Monday, November 17, 2008

Summers Revisited

Mildly surprised to find Stanley Fish expressing, cogently and at length, my feelings about the Larry Summers case. I guess it's time to change my mind. NYT commenter sam2 says:
Dr. Summers clearly likes being a public intellectual gadfly and thought it was part of the job description at the World Bank and Harvard. He was wrong. He understood it was not at Treasury.

So presumably he still holds that view of Treasury and would be as successful in it as he was before, especially since the job currently requires the outside the box kind of thinking at which he excels as an academic economist.

There might be something to this. Also it's a different audience he has to convince -- Blue Dogs and moderate Republicans -- and the right-wing cred Summers accrued as a result of the Harvard and World Bank affairs might be useful. Maybe he can sell govt. intervention as an ingenious way of screwing over the poor...

I suspect, though, that he's just as likely to antagonize the right.

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