The Washington Post was ripped Tuesday after publishing a piece calling on "spoiled" Americans to stop ranting about short-staffed businesses and supply chain issues, and instead lower their expectations in the hope that things will get straightened out.
"Time for some new, more realistic expectations," columnist Micheline Maynard wrote after describing how Americans were used to fast service and easy access to consumer products until the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the supply chain. "American consumers, their expectations pampered and catered to for decades, are not accustomed to inconvenience."
Maynard claimed that consumers would be doing themselves a favor by "consciously lowering expectations" instead of taking their frustrations out on shop owners and delivery people. She also described how the disruptions were affecting business owners from their perspective.
She then suggested the disruptions could also affect the publication of a new book she was writing, adding that "paper shortages, worker shortages and the traffic jams at shipping ports" were "endangering holiday books sales."
"All I can do is hope for the best. Like everybody else. And keep those expectations reasonable. Eventually the supply chain will get straightened out," Maynard wrote.
"American consumers might have been spoiled, but generations of them have also dealt with shortages of some kind … Now it’s our turn to make adjustments," she added.
Critics quickly excoriated the piece on social media, with some suggesting that lowering expectations was "becoming the theme of Joe Biden’s America," and others suggesting such a "mantra" could negatively impact Democrats heading into the midterm elections.
Some critics even compared the call for Americans to accept empty store shelves to living in the former Soviet Union, which was often plagued by shortages in consumer goods.
"Good news: it’s the 1980s again. Bad news: it’s Soviet Russia’s version of the 1980s, complete with Pravda," wrote Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway.
A number of Republican organizations and members of Congress also blasted the piece, placing blame on President Biden.
"The Washington Post tells Americans to expect empty shelves inside their grocery stores, then blames the consumer for overreacting, when they should be demanding answers from the Biden Administration. Not playing defense for them. Spoiler alert: It is Joe’s fault!" wrote Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.