As it so often does in our social media-obsessed world, it all began with a tweet.
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Donald Trump and his supporters feel aggrieved about one thing or another all the time. Usually, it’s some manufactured outrage, but not this week. Finally, something happened that the MAGAverse legitimately could feel upset about. Ironically, however, it is something very similar to what the former president himself did recently.
As it so often does in our social media-obsessed world, it all began with a tweet. On Monday, a liberal Twitter user asked whether Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) should be removed from the Armed Services Committee for continuing to hold up military promotions even in light of the conflict in Israel.
Should Tommy Tuberville be removed from his committee?
Yes or No? pic.twitter.com/aRDCbZUnDj
— Nathalie Jacoby (@nathaliejacoby1) October 9, 2023
That tweet caught the eye of Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, who responded: “How about the human race?”
Let’s be clear, that is a completely inappropriate and stupid thing to say, especially for someone like Hayden who has held senior government positions (although not necessarily well).
Therefore, it was right for others to skewer him for it (figuratively, of course).
First, there was Tuberville himself, who asked the United States Capitol Police to investigate Hayden for “calling for politically motivated violence.” The senator also said the former CIA director should be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Various right-wing media outlets interpreted the tweet as a call to assassinate Tuberville, which is also moronic.
“Unhinged Former CIA Director Michael Hayden Calls for Assassination of GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville,” the Gateway Pundit wrote.
“Former CIA Chief Michael Hayden Calls For Assassination Of Sen. Tuberville,” read the headline of an article in The Federalist.
More criticism came from GOP lawmakers.
“Hayden — a former four-star general, NSA director, and CIA director — is openly musing about the assassination of a sitting US Senator,”wrote Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC). “Vile and disgraceful.”
And Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) called on Hayden to apologize.
Finally, Michael Flynn, who very briefly served as Trump’s national security advisor before having to resign over lying about his contact with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign, called on Hayden to be arrested.
“The DOJ & FBI must take this threat seriously and hold him accountable,” Flynn wrote, pointing to the offices Hayden once held.
Now, again, you take away the hyperbole and all of them have a point.
However, if you want to criticize Hayden for this tweet (as you should), then it is highly hypocritical to stay silent when Trump did something similar. The former president suggested last month that then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley should have been charged with treason (and would have been executed in another era) for reassuring his Chinese counterparts that the US would not start a war to keep Joe Biden out of office in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
If you want to condemn Hayden, then you must condemn Trump (and vice versa).
Unfortunately, that’s just not how things work anymore.
Hey, but at least we can be amused by the irony.