On the Fourth of July in the year 2017, North Korea successfully tested a missile capable of reaching Alaska, posing a serious and unexpected threat to the United States – and apparently disrupting U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s holiday plans.
Spending my 4th in meetings all day. #ThanksNorthKorea
– Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) July 4, 2017
Haley would tweet again a couple hours later, noting that North Korea’s new capability to bomb other continents has implications besides more meetings.
She would share Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s words calling the test “a global threat,” and call for the U.N. Security Council to convene on the issue Wednesday (yet another meeting).
But the ambassador’s initial “#ThanksNorthKorea” complaint about Independence Day meetings racked up more than 11,000 replies on Twitter, and there wasn’t much sympathy for Haley.
Most comments broke down along the lines of “do your job!” and “other people are doing harder jobs today.”
Spending my 4th using diplomacy to prevent nuclear annihilation. #GodBlessAmerica
Fixed it for you Nikki
– Heather Whaley (@HeatherWhaley) July 5, 2017
“Did you think being the United States ambassador to the United Nations was a 9-5 job with holidays off?” wrote one self-described “political activist” (who boasts in his Twitter bio that he’s been #BlockedByTrump).
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold offered Haley a link to an ABC News explainer of her job description – “in the event you are unaware of what it entails.”
We’ll save you the trouble of reading it yourself. The former South Carolina governor, who had no foreign policy experience before President Donald Trump appointed her, is paid to advocate for American goals at the United Nations, to its nearly 200 member nations, especially in times of crisis.
And this is a crisis, according to the experts. They say North Korea had not been expected to deliver a weapon with intercontinental range so soon, and will likely manage to eventually attach a nuclear warhead to one of them. According to a former acting CIA director, any military response to Pyongyang would risk a catastrophic war.
Haley’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about her tweet.
The ambassador did have her defenders on Twitter, though. One appreciated her “lighthearted” take on the issue.
But such sentiments were drowned out by unending comparisons to other people who had to work on the Fourth, too.
“I just saw an ambulance go down my street,” wrote Jim Hollifield. “Doubt they’d be all, ‘Thanks, stroke patient,’ or whatever situation they’re facing on the 4th.”
The teenaged girl who served my cold brew this morning didn’t complain about it at all, putting her a step above @nikkihaley.
– The Last Lisa (@RogueParksFan) July 4, 2017
By far the most popular working folks cited by Haley’s critics were “the nearly 200,000 US troops serving overseas on #FourthOfJuly,” as Andrew Weinstein – a top Obama fundraiser – put it.
“I spent July 4th 2003 on walking patrol in Tikrit, Iraq you got it easy,” wrote one member of the #VetsAgainstTrump brigade. “Might want to think before you tweet.”
. Kudos. Spending a holiday working for American security is unprecedented.
– Jake Query (@jakequery) July 4, 2017
Again, the condemnation was not universal. Some noted that Haley’s husband is in the National Guard, so the ambassador is likely familiar with the strictures of a military schedule.
But it made little difference. The digs kept coming, with one woman telling the ambassador about her husband in the U.S. Army and his four tours in Afghanistan, holidays and anniversaries not withstanding. “Stop whining,” she wrote.
Inevitably, all this talk of soldiers circled back to the original theme of the holiday.
I’m pretty sure my ancestors who fought in the American Revolution were also thinking,
“Thanks, Redcoats. There goes my long weekend.”
– Tomm (@SumTomGoingOn) July 5, 2017
Actually, the Fourth of July does not mark any particular battle. On that day in 1776, the members of the Continental Congress gathered in a room and discussed a long list of things: the procurement of flint, the appointment of bureaucrats, the deployment of militias.
At some point in the agenda, they also adopted the Declaration of Independence.
In other words, it was a day of meetings.