Is that a note of desperation creeping into Barack Obama’s voice as he stages another carefully-choreographed event at the White House to berate Congress for failing to live up to its responsibilities to the American people?

Flanked by rows of uniformed “first responders” Mr Obama warned that the so-called sequester – the $85bn of cuts that kick in a week on Friday – would “jeopardize our military readiness [and]…. eviscerate job- creating investments in education and energy and medical research”

All true, but this grandstanding already becoming a habit of the Obama second term: abandon the business of actually cutting a deal in Congress as a fool’s errand and just speak over the heads of Congress, direct to the American people.

On guns, on immigration and today on the Sequester, Mr Obama seems to have decided the best option is to stand at the podium, point the finger at Congress and say “don’t blame me”.

You can see the personal attraction of that strategy to Mr Obama – polls show that 75 per cent of Americans are, just like him, fed up with Congress – but you have to wonder ultimately where it all leads.

It is not even a month since inauguration day, and the ‘don’t blame me’ strategy is already starting to look old. Mr Obama is supposed to be the executive arm of government, but on one level these events simply advertise his own impotence.

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