I have been gratified to see that many other people in the progressive blogosphere are upset that Larry Summers is even being considered as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve - let alone the reported leading contender for the position.
But you have to stop and think about how that could possibly be. And the implications should make you feel like a mule kicked you in the gut.
Because the "failure upward" of Larry Summers shows how completely differently President Obama and leaders in Congress look at the economy, at how little regard they have for the problems and concerns of the average working American. Of how far removed from the reality of everyday life of most Americans they are.
And it shows how extremely dangerous it has been to insist that Obama has managed to generate an economic recovery.
Because if you argue that there is an economic recovery underway, then Larry Frigging Summers was right. We did not need Christina Roemer's $1.8 trillion stimulus program. We got an economic recovery without it. We did not need the extra trillion or two trillion in stimulus spending that Paul Krugman, or Joseph Stiglitz or a few others said we needed. We got an economic recovery without spending anywhere near that much. We did not need to nationalize the ginormous, miscreant Wall Street banks. We got an economic recovery without doing that.
Even better, as far as Obama and the leading Dems at the national level see it, we did not need to plunge another $1 or $2 trillion dollars in debt to get the economy healed. We got an economic recovery without creating even more debt that future generations will have to pay.
But here's the best part, as far as Obama and leading Dems at the national level see things. Larry Summers was right: we did not need a phase change in the way America does business. We did not need to impose strict new regulations on Wall Street and try to shut down the almost incomprehensible flows of five or six trillion dollars every single day in the wild casino of the financial markets. We did not need to impose a financial transactions tax. We did not - and do not - need to cut Wall Street down to size.
Arguing that there is an economic recovery underway - despite what people are experiencing in fly-over country - basically discredits everything progressives says is wrong with the economy, and what is required to fix it.
Income inequality? There's an economic recovery underway, so, no problem! Stagnant wages? You're wrong, there's an economic recovery underway! Austerity is imposing unneeded hardship on the poor and disadvantaged, and locking out millions from the American Dream? There's an economic recovery underway, and that proves you're wrong, so stfu, you dirty, frigging hippie pinko radical!
So, the Villagers' common wisdom is reinforced and strengthened: The economy is recovering, thanks to the sage and brilliant advice of Larry Summers, who warned against overreacting and doing damage to the massive "wealth generating" Ponzi machine of American finance centered on Wall Street and the futures pits in Chicago. We did not need a brace of innovative and bold new programs, like Franklin Roosevelt created in his first 100 days, to lift us out of economic depression. Don't worry about Main Street - Main Street will be just fine. The important thing is to save and protect Wall Street. Larry Summers was right, and all those doom and gloom dirty hippies - who had the knives out for Wall Street - were wrong. Larry Summers was right, and Occupy was wrong, with their shrill paroxysms about corporatism, financialazation, and inverted totalitarianism. We got an economic recovery just like Larry Frigging Summers said we would, without all that radical change.
So, Larry Summers becomes the next Federal Reserve chairman. I hope you're happy with this added benefit of your "economic recovery."
The Summers of our discontent, indeed.
10:35 AM PT: Per comments below: Paul Hogarth set up this petition last night here at DailyKos - and it's already done remarkably well.
We will be sending out an e-mail later on today.
Can you please update your diary, and link to our petition?
-- Paul Hogarth, Associate Campaign Director