The Presidential race becomes the NFL (No Fun League)

Since when did we get so many sticks-in-the-mud inside the Beltway? The latest outrage du Twitter comes from the Democrats, as a DNC official got caught telling an ageist joke about John McCain. Stone the crows!

Call it the perils of Twitter.

Or new Maginot Line in what Slate’s John Dickerson has called “the Umbrage War.”

On his Facebook page, the Democratic National Committee’s director of research, Mike Gehrke, was shown “twittering” — meaning he was sending a message to his friends through “Twitter” — the following message:

“Mike is twittering: You know what you call someone who digs up dirt on John McCain? An archeologist.”

The joke originated on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, but apparently no one is allowed a sense of humor on the campaign trail. It’s not even offensive; I’d bet Senator McCain himself is probably retelling the joke on the Straight Talk express.

Mike Gehrke isn’t laughing now, however. The DNC has removed the comment, and Gehrke got a reprimand for telling a joke.

I’m outraged at the level of outrage this campaign season has wrought. I think we should protest against protesting, and demonstrate against demonstrations. Every apology given by a campaign requires an apology for apologizing.

Or maybe everyone can grow a thicker skin and learn to laugh a little. We still have more than six months to go, folks, and anyone who can’t take a little kidding probably has no place in politics at all.