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Minutes after his Sept. 8 address to Congress is set, Obama bashes both houses

Within minutes of agreeing with congressional leaders Wednesday night on an address to a joint session next week, President Obama flashed out an email to millions of supporters criticizing the chambers, their members and vowing to pressure them to enact his as yet unspecified job creation ideas.

"It's been a long time since Congress was focused on what the American peoplObama during his address to the American Legion 8-30-11e need them to be focused on," the Democrat charged in an email with the subject line: "Frustrated."

It's not exactly clear how long "a long time" Obama was thinking of. But until midterm voters produced a historic House turnover to Republicans last November, Obama's Democratic Party controlled both houses with substantial majorities and gave him vast spending, reform and healthcare programs.

It was, at least in part, voter reaction to such legislation that produced the divided government in D.C. now.

This evening's email is likely revealing of the strategy this White House intends to follow for the 2012 presidential election, blaming Congress for what hasn't happened in the economy and employment sectors.

Polls show approval of Obama's economic leadership now down around 1 in 3, with 2 out of 3 feeling the country is on the wrong track.

Speaking of his joint session address Sept. 8, Obama's email says:

Next week, I will deliver the details of the plan and call on lawmakers to pass it. Whether they will do the job they were elected to do is ultimately up to them. But both you and I can pressure them to do the right thing.

We can send the message that the American people are playing by the rules and meeting their responsibilities -- and it's time for our leaders in Congress to meet theirs. And we must hold them accountable if they don't.

Other than the chief executive's threats and the lousy job performance review of both parties, it looks like Obama and Congress are in for a really nice working relationship in coming months.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Obama addresses the American Legion this week. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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