And the Answer Please – Wait for It – Arrogance
As a former member of the
Clinton Administration Lawrence Summers generates a lot of emotion
from his detractors. Yes he is a highly qualified
economist, but he is also a former President of Harvard, whose ability to
interact with people that are not genuinely awed by Lawrence Summers is almost
entirely missing. And despite the fact
that there is much more qualified applicant for the job to replace Ben Bernanke
as head of the Federal Reserve System, at this point in time Mr. Obama seems
determined to appoint Mr. Summers.
|Golden for The Wall Street Journal|
Lawrence Summers is facing resistance from some Senate Democrats.
The opposition to the expected appointment is mounting among Democrats and economists.
WASHINGTON—Lawrence Summers's prospects of becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve next year dimmed Friday, as an important Senate Democrat signaled that he would vote against the Harvard economist, should President Barack Obama nominate him to lead the central bank.
Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, considered a political centrist, joins at least three other Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee who are expected to vote against Mr. Summers if he is nominated.
And with a little bit of luck Senate Democrats will do for Mr. Obama what he should be doing for himself, ruling out the appointment of Mr. Summers.
The mounting opposition to Mr. Summers suggests his potential path to Senate confirmation is narrowing quickly. His nomination would need Republican support to advance from the banking committee to the Senate floor.
So if Mr. Obama goes ahead with the Summers appointment, reasonable people will ask “why?”. The answer will be the arrogance of the President, the belief that he and he alone knows what’s best, that he does not need to govern with the help of the Senate, that he does not need to listen to anyone else and that he can do whatever he wants, regardless of the political consequences.
With the debacle in the methodology of his Syrian policy (if not the results), the coming crisis over the budget and debt ceiling which is partly the fault of Mr. Obama, his failure to organize the Democrats into a cohesive force and his inability to be much else other than the reasonable alternative to a bunch of crazy Republicans Mr. Obama is moving to cement his place in history. That place may well be judged to be “average”, and the legacy of the Obama Presidency could be that some much could have done but so little was done.