Free speech permits distortions and misrepresentations aplenty. Unfortunately, the First Amendment doesn't answer for their baneful consequences. The widespread feeling we've somehow lost the war in Iraq makes many see as disaster and folly everything else to which the Bush touch can be ascribed: gasoline prices and the economy included.
The senator protests that we're not in a recession. We might be one day, he says, but we're not right now. What he omits to say is that you can talk yourself into a recession by imagining the worst even when it's not happening, just as people sometimes talk themselves into dying.
"Whining," to use the senator's word, isn't the characteristic American activity. Generally, when injured or anxious, Americans swear a little, possibly sling a chair around, then commence doing whatever needs doing. We don't normally say, "help, we're all washed up, we need a savior." (Any first-term Midwestern senator want to volunteer?)
What a foul and vicious mood we're in: One that could bring swift punishment of the political variety down upon the extraordinarily gifted Phil Gramm. We'll just have to see. There's an urgent matter to address in the meantime: What did Phil Gramm have to tell us that we truly -- no kidding or cheap shots -- need to be hearing about?