Is he kidding?
For one thing, he cleverly picks 2007 as the year for this conversation. BZZZT. Try reading your Times Op-Ed page neighbor, Paul Krugman. The housing bubble, which led to the financial crisis, was well under way by 2005, which is when a few people started predicting disaster.
For another, no, sorry, no liberals I've ever met hope for a disaster like the BP spill to prove anything.
Why oh why....as Brad DeLong would say.