How’s that Plan Going, Mr. President?

I was going to write about this story–about a confrontation between Henry Waxman and Barack Obama over the latter’s ineffective negotiating strategy–yesterday.

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.”

But I’m sort of glad I waited until after today’s announcement that unemployment has gone up and declining public sector employment is dragging down the economy. Because it makes it all the more appropriate to highlight Obama’s claim that he has a plan.

But Obama responded that he has to be more careful and more considered than that, and that he is executing an existing plan. [my emphasis]

Not only does the crummy economic news weaken what had been a position of relative strength for the President, but it shows that if he’s got a plan, it’s either not working or not designed to work. Obama’s plan–to focus on the deficit–only makes it more likely we’ll see ongoing cuts to public employment.

Is that really the plan, Mr. President?

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @JasonLeopold You must be suffering from Steamrock Fever. Better Chill!
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bmaz @JasonLeopold Granted, it is a trick question.
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bmaz @JasonLeopold I am just glad you are still alive to answer! Now, better Scorps....orig w/MS (Lonesome Crow etc) or w/o Schenker?
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bmaz @JasonLeopold Joe Lynn turner or Graham Bonnet.......pick one.
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bmaz So, @MSNBC @CNN and @CBS are all such willfully pathetic jackasses with their programming. Couldn't buy a clue w/ a $100,000,000,000.00 bill
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bmaz @shenebraskan It is NOT that he is a "foreigner". So was Ferguson. And I really liked him from the start. This guy doesn't cut it @CBS
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bmaz @shenebraskan Craig was a bit to get used to, but he was funny+warm. I HATE this now on @CBS @CBSLateLateShow Total crap. #FuckBecksUndies
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bmaz @jilliancyork Shockingly, at the 7:1 ratio she is close to passing her geezer parents. Frankly it is all SHOCKING https://t.co/v3lWRiSvQW
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bmaz @jilliancyork Very well, Kiki is always available by DM. Girl just had her 9th birthday you know. Getting up there, but still happening!
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bmaz @jilliancyork Also Refresh Yourself!
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bmaz @jilliancyork We are up, and REALLY miss Ms. Yikes!
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bmaz Seriously, this would be like BBC though it a brilliant idea to have Rob Schneider host a major show across the pond #Idiocy #JustSayNo @CBS
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