If Paul Volker walks into his office one day on an arcane matter of economics and says one thing and Larry Summers says the opposite thing on an arcane matter of economics, what is any normal human being supposed to think about that? That will be a challenge.I don't believe that Brooks is saying that Obama has made a mistake by surrounding himself with smart people but he does raise an interesting point.
The issue I find interesting is that if you are Obama, no matter how well you think you understand Volker's idea odds are Summers understands it even better and he disagrees with it. And similarly with Summers' idea. No matter what you decide you are disagreeing with someone who knows the issues better than you do and has a better appreciation of the consequences.
Of course I'm being silly; the reality is there is no issue. Obama will just do what we all do when faced with this situation: choose the idea that agrees most with our previously decided view of the world.