biden Administration stepped in to assist with the fallout from the pipeline shutdown, fuel distribution is a private enterprise carried out by private corporations. It is not managed by the Biden administration, or any state or local governments, for that matter.
@CawthornforNC Reminder 1: NC's Gas stations aren't a concern "on the world stage" Reminder 2: supply of fuel to g… https://t.co/xAlaZdfAod— Walpurga Müller-Schm (@Walpurga Müller-Schm)1621278375.0
Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped Cawthorn and many of his colleagues from blaming Biden's foreign and energy policy for causing a gasoline crisis in North Carolina and several other states.
The #BidenGasShortage continues to affect NC-11 negatively. Although I am happy to see stations within Transylvani… https://t.co/Oc1Y1NbADC— Rep. Madison Cawthorn (@Rep. Madison Cawthorn)1621278670.0
On Twitter, many found Cawthorn's remarks ludicrous.
@CawthornforNC North Carolina's gas stations are on the WORLD STAGE? Gosh...I would think the world might be conce… https://t.co/FfzvVnVzOv— MITTY (Ntchwaidumela) (@MITTY (Ntchwaidumela))1621280767.0
@CawthornforNC Weird. There’s gas literally at all the stations by me. You just like to cause problems.— Alexis (@Alexis)1621277515.0
@CawthornforNC As a “leader,” you could advise your constituents to stop panic purchasing gasoline. Instead, you chose to gaslight.— Your Conscience Speaking (@Your Conscience Speaking)1621279575.0
@CawthornforNC Yea cause it had nothing to do with the panic that was caused when certain people were screaming as… https://t.co/71vuVw362t— Steve (@Steve)1621338554.0
@RepCawthorn A private company was ransom-wared. Biden's energy policies did not cause the Gas Shortage. Keep tryin… https://t.co/OEbpSs8JKW— JWom (@JWom)1621280874.0
@RepCawthorn If only Trump had taken Cyber security seriously— Oddzilla (@Oddzilla)1621282177.0
@RepCawthorn Expounding on your simple view of the world. Yeah, Biden had targeted NC-11 specifically. Also, crack… https://t.co/1fhvsVyMsn— Madison Cawthorn's Chin (@Madison Cawthorn's Chin)1621279956.0
@CawthornforNC The pipeline is a privately owned company. Talk to them— Jim (@Jim)1621285337.0
You're a feckin idiot. It's 51% today and it wouldn't be that if selfish fools hadn't panicked last week. Go home a… https://t.co/ZYDVUGFknG— RedApeCurmudgeon (@RedApeCurmudgeon)1621282651.0
Cawthorn has not yet explained what, if any, connection exists between a hacker group's ransomware attack and Biden's foreign and energy policy, or how the latter led to the former.