This Is Not Normal, February 20, 2018 – February 26, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s unqualified daughter, who has still not received a security clearance, briefed the president of South Korea about the U.S.’s sanctions against North Korea.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Republican National Committee has been paying expenses formerly paid by the president’s own campaign committee for several months, an arrangement that began when the RNC stopped paying the president’s personal legal bills due to public pressure.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is considering appointing his personal pilot to head the FAA.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is publicly threatening North Korea with a strike that would be a “very rough thing” and “very, very unfortunate for the world.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president of Mexico cancelled his visit to the United States because the president would not commit to refraining from talking about the border wall during the visit.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has removed language calling the United States a “nation of immigrants” from its mission statement.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Veterans Affairs secretary’s response to being caught taking a taxpayer-funded European trip with his wife is to call himself a victim of “subversion” by Veterans Affairs employees and claim that he has permission from the White House to remove those employees.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to claim that he would have “run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon” if he were at a school during a shooting.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that an aide who helped run the president’s election campaign and worked on the presidential transition just pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the lieutenant governor of Georgia is threatening to retaliate against a private company because it has stopped offering a discount program to the members of the National Rifle Association. I was under the impression that conservatives think companies should be free to run their businesses as they see fit.
  • The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    1. refer to his opponent in the presidential election as “Crooked Hillary,” which means it has once again been zero weeks since he brought up the election and his opponents;
    2. complain multiple times that Democrats want to do nothing about DACA (the DACA deal is languishing for multiple reasons, among them a Republican filibuster);
    3.  call for Pennsylvania Republicans to challenge the redrawn congressional district map in the Supreme Court;
    4. say, without providing any substantiation, that he had been “much tougher on Russia than Obama”;
    5. complain that the “Fake News Washington Post” was running a story about a sexual assault allegation against him;
    6. subtweet his Attorney General for not investigating Democrats;
    7. argue in the first half of a tweet that he never said “give teachers guns,” only to spend the second half of the tweet, and a few following tweets,  explaining why he thinks that arming teachers would be a good idea;
    8. tout a CPAC straw poll giving him a 93% approval rating;
    9. misquote a Fox News report in such a way that it sounded as though the report was criticizing a congressman, when in fact it was simply quoting him; and
    10. once again refer to the Russia investigation, which has yielded three guilty pleas and dozens of indictments, as a “Witch Hunt.”