The fact that the economy has grown despite all of the above -- and 9/11 and an unrelenting Democratic campaign to talk this economy down -- is proof that the fundamentals of the American economy are strong.
Luskin questioned what has happened to politics, when a candidate "must pretend this is a recession or you're seen as hard-hearted." And: "What does it say when we can't be nuanced? And we can't say, 'Look, we're in a little bit of a slowdown, but the fundamentals are strong'?"
The answer, of course, is that Democrats can't win without trashing the economy. As Luskin pointed out in a piece in Sunday's Washington Post, in Obama's famed anti-Iraq war speech back in 2002, the then-Illinois state senator suggested the war was waged "to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression."
In fact, the stock market had four bigger one-month drops since the Great Depression, but facts don't matter. The winning candidate in 2008 may well be the man who can say the worst things about the American economy. That's how he shows he really cares.