Defeat of Larry Summers could lead to a government shutdown

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The withdrawal of Larry Summers as a candidate for the Federal Reserve chairmanship is a serious setback for President Barack Obama's economic team that could lead to a government shutdown.

Recall that every top economic advisor to Obama supported Summers. This support indicated what I've described as a frightening closed-mindedness, a kind of insider cognitive cascade where everyone bright about economics supported Summers because everyone bright about economics supported Summers.

Resisting Summers was an indication, at least to Obama economics insiders, that you just weren't too bright.

But it was also indicative of a certain political tone-deafness, if not outright arrogance.

The economics team pushed hard for Summers because they believed they could get him nominated and confirmed. They underestimated the depth of opposition to Summers in their own party and in the Republican party.

In fact, I've seen no evidence that they ever developed even a slight understanding of the sources of that opposition.