Gaffes or laughs?

[Posted 12:04 PM by Stefan Beck]

Last Friday, James Taranto commented on the outrage provoked by Bush’s speech at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner. The trouble arose from a bit in which Bush displayed photos of himself looking under furniture in the Oval Office; he narrated: "Nope, no weapons over there. Maybe under here." Predictably, perhaps understandably, critics went berserk. Here’s John Kerry:

That’s supposed to be funny? If George Bush thinks his deceptive rationale for going to war is a laughing matter, then he’s even more out of touch than we thought. Unfortunately for the President, this is not a joke.
Taranto put it to his military readers and their family members to comment on this supposed gaffe. The resulting letters are fascinating. While a few of Taranto’s readers were genuinely offended, the soldiers who wrote in were, by and large, delighted by the President’s sly humor. Better still, their letters evince an optimism and a passion for bringing freedom that is itself the finest justification for the war in Iraq. Every one is worth reading.