Donald Lambro

"However, members noted that in addition to continuing to develop and test instruments to exit from the period of unusually accommodative monetary policy, the Committee would need to consider whether further policy might become appropriate if the outlook were to worsen appreciably," the minutes read.

If slower growth were not bad enough politically for Obama and the Democrats as they prepare to face the voters in the midterm elections, the specter of high unemployment for the rest of the year and into 2011 will be deadly.

Fed officials now expect the unemployment rate to be in the 9.5 percent range through the end of 2010, and 9 percent by the end of 2011.

The intensity of the complaints leveled at the White House shocked officials in the West Wing. The headlines that led the Washington Post's front page Thursday revealed the deep dissension that has long been bubbling beneath the surface: "House Democrats hit boiling point. Obama tries to quell uprising. Anger over taking risks, getting little in return."

These were party leaders who were turning on the administration itself in public, most without attribution, feeding the Republicans with new ammunition showing that even Democrats were losing faith in the president and his policies. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs came under severe criticism from caucus members for predicting Sunday that the GOP had a shot at winning the 39 seats needed to take control of the House. When Pascrell criticized Gibbs' statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly said, "I disagree on one point, I think you were too kind to Mr. Gibbs."

But these House Democrats were not only complaining about being taken for granted by the White House; they had now come to the conclusion that the Obama agenda went way beyond what the voters wanted them to do in the 2008 election.

"The Democrats have over-reached, and that's one reason why there are so many races in play," said Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas, who is facing a strong Republican challenge this year.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel "knows as well as anyone the challenges moderate and conservative Democrats face in their districts. I think there are some, in the administration and in Congress, who don't fully understand the political dynamics," Edwards told reporters following the caucus meeting.

The day of reckoning seems at hand. With the economy sending signals it is backsliding, Democrats in rebellion with their political leader, and the administration's economic agenda in shambles, the end is near.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.