Atlantic writer mocked for constitutional take after bombshell Milley claims

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Media top headlines September 15

In media news today, reporters and Democrats defend Gen. Milley reportedly contacting China’s top general with concerns about Trump, MSNBC’s Joy Reid addresses Nicki Minaj Twitter spat over vaccines, and Jimmy Kimmel mocks Floridians who died of coronavirus

The Atlantic contributor Tom Nichols’s grasp of the Constitution is being questioned after he tweeted the founding document was “not designed to cope” with an “insane president” following a bombshell claim about Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. 

In their new book, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa alleged Milley called two Chinese officials behind former President Donald Trump’s back out of fear he would start a nuclear war. A Milley spokesman defended those calls as “vital” to “avoiding unintended consequences or conflict” on Wednesday.

Media pundits also jumped at the chance to praise Milley for his alleged actions as being “prudent” and using “common sense,” and Nichols joined the cheering section.

US Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

“The Constitution was not designed to cope, concurrently, with an insane President and a political party that could block action against that president merely because it represents enough people who don’t give a s–t that the president is insane,” Nichols tweeted. 

Several observers wondered if Nichols was advocating for a junta, a military or political group that rules a country, often in the wake of a coup d’état.

“Tom Nichols justifying a military junta because the founders just didn’t know as much as he does is brand perfection,” writer Stephen L. Miller tweeted.

Others jokingly asked Nichols to clarify which commander-in-chief he was referencing.

Nichols later added: “The real Milley story: Millions of Americans, knowing that Donald Trump is so insane and dangerous that the most senior military officer of the United States had to reassure even our *enemies* that we’re not falling apart, would hand him the nuclear codes all over again.”

Again, critics suggested he had blinders on when it came to his opposition to Trump. 

“Nichols, paraphrased: ‘Like me, Milley came unglued during the Trump presidency & subscribed to every insane conspiracy theory that came along. It’s not his fault he decided he was commander-in-chief and began conducting foreign policy on America’s behalf,’” Grabien editor Tom Elliott tweeted.

The reports about Milley circumventing Trump had liberal pundits essentially calling him a patriot.

“Gen. Milley took some very prudent measures,” CNN’s Mark Hertling, a retired U.S. Army officer, said. 

“What he did was ensure the guardrails were in place,” he later added. “So I give him high marks for this based on what’s described in the book.”

Similarly, MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle said Wednesday the general’s phone calls, if true, would have been “common sense.”

“This is just common sense,” Barnicle said. “It’s called public safety. And certainly you can make a strong case during the conclusion of the former guy’s presidency, there were a lot of people, both in the House and the Senate on both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrat, worried specifically about what we’ve just been talking about here for the last few minutes.”

The “treason” side of the debate also had at least one surprising addition: “The View’s” Sunny Hostin. Hostin sparred with fellow hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar over Milley’s alleged actions.

“I think that you break command in that way, you are committing treason,” she said. “You’re going outside of the chain of command.”

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