This Is Not Normal, June 26, 2018 – July 2, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the First Lady has earned six figures from a photo distribution arrangement with Getty Images that required photos to be used only in positive stories.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a comedian managed to prank-call the president on Air Force One, convincing him that he was a Democratic senator. It is also odd that the president commiserated with faux senator on the unfairness of corruption charges.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president said in an interview with Fox News that the “European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller” and that “We also love the European Union. I was there many many years ago. Meaning my parents were born in the European Union.” To be fair, the latter is not a violation of a political norm, just deeply weird, especially since the president’s father was born in the Bronx.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president told G7 leaders that “NATO is as bad as NAFTA.” NATO is not a trade agreement but is literally the most important security agreement in the world.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration has reportedly drafted a bill that would abandon the principles of the World Trade Organization and give the president the unilateral ability to set tariffs. Since the initials of the bill’s name (Fair and Reciprocal Trade Act) spell “fart,” I am holding out a faint hope that it is the product of a childish aide trying to prank a reporter and not an actual policy suggestion by the White House.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • repeatedly whine about Harley-Davidson moving some of its production overseas to avoid the president’s tariffs;
    • claim that a Democratic Senator was “perhaps in a near drunken state” when he made an admittedly dumb joke about his knowledge of the special counsel’s investigation into the president’s 2016 campaign;
    • argue that the Democrats’ platform is “Open Borders and Unlimited Crime”;
    • suggest that a leading Democratic congressman lost his primary because he “should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!”;
    • refer to two congresswomen, including the minority leader as “crazy” and “unhinged”;
    • post an all-caps rant insisting that the Republicans in the House pass a hardline immigration bill, only to claim three days later that he had never pushed Republicans to pass an immigration bill;
    • complain about the “Lover FBI Agent Peter Strzok” and the “Witch Hunt, headed by 13 Angry Democrats”;
    • refer to the former FBI director as “Shady JamesĀ  Comey” and the Senator minority leader as “Cryin’ Chuck”;
    • claim that “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13,” which does not appear to be a thing that actually happened;
    • tout his former press secretary’s book, which is a violation of governmental ethics; and
    • argue that “When people come into our Country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back without going through years of legal maneuvering” (in other words, get rid of due process, which is a violation of the Constitution).
  • Both “Witch Hunt” and “Crooked Hillary” made an appearance this week. It has been almost twenty months since the 2016 election.