According to Jonathan Starkey over at the News Journal, I was in a Twitter spat with Chip Flowers over a tweet I sent on Sunday about one of his challengers, Sean Barney, getting a choice spot on msnbc while the network scrambled to cover President Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan.
Apparently, Flowers wasn’t too keen on my innocent joke that he was “pissed” at Barney’s free airtime (or, in true Flowers fashion, one of his employees was pissed, since he blamed the now-deleted tweet on an unnamed staffer). According to Flowers, Memorial Day is “above politics.”
For the record, Memorial Day weekend isn’t above politics – it is politics. It’s a weekend set aside for us to wave flags and mindlessly remember the fallen troops who gave their lives in service of our country. A noble idea, but one that completely sidesteps two very important things – the often-bad decisions that put them in harm’s way in the first place, and the veterans that we devote substandard care to once they return home.
You know who I mourned yesterday when I wasn’t thinking about Flowers? The 22 vets who committed suicide yesterday. Yes, just about one every 65 minutes or so. About 8,000 a year. Didn’t hear much about them yesterday, did you?
Another hater of my joke (does no one in this state have a sense of humor?) was Delaware Way blogger Nancy Willing, who once professed her love for me. Her reaction is somewhat baffling – she seems to think I was reporting on Flowers’ reaction, rather than making light of the fact his opponent just had a giant microphone shoved in his face. I guess her blind hatred of Gov. Markell caused her to miss the tweet that immediately preceded my all-too-serious joke about Flowers:
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) May 25, 2014
Flowers (correction, a member of Flowers’ staff. Chip loves the troops, especially when one of them is running against him) also made some type of assertion, based solely on my tweet, that Gov. Jack Markell was spreading “lies” to score political points. For a guy who didn’t want politics to invade his sober remembrance of the troops, that’s some paranoid political thinking right there. Especially since the last time I mentioned Markell, it was in reference to him balancing the state’s problems on the backs of the middle class.
Back in November, I wrote that Flowers was just the latest in a long-line of bonehead politicians, and nothing in the months since has changed my opinion. He also continues to struggle with that first rung on his political ladder.
If you’re reading this Chip, let me offer you a bit of communications advice that you’re obviously not getting from your tweet-heavy staff – stop aiming that gun at your own feet. Apparently, it’s got a hair trigger.