First Biden’s fantasizing about strangling people, now The One’s ready to affix bayonets. I wonder: Is this the pressure of looming electoral catastrophe getting to them? Or is it just … Rahm’s influence?

A Republican majority in Congress would mean “hand-to-hand combat” on Capitol Hill for the next two years, threatening policies Democrats have enacted to stabilize the economy, President Obama warned Wednesday…

Obama called into Baisden’s show, syndicated to 71 radio stations in 21 states, as part of his effort to rally core Democratic constituencies with less than four weeks before the election. Although his campaign itinerary is limited by sagging approval ratings in key states, Obama is making a more-targeted effort focused on supportive venues like Baisden’s show.

“Everybody in the barbershops, the beauty shops, and at work — everybody’s got to understand: This is a huge election,” he said. “If we turn out in strong numbers, then we will do fine. If we do not, if we are depressed and decide, well, you know, Barack’s not running right now, so I’m just going to stay home, then I’m going to have my hands full up here on Capitol Hill.”

This comes on the very day that CNN anchors are wondering aloud, on air, why Obama tries so darned hard to please Republicans. The punchline? Elsewhere in the LA Times, we learn that The One’s not preparing for hand-to-hand combat at all. On the contrary, he’s staffing up to do an end-around the Republican Congress next year by focusing on things he can accomplish purely through executive power. Quote:

So the best arena for Obama to execute his plans may be his own branch of government. That means more executive orders, more use of the bully pulpit, and more deployment of his ample regulatory powers and the wide-ranging rulemaking authority of his Cabinet members…

One area of likely administration action is climate change. Legislation curbing emissions that cause global warming is stalled in Congress. Such efforts have a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels over the next decade.

The Obama administration does not think it can achieve the same reductions through regulation alone. Nonetheless, the Environmental Protection Agency is determined to use its regulatory power under the Clean Air Act to begin lowering emissions, in the absence of congressional action.

“Hundreds” of new financial regulations are also on the menu, and I can think of at least one other area where he might consider some “creative” executive rulemaking to pander to a prized constituency ahead of 2012. Remember, too, that he’s already got a track record for throwing bones to his base on cultural issues via executive orders whenever he needs to goose them a little. I wonder what he’s got planned to get them buzzing ahead of the next election. Maybe something … special?