Accidents happen all the time in politics. This was not of those times.
When the potential nomination of Lawrence Summers to the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve surfaced, progressives responded. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown organized a letter in support of vice chair Janet Yellen that eventually was signed by more than one-third of the Democratic caucus. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., spearheaded a letter in support of Yellen that was signed by more than half of the Democratic women in the House.
Ultraviolet organized a letter signed by leading feminists. DailyKos and the Campaign for America’s Future gathered more than 300,000 signatures opposing Summers. MoveOn, CREDO Action and others mobilized Americans to call their senators.
When Washington went to the beach and senators returned to their states, a coalition of progressives opposed to the Summers nomination organized.
Summers was wise to withdraw. The hearings would have been ugly, with liberals probing Summers on his mistakes on deregulation and Republicans denouncing his activities under President Obama. What is clear now is that the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party – led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley and others – is willing and able to challenge the policies of the Wall Street wing of the party.
The Campaign for America’s Future and other organizations will continue to press for the appointment of Janet Yellen to head the Fed and for expansive fiscal and monetary policies to get this economy to work for working families once more.
Watch this video for more of my reaction to the Summers withdrawal.