Phil Gramm may (or may not) have been forced out of John McCain's campaign for saying that the United States is "a nation of whiners", and that any recession was only in our heads.
Disregard the fact that we still haven't had two negative quarters in a row. Forget that we're now paying as much as the rest of the world for our gasoline. Ignore the reality of their being more food in your Kroger's or Albertson's than there is in all of Darfur.
Phil Gramm's offense was to point out that whining has become a strategy. Check out this guy, who blogs at a site called Publius Endures. The post I've linked to is called "The Politics Of Whining", and Mr. Publius Endures gives us a great explanation of why your only choices are Republicans and Democrats.
Phil Gramm commited two unspeakable crimes.
1) He told the truth, and
2) He drew attention to the strategy of whining.