Jobs summit or echo chamber?

Stung by criticism that the White House had done little to stem the rising unemployment rate after getting its $787 billion in Porkulus money, Barack Obama announced a “jobs summit” for tomorrow to find ways of stimulating job creation, and invited a wide range of participants.  That wide range apparently only includes a series of yes men, as the Washington Times points out:

Facing rising unemployment rates and having seen uncertain results from the stimulus bill, President Obama is hosting a “jobs summit” at the White House Thursday that will be packed with business leaders and economists supportive of White House policies but lacks a diversity of opinion, several analysts say.

Missing from a partial list of attendees released by the White House are the self-proclaimed voices of business – the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business – both of which have been critical of Mr. Obama’s proposed health care overhaul.

Confirmed attendees include liberal economists credited with shaping the $787 billion stimulus package, union leaders, environmental advocates and executives from Google and other blue-chip firms.

“He’s going to get lots of recommendations to spend more money,” said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “These are the very same people who gave us the stimulus package. My feeling is we’re not going to get what we need, and that’s a complete change in direction on economic policy.”

Apparently, the purpose of this summit is not job creation.  It’s job protection: Obama’s.  The only reason to exclude critics of Obamanomics at this point is to offer a Chip Diller moment, a convocation of yes men to tell America that “All is well!” as unemployment runs us over:

If Obama really wanted to pursue job creation, he would invite job producers to the summit and at least listen to what they have to say. Instead of showing real leadership, Barack Obama offers America … a campaign stop.