Senator John McCain (R-Twitter) made a dumb joke this morning comparing the president of Iran to a monkey, specifically the monkey Iran may or may not have launched into space last week.
This drew heckles from some corners of Twitter, which saw racial overtones in the comparison. McCain was undeterred:
While it’s fair game to make fun of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for any number of reasons, comparing anyone to a monkey is the kind of racially tinged comedic territory that is usually best avoided. Among those who criticized the joke was Republican congressman Justin Amash from Michigan, who seemed genuinely offended by McCain’s tweet and his call for people to “lighten up.”
BuzzFeed notes that Amash is a libertarian of Syrian and Palestinian descent who’s not afraid to call out fellow Republicans. A McCain spokesman pointed to the senator’s “lighten up” tweet and said McCain was “poking fun at Ahmadinejad’s outer space ambitions,” which are ripe for mockery, to be sure. But perhaps with a little more deftness than the senator employed in this case.
On Earth 2, President McCain is now in the midst of an international diplomatic crisis, but Senator McCain is likely in a diner somewhere blowing on his soup as he refreshes his Twitter mentions.