This Is Not Normal, August 28, 2018 – September 3, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • I usually save the tweets for the end, but holy moly, the president literally just tweeted that “Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……” and that is a very NOT NORMAL thing for the president of the United States to tweet. As a refresher for those of you who don’t remember ninth-grade civics, the Attorney General is not supposed to make decisions about who to prosecute based on the politics of midterm elections; and it’s not even clear that Sessions had anything to do with these particular prosecutions.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the majority party, and the president’s administration specifically, to continue to refuse to produce tens of thousands of pages of documents that the Supreme Court nominee worked on when he was working for a previous White House; and they have certainly piqued my interest about what they are trying to hide.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for a Republican gubernatorial nominee who is running against an African American to caution his supporters not to “monkey this up”; and if you do not believe that is a racist dogwhistle then consider that that robocalls made to Florida voters in support of the Republican nominee include a man using a exaggerated and stereotypical African-American accent and drums and monkeys in the background.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a party official in Pennsylvania referred to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as “baboons,” and I am very sorry that we seem to have an unusually distressing theme this week.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to tell reporters off the record that he would not negotiate the trade deal with Canada but insist that it be done “totally on our terms.” (For the record, this was reported by a different outlet, not the outlet the reporters in question worked for; and the reporters to whom the president was speaking were not the source.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • announce that he would “address” the issue of Google hiding search results for conservative news outlets, based on a study done by a fringe blogger who admitted that the methodology wasn’t scientific, and also show a video claiming that Google did not highlight his 2018 State of the Union address, which Google disproved via a screenshot from a pro-Donald Trump subreddit;
    • complain that the ABC/Washington Post poll was “by far the least accurate one 2 weeks out from the 2016 Election,” which is not accurate and was apparently motivated by a very low approval rating in the most recent ABC/Washington Post poll;
    • complain that Bloomberg violated a “firm OFF THE RECORD statement,” which they did not, as explained above;
    • complain that no FISA were hearing over the Carter Page warrant (the reason no FISA hearings were held is that FISA hearings are not a thing);
    • publicly complain about North Korea and China in a very weird series of tweets headed “STATEMENT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE”;
    • claim that “CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake” (this must have something to do with the contradictory and shifting statements by Lanny Davis, but that appears to be on Lanny Davis, not CNN, and at any rate there is no sign that CNN is being “torn apart”);
    • refer to the president of CNN as “Little Jeff Z” and refer to the chairman of NBC News as “Andrew Lack(y)”;
    • claim, bizarrely, that “When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they [NBC News] were hurt badly!” which (a) no such thing happened and in fact NBC put the entire unedited interview online for everyone to see and (b) there is no sign that NBC was hurt in any way by this interview;
    • tweet at least three times about his decision to remove the White House counsel when the White House counsel did not know he was being removed (although he was publicly contemplating leaving on his own);
    • refer to the media as “Enemy of the People!”, call members of the media “totally dishonest,” and complain about the use of anonymous sources one week after his own administration refused to go on the record when describing the president’s fall campaign schedule;
    • complain that Canada has “taken advantage of our Country for many years!” which (a) is unlikely to be true and (b) is not the appropriate way to handle trade negotiations with another country;
    • refer to the former FBI director as “Lyin’ James Comey”;
    • tweet that “According to the Failing New York Times, the FBI started a major effort to flip Putin loyalists in 2014-2016. ‘It wasn’t about Trump, he wasn’t even close to a candidate yet.’ Rigged Witch Hunt!”, which — if the investigation was started before the president was a candidate, doesn’t that mean it *isn’t* rigged against him? (I am so confused);
    • tweet “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”, apparently in response to the eulogy given by the daughter of a Senator at her father’s funeral; and
    • attack the leader of the AFL-CIO for being “against the working men and women of our country.”
  • There was at least one “Rigged Witch Hunt” this week, but no references to “Crooked Hillary” unless I just missed it.
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