This Is Not Normal, June 12, 2018 – June 18, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that we, as a nation, are herding small children into cages and shipping them several states away from their parents. Just to forestall any objections, if you’re about to tell me that “if their parents hadn’t broken the rules we wouldn’t have to do this” you should know that I find that argument both baffling — after all, most people accused of misdemeanors do not lose custody of their children indefinitely — and morally blind. I would have expected that we could reach bipartisan agreement on “don’t torment toddlers,” but apparently not.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the current administration has begun an effort to denaturalize American citizens. To be fair, the administration says that they are only interested in denaturalization if someone attained citizenship through deliberate fraud and not if someone has a minor error in paperwork; but the administration has spent the weekend blatantly lying about its family separation policy so I don’t see why I should believe them about this.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency expected that “a certain standard of living” would come with the job and expected his aides–who are, remember, paid with federal tax dollars–to help him attain it.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s “charitable” foundation is being sued after a two-year investigation because it violated campaign finance laws and engaged in self-dealing.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president met with the leader of North Korea alone (with translators but no personnel) and agreed to end joint military exercises with South Korea without getting anything in return other than a vague denuclearization “commitment.” While we are on the subject, it is NOT NORMAL for the president to salute a North Korean general and it is NOT NORMAL for the president to say that the North Korean leader, who has imprisoned tens of thousands of his own people in horrific prison camps, “loves his people.” Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL for the president to express the wish that “his people” would “sit up at attention” for him the way Kim Jong Un’s people do.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president gave an unscheduled press conference on Friday in which he told several blatant and demonstrable lies: he was not exonerated by the Inspector General’s report, which was about the investigation into his opponent’s email servers; the special counsel investigating him is a Republican; his former campaign chairman, who is now in jail awaiting trial, worked for him 144 days, not 49; he did not “get everything” in the North Korean agreement; and it is possible for him to end the family separation policy himself, without any legal changes.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that an Iowa congressional representative retweeted a Nazi sympathizer and self-described admirer of Hitler.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a Democratic House candidate in South Carolina who admitted to beating his wife and breaking into her apartment with a tire iron won the Democratic primary anyway.
  • This list cannot adequately convey the sheer insanity of the president’s Twitter feed. This week, it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • argue that the only people who objected to his North Korean agreement were “haters & losers,” call the agreement “a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe!”, and say “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea”;
    • praise the leader of North Korea on Twitter;
    • claim that the United States will “save a fortune” by not conducting joint exercises with South Korea and later argue that getting rid of them was his own request, which if true makes the negotiation even worse;
    • refer to the actor Robert DeNiro as a “very Low IQ individual” who “has received too many shots to the head by real boxers in movies”;
    • say that the “Fake News” is “Our Country’s biggest enemy!”;
    • criticize a senator from Missouri for using a private jet during a tour of the state, when he in fact used a private jet during his presidential campaign;
    • complain about the “Witch Hunt” Russia investigation, arguing that “the Democrats [made] up a phony crime . . . pay a fortune to make the crime sound real, illegally leak (Comey) classified information so that a Special Councel [sic] will be appointed”;
    • argue that his foundation “gave out to charity more money than it took in” (this was not the case);
    • attack by name an FBI agent who worked on both the email server case and the Russia investigation who opposed him politically (not only is it okay for an FBI agent to oppose the president politically, legally such agents cannot be discriminated against based on their political views);
    • retweet Fox & Friends multiple times;
    • call his former campaign chairman’s bail revocation a “tough sentence” and add “What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all the others? Very unfair!” (the campaign chairman’s bail was revoked because he is suspected of witness tampering; he was not sentenced);
    • insist both that the Democrats are responsible for his administration’s family separation policy;
    • complain that he is not getting enough credit for the North Korea deal;
    • tweet “CHANGE THE LAWS!”;
    • post an overt dog-whistle about migration in Europe, falsely claiming that crime in Germany is “way up” (it is at a 25-year low);
    • and tweet “Comey gave Strozk [sic] his marching orders. Mueller is Comey’s best friend. Witch Hunt!”
  • Both “Witch Hunt” and “Crooked Hillary” made multiple appearances this week.
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