Phil Gramm has released a statement this evening resigning his position as co-chair of John McCain’s campaign.  Here’s the text, which will give only a veiled look at the attacks he’s received — one fair, and another silly:

“It is clear to me that Democrats want to attack me rather than debate Senator McCain on important economic issues facing the country. That kind of distraction hurts not only Senator McCain’s ability to present concrete programs to deal with the country’s problems, it hurts the country. To end this distraction and get on with the real debate, I hereby step down as Co-Chair of the McCain Campaign and join the growing number of rank-and-file McCain supporters.”

Two issues arose to prompt this resignation. The first was mostly self-inflicted. Gramm made the mistake of offering a liitle too much straight talk when assessing the American economy.  He noted — correctly — that we have not had even a single quarter of contraction in GDP yet, and that the economy had not gone into a recession.  However, as is his wont, Gramm overshot and accused people of having a “mental recession”, which again is mostly true but hardly good politics.  John McCain had to offer the usual if-one-person-is-out-of-work-we-must-feel-their-pain response to calm the waters, even though when talking about a national economy, anecdotes do not equal data points.

The second issue has been bouncing around the Leftosphere for a few days.  Gramm invested $15,000 in some cheesy soft-core porn film … in 1973.  Apparently he lost the investment in a poorly-timed anti-Nixon romp (no, really!), and as far as anyone knows, that was his last venture in the industry.  For some reason, the same people who would defend the right of porn producers to make and market their films consider this a central issue to an election campaign 35 years later, in which Gramm himself isn’t running for anything.

Hey, wasn’t it just 28 years ago that Barack Obama smoked dope?  Wouldn’t that be more germane than this?  At least we’d be talking about the candidate.  I myself think it’s a dumb topic and a non-issue — but smoking dope was at least illegal.

Anyway, Gramm’s out now, and the Leftosphere can go back to defending porn rather than acting like the Church Lady over a 35-year-old investment.  Or maybe they can continue talking about a 22-year-old joke.  Anything to keep distractions from entering the campaign ….