This Is Not Normal, January 2, 2018 – January 8, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to personally interview and handpick a political ally for the United States Attorney job in New York. Typically, the president is not involved with the interview process for such positions. This is particularly alarming because the president, his businesses, and members of his family may be under investigation by this attorney.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to choose an unqualified nominee for the Indian Health Service who lied about his resume to a Senate committee, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for Congress to drag its feet on legislation to handle Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to such a degree that three former homeland security secretaries have written a bipartisan letter urging action.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for two Senators on the Judiciary Committee to refer a witness to the FBI for criminal charges without consulting with colleagues from the other party. This is particularly troubling because it, at a minimum, has the appearance of attempting to deflect from the investigation of collusion between Russia and the president’s campaign.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president, as reported by the New York Times, to expect legal protection from the Attorney General. It is NOT NORMAL for the president to plaintively request “my Roy Cohn.” It is NOT NORMAL for an aide to the Attorney General to actively seek damaging information on the then-director of the FBI, citing a goal of one negative story per day. Finally, it is NOT NORMAL for a White House lawyer to attempt to mislead the president about the feasibility of firing the then-director of the FBI in hopes of preventing an act he believed would be obstruction of justice.
  • The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to (a) call for an aide to his former presidential rival to be jailed; (b) claim that companies are giving their employees bonuses because of the recent tax bill; (c) continue to use epithets such as “Crooked Hillary,” “Sloppy Steve,” and “Rocket Man” to describe foreign and domestic rivals; (d) claim credit for the fact that there were zero deaths in commercial aviation in 2017 (in fact, there have been no deaths in U.S. commercial aviation since 2009); (e) maintain the myth that the New York Times apologized for its coverage of his campaign in 2016 (it did not); (f) compare the size of his nuclear button to Kim Jong Un’s nuclear button (take that as you will); (g) announce, and later postpone, a “MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR”; (h) complain that the states refused to hand over confidential voter data because “they know that many people are voting illegally”; (i) take credit for talks between North and South Korea after his nuclear-button-size tweet; (j) tweet multiple times about a book featuring several unflattering direct quotes about him from members of his administration, thus ensuring it higher sales and more attention; (k) claim that collusion with Russia “is proving to be a total hoax” (the investigation has so far yielded two indictments and two guilty pleas); (l) attack a former member of his administration who appears to have cooperated with the aforementioned book; and (m) claim that “my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart” and anointing himself “a very stable genius.”

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

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