The Corner

Splitting the Difference?

Kerry may have meant to make an anti-Bush crack–he probably did, even–but the plainest reading of what came out of his mouth was an anti-troops crack. So he should have said that he botched the line and never meant to insult the troops. That wouldn’t have ended the story, since it’s too good for Republican partisans to let go, but it would have caused it to die down considerably. As for John Derbyshire, he needs to learn to take criticism as well as he dishes it out.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.