House Dems met with Obama yesterday and urged Obama to be more forceful in advocating for Democratic policies. He rebuffed them:
The challenge — on behalf of the many Democrats who have long complained that Obama is not making enough use of his White House megaphone — was principally delivered by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), according to the attendees. Waxman, lawmakers said, called for stronger action across the board, rather than on a particular issue.
But Obama responded that he has to be more careful and more considered than that, and that he is executing an existing plan.
A plan to put the economy further in the tank and get reelected by grateful Republicans?
The president has heard the complaint before. Democrats have accused Obama repeatedly of ceding too much ground to the GOP, especially on health care and the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. But attendees said the critique appeared to rub him the wrong way on Thursday.
“He was a little testy with the Waxman question. Essentially, Mr. Waxman was urging him to fight more,” one legislator said. “The president reminded folks that he’s the president sitting in that chair and he knows how to negotiate.”
Obama also told the assembled Democrats not to count on more fiery rhetoric from the Oval Office.
“He said, ‘There’s a difference between me and a member of Congress,'” another lawmaker said, paraphrasing the president as saying: “When I say something the markets react, all of society reacts, other countries react. I’ve got to be careful with what I say. I can’t just say it for brinkmanship. I’ve got to say it in a way so that I get what I want said, but I don’t upset markets and so on.”
In other words, Wall Street and the military-industrial boys have trained him not to piddle on the rug. And he has a plan.
Which would mean it’s all on purpose.