This Is Not Normal: November 28, 2017 – December 4, 2017

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president has been claiming that the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he admits to sexual assault was fabricated. Access Hollywood has now made a public statement that the tape of the president was real and unedited, and there we have another sentence I never expected to type. Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the president is now once again questioning whether former president Obama was born in the United States.
  • It is NOT NORMAL, as I’ve said many times, for the president to repeatedly refer to a sitting United States senator as “Pocahontas.” It is even more NOT NORMAL to refer to her as “Pocahontas” in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson while attending an event to honor the Navajo “code talkers.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to tweet this in advance of a meeting with the Senate and House minority leaders: “Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!” Not only is this an absurd caricature of their actual positions, it effectively shuts down the meeting before it begins. In fact, the leaders cancelled the meeting in response to the tweet.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the staff of Alabama’s Republican candidate for the United States Senate to “decided to push the cameras back and physically manhandle two Fox News photographers, pushing them away and grabbing their cameras” at a campaign rally that was open to the media. If you are not comfortable with being on camera, you should probably not run for the Senate.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to retweet anti-Muslim propaganda videos originally posted by a leader of a far-right Islamophobic political party in Britain. Nota bene: when one of the guys at Infowars publicly suggests you’ve gone too far, you are through the looking glass. It is further NOT NORMAL for the president to insult the prime minister of Britain via Twitter after her spokesperson criticized his de facto endorsement of the far-right Islamophobic political party.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to insinuate on Twitter, after expressing surprise about the termination of a morning show host, that the president of NBC News might have something untoward in his “past.” Granted, given the current torrent of sexual harassment allegations, he might, but as of right now it appears the president is just trying to start a baseless rumor because he doesn’t like NBC’s coverage of him. It is also NOT NORMAL for the president to hint that an MSNBC host should be investigated for the death of an intern in 2001. (The death was due to an abnormal heart rhythm.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the Secretary of the Treasury to promise that the Treasury department will release an analysis of the tax bill that will show how it will pay for itself, when the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy, who are supposedly running the models, say that no such analysis exists or is in the process of being created.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to push senior Senate Republicans to end their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. This investigation involves the president’s staff and his family members, and it is inappropriate for the president to involve himself. The excuse that he is not experienced in government is wearing a bit thin since he has now been president for nearly a year.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the Senate to pass a bill that will have an enormous impact on the nation’s economy that has been written hastily, is still in flux, is riddled with loopholes, and has had no hearings. Remember that the Senate was intended by the Founders to be a deliberative body that would serve as a check on the House of Representatives. This is not the process that the Founders had in mind.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and is reportedly prepared to testify against other members of the administration, including the president’s son-in-law and possibly the president himself.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president responded to the charges against his former national security adviser by (a) again calling his election opponent “Crooked Hillary” (twice) (b) suggesting that the former national security adviser did not deserve to have his life destroyed for lying to the FBI (c) suggesting that the system that gave him the presidency is somehow rigged against him (d) bringing up the poor email management of his election opponent and (e) referring to the special counsel investigation that has already charged four members of his campaign as a “Witch Hunt.” Also NOT NORMAL: in an earlier tweet he also seemed to admit knowing that the former national security adviser had lied to the FBI before he fired him, which certainly would seem to help any obstruction of justice case against him.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for one of the president’s lawyers to argue that “the President cannot  obstruct justice.” Remember that one of the Articles of Impeachment against Nixon made the case that he “obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to endorse a Senate candidate who was accused by several women of making sexual advances when they were teenagers and who was apparently banned from a mall for this reason.
Political protest is patriotic. And if you don’t think there’s anything worth protesting, you’re not paying attention.
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