The highlight, or lowlight, of today’s rare bipartisan meeting with Congress on the economy. Consider that progress: Remember, this is the same guy who once invited “the folks who created the mess” (read: Republicans, and only Republicans) to stop talking and get out of his way.

President Barack Obama told House Republican leaders to “stop trying to frighten the American people” even as he and Democrats said they see a possibility for bipartisan cooperation on job creation legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters that Obama made the admonition during a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Wednesday, producing a chart to show Republicans that “things are a lot better.”…

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) pushed back on Obama’s request for an end to Republicans’ scare tactics by saying that Obama’s policies have led to a hiring freeze, and the GOP is simply telling constituents what is happening.

“[E]mployers are sitting there and they’re frozen because they don’t know what’s really going to happen here,” Boehner said. “And the president wants to blame us for informing the American people about what’s happening here and how it will affect them, but it’s not what we’re doing; it’s the policies that they’re promoting here in Washington.”

Remember when he made this same accusation about health care? It’s amazing how effective he seems to think the GOP is in shifting public opinion considering that every last poll taken this year shows congressional Republicans less trusted and less popular than both congressional Democrats and The One himself. But never mind that. Since he wants to talk about fearmongering, riddle me this: Is there any domestic initiative undertaken by the White House thus far that hasn’t been premised explicitly on looming catastrophe? The stimulus was needed to defibrillate a dying economy, requiring $787 billion to be pushed out the door ASAP; ObamaCare had to be taken up right away because, supposedly, the health-care industry is in a “crisis” that can’t wait another moment to be solved (remember, he wanted a bill passed by August, before any debate had taken place); cap and trade is coming soon because if we don’t dial down emissions immediately, we’ll pass a climatic “tipping point” and the planet will melt. In fact, the only policy items he’s acted on with less-than-peak urgency are … Iran and Afghanistan, one of which he dithered over for months and the other of which he’s still dithering over. I guess there’s, ahem, less to be frightened about in those two cases.

Exit question: Does he seriously think it’s the GOP’s fault that Americans are terrified about the economy? Or is he just doing what he does best?