This Is Not Normal, December 19, 2017 – December 25, 2017

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to use the derailment of a passenger train with many injuries and multiple fatalities as an occasion to argue in favor of his infrastructure agenda. The train was on a newly built route and thus the accident was not caused by “crumbling” infrastructure. In fact, the president’s budget actually calls for Amtrak funding to be cut.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s campaign continued to have dealings with Russian operatives even after being warned by the FBI that Russians might try to infiltrate his campaign.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to accuse the Washington Post of fabricating a story about his unhappiness with his Supreme Court pick. The Post story had eleven sources.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a White House senior adviser at the Department of Homeland Security has frequently supported conspiracy theories such as (1) Barack Obama’s memoir was ghostwritten by Bill Ayers; (2) former CIA director John Brennan converted to Islam at some point; and (3) former Attorney General Eric Holder was a member of the Black Panthers. He is also a birther, because of course he is, and he has complained about the “Zimbabwe-fication” of the United States, which isn’t racist at all.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s daughter, a senior White House adviser, does not even know which year the Republican tax bill applies to (it will not affect the 2017 taxes filed in April 2018). In addition, it is unlikely that, as she stated, Americans will be filing taxes on a postcard, as the much-vaunted simplification didn’t really pan out.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to redesign the presidential challenge coin in such a way that (a) he replaces “E Pluribus Unum” with “Make America Great Again” and (b) he incorporates his own name, of which he is  apparently very fond, no fewer than three times.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House counsel researched the federal laws covering lying to investigators and violating the Logan Act in the first days of the current administration and warned the president about the possibility that the National Security Adviser had broken these laws. In other words, the president had been informed that the National Security Adviser was likely in legal danger before he fired the FBI director who was investigating these matters.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly told friends at Mar-a-Lago that they “just got a lot richer” because of his tax bill. The tax bill, you may remember, was ostensibly designed to provide tax relief to the middle class.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to (a) repeatedly attack the deputy director of the FBI, who reportedly backed up the testimony of the former FBI director when testifying before the House Intelligence Committee; (b) falsely insist that Republicans are 5-0 in congressional special elections; (c) complain about “Fake News” and “Fake Polls”; and (d) retweet a meme by a white supremacist that shows him having squashed CNN with his shoe. By way of contrast, the previous president’s Christmas weekend tweet was “The best part of the holidays is the time we share with those we love. On behalf of Michelle, Malia, and Sasha, Merry Christmas everyone.” (Among other things, this demonstrates that it was not, in fact, illegal or considered at all inappropriate to say “Merry Christmas” before the current president took office.)

Political protest is patriotic. And if you don’t think there’s anything worth protesting, you’re not paying attention.