Obama: How about I show you my economic plan next month? Update: Lincoln got criticized a lot too, says new Lincoln

All it took to get him to focus was a months-long economic slowdown, an unprecedented downgrade by S&P, and, I guess, this NYT editorial.

In response to a question at a town hall in Decorah, Iowa, Monday evening, President Obama said that when Congress returns in September, “I’ll be putting forward…a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control our deficit. And my attitude is get it done.

“And if they don’t get it done,” he continued, “then we’ll be running against a Congress that isn’t doing anything for the American people and the choice will be very stark and very clear.”

Translation: I hope they don’t get it done so that I can run around questioning their patriotism instead. At the risk of getting you really excited about what he has in mind for Recovery Winter, here’s a tantalizing tidbit buried in a Times story over the weekend. More bureaucracy + heavy-handed election-ready “branding” = crazy delicious:

Administration officials say that their focus is on a number of smaller programs that could benefit the economy, a theme Mr. Obama has emphasized in his recent speeches…

The administration may also merge the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and some economic divisions at the State Department into a new agency, administration officials said. Possible names include the Department of Jobs or the Department of Competitiveness.

The Department of Jobs is not to be confused with the Department of Labor, whose chief task these days is reminding Americans periodically why the feds are desperate enough to consider something as stupid as a Department of Jobs in the first place.

Here’s the latest video of him questioning Republicans’ patriotism from his bus tour today, which, you’ll recall, is supposed to be official state business, not politicking for his reelection campaign. You’ll be pleased to know that the original draft of his speech last week in which he attacked them for the first time was milder in tone; it was The One himself who added the “country first” crap to maximize his electoral leverage. Exit question: What’s the real cause of America’s economic malaise? Could it be … bad luck?

Update: While America’s worried about unemployment, The One’s busy wondering where he ranks in the annals of Legendarily Righteous American Statesmen Unfairly Vilified By Mean-Spirited Opponents:

“When you listen to what the Federalists said about the Anti-Federalists, and the names that Jefferson called Hamilton and back and forth — I mean those guys were tough,” Obama said. “Lincoln — they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me. So democracy has never been for the faint of heart.”

The president has had historical analogies on his mind lately. At a high-dollar fundraiser in New York City last Thursday, he discussed the difficulties he has faced recently and included a meditation on Martin Luther King, Jr. “I think that we forget when he was alive there was nobody who was more vilified, nobody who was more controversial, nobody who was more despairing at times,” the president said.

Follow the link and see what sort of “tough” questions he’s getting on this bus tour.