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April 06, 2011

Obama: I Absolutely Demand That Congressional Leaders Come Meet With Me To Avert This Horrible Shutdown I Don't Want; Now, If You'll Excuse Me, I'm Leaving Town To Give Some Partisan Speeches

President Priorities.

A fiery President Obama insisted Tuesday that if he and congressional leaders couldnt reach a deal to avert a government shutdown, I want a meeting again tomorrow here at the White House.

I will invite the same folks that we invited today, he added. And if that doesnt work, well invite them again the day after that. And I will have my entire team available to work through the details of getting a deal done.

Obamas team may not include the president himself. Despite the impasse in Washington over federal spending, the president as of early Wednesday was scheduled to give two speeches outside of Washington: one on energy in the Philadelphia suburbs, then another Wednesday evening to a group of black political activists in New York.

Yesterday Jonah Goldberg made the necessary-but-kinda-obvious point that Obama's strategy is to be the invisible man. He's a nonstop FAIL machine, so the least seen, the better he can avoid being associated with all the FAIL he's making.

Obama's ducking out of town seems to indicate he believes the government will shutdown, and he wants to therefore not be closely associated with the process. Apparently he's counting on the public sort of forgetting that maybe he has a role in this and is not, as he implied in his press conference yesterday, merely a referee or mediator between the Congress and the Senate, the Republicans and the Democrats.

Asked if his fakey budget faked a lot of fake cuts, he said to a reporter: "Ask the Democrats," who, he implied, were upset about it and so that proves it's not fake cuts. But notice that he referred to the Democrats as if they were outsiders, as if he was referring to a group beyond his control. As if he'd been asked if the rebels in Libya planned to re-take Sitra. "Ask the rebels."

He's talking about "the Democrats" as if he were asked about the NFL lockout and was just as frustrated about the situation as any concerned fan.

So he's distancing himself. He wants to pretend that this is entirely about other people and all he is is a concerned citizen, just like you and me, throwing up his hands in frustration that these Washington insiders can't run the country. He shares your pain -- and also, your powerlessness to directly influence events.

That's what he wants you to know. What can he do? After all, he's just a President. He has nothing to do with budgets and partisan deadlocks and such.

I can almost hear him making excuses in a smarmy Phil Hartman voice. "Your strange world, with continuing resolutions and fiscal quarters, amazes and confuses me... What do I know? I'm just an Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer."

So, as government shuts down, he'll be out of town. See, man, I wasn't even there. While more responsible politicians are preparing gutsy and wise plans for the future, Obama's merely preparing... an alibi.

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posted by Ace at 11:16 AM

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