One of the myths of this stunted political moment is that Barack Obama "tried to do too much," and that purist, ungrateful liberals are mad at him over things like the absence of a public option in his heath bill. This is dangerous nonsense, and it matters because these widespread views among the pundit class will influence what lessons the media and Obama himself draw from what is likely to be an epic partisan defeat on Tuesday.
Now that Larry Summers is leaving, the president has a decision to make that will send a signal about the next two years of economic policy. That signal can restore consumer confidence and reinvigorate the electorate, or it can lead to even more discouragement and despair. This week unnamed administration officials floated the idea of naming a corporate executive to the position. That's a trial balloon that should be punctured immediately.