The Other Charlotte commented below on the New Yorker magazine’s letters-to-the-editor column, which tends to be even more virulently anti-Bush than the articles penned by that well-known stable of Bush-haters known as New Yorker writers (scroll down for “More Liberal than Thou”).

I was quite intrigued by yesterday’s letters to the editor in another redoubt of Bush-hatred, the New York Times. The Times, of course, provided seminal thought for the Bush-flubbed-in-the-Russert-interview school of thought.

There were nine letters responding to the Times “Mr. Bush’s Version,” a report on the Bush-Russert tete-a-tete.

And here’s the startling thing’three letters praised Bush. That’s one third of the letters published!

This is tantamount to reading pro-Bush letters in the Nation or the Village Voice. A few samples are of interest:

“You are kidding yourself if you think that the views offered in ‘Mr. Bush’s Version’ speak more to the ‘average American’ than the president did on ’Meet the Press,’” writes John Smolenski from Florence, Mass. (!). He adds: “Intelligence is an imprecise business. Saddam Hussein got caught bluffing and the world is now a better place.”

“No matter what the president might have said short of an apology,” writes James Stanley from Naples, Fla., “I suspect that you would have found his response self-serving.” He adds: “I, for one, trust that Mr. Bush acted solely on his best judgment. We’ve taken out lots of bad guys who needed removal.”

“President Bush defended his decision to go to war, saying it was a war of ‘necessity’ rather than a war of ‘choice.’ The president is correct,” writes Paul Schoenbaum of Williamsburg, Va. “The fact that weapons of mass destruction have not been found nor are likely to be found is immaterial. Our presence in Iraq has already begun to show results, with Libya’s scraping its nuclear program.”

I did note that two of these writers are from the south, but it’s my observation, from growing up in the deep south where reading the New York Times is a badge of enlightenment, that Times readers down there are often quite liberal. Showily so.

I would suggest that any poll in which the president does well with one third of the New York Times’ readers is pretty much an indication that he’s doing really, really well with normal people.  

By the way, I think I know what Kerry’s carrying southern states in the Democratic primary means: When Democrats run against Democrats in a Democratic primary, it’s quite likely that a Democrat will win.