This Is Not Normal, August 14, 2018 – August 20, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL to revoke a former CIA director’s security clearance for what appear to be political reasons. It also strikes me as counterproductive, as I don’t think that revoking the security clearance is going to make the former director less likely to criticize the president on national television.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the chief spokeswoman at the Pentagon is alleged to have used her staff for personal errands (such as retrieving dry cleaning) and retaliated against staff members who who criticized her management style.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a former White House staff member has audiotape of the president’s daughter-in-law offering to buy her silence with money donated to the president”s campaign. I am also not excited about what feels like the inevitable unveiling of an audio tape of the president using the N-word.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that one of the president’s speechwriters spoke at a conference which also featured a notorious white supremacist.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to describe his former campaign manager as a “good person” and call his trial a “very sad day” while the jury is still deliberating, in particular because the jury is (oddly, in my opinion) not sequestered and the president’s words could easily get back to them.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for election officials to close seven of nine polling places in a predominantly black and rural Georgia county, ostensibly because the places were not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. (It seems awfully convenient that this lack of compliance suddenly became a problem two months before a hotly contested gubernatorial election, so I am skeptical.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be a source of national embarrassment. (If you’re wondering why I subject myself to this every week, it’s because the administration has gone on record that the president’s tweets are, in fact, official White House statements. Alas.) In particular, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • claim that the former producer of his reality show called him to tell him that there are “NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa”;
    • refer to a former White House aide who was secretly taping him and other members of his staff as a “crazed, crying lowlife” and a “dog” (in fairness, I don’t think “dog” was racially motivated because I do believe he would also call a white woman a dog);
    • refer to possible terrorists in London as “animals”;
    • refer to a “Rigged Witch Hunt,” “Fake News Media,” and “Crooked Hillary” multiple times;
    • repeatedly post quotes from Fox News broadcasts, which is odd for someone who claims to not have time to watch television;
    • claim that the Boston Globe is in “COLLUSION with other papers on free press” (I think he is referring to editorials about the importance of a free press which ran in many newspapers last week, but agreeing to run individually written editorials on a common topic is not a criminal conspiracy);
    • call a sitting Senator a “loser”;
    • repeatedly attack the governor of New York for saying that “America was never that great” (while this is a dumb thing that he should not have said, I am not sure it merits multiple official White House condemnations);
    • complain that “Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices” and argue that “there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed,” apparently forgetting that last year he floated the idea of revoking NBC’s broadcast license;
    • tweet that “All of the fools that are so focused on looking only at Russia should start also looking in another direction, China”; and
    • claim that “Some members of the media are very Angry at the Fake Story in the New York Times. They actually called to complain and apologize – a big step forward,” which I simply do not believe at all.