The President Sharpens His Tone

He’s finally starting to lose patience with House Republicans:

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David Corn encourages Obama to take the gloves off:

[I]magine this scenario: the president meets with congressional leaders, allows television cameras into the room for a brief press opportunity, and then on live television says, “John, can you explain to Americans why you and your fellow House Republicans think it is fair to shut down suicide prevention programs for our vets just because you don’t like a health care law that was passed by Congress and approved by the conservative-led Supreme Court?  Is this the decent thing to do?”

Of course, Rush Limbaugh would accuse the imposter-in-chief of sandbagging a dedicated public servant. But is there a way for Obama to disrupt the narrative that the shutdown is the product of Washington dysfunction and to position Boehner as a renegade outlier who is more extortionist and fabulist than legislator? That might be a task beyond anyone, even a president. But so far Obama, who has stuck to his will-not-negotiate-with-hostage-takers stance, has been playing by the rules of acceptable political discourse. Perhaps he needs to bend them.

My view is that his best line should be about jobs. How many jobs is the GOP risking today with the shutdown? How many jobs it is already jeopardizing by its threat of catastrophic default? This job-killing shutdown must end and the job-killing threat to default must end. We will not negotiate with economic terrorists. We will be happy to negotiate with Congressional partners. End the blackmail as an act of patriotism. And start the negotiations the day after.