Part of a leader's job is to challenge popular illusions, not reinforce them. The fate of Democrats is sealed if they lose touch with a reality that's shared by the millions of Americans who are impoverished or jobless. For them, this isn't a game.
We do need to reduce the ratio of debt to GDP. But we need to do it after the economy is back in recovery. And we need to do it using the normal legislative process. And above all, we need to use progressive taxation rather than program cuts.
The problem all along has been that this administration tries to do everything indirectly, whether it's job creation, easing the credit crunch, or rescuing homeowners. Why do Democrats now believe in "trickle down"?
Nothing would more clearly display the inability of our leaders to deal with the terrible state of the economy than easily reconfirming Ben Bernanke for another round on the same day that they hold a "job summit".
The Jobs Summit will involve lots of talking and picture-taking to try to make it look as if the administration is actually taking steps to solve the massive unemployment problem. It won't result in a single job.