This Is Not Normal, September 10, 2018 – September 16, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for a senator’s campaign to selectively edit news footage to make it appear as though his competitor endorsed burning the flag.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a governor’s aide approved a mailer falsely accusing the governor’s primary competitor of being anti-Semitic. (The governor does not appear to have seen the mailer before it was distributed to several Jewish neighborhoods.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the current administration summarily revoked the visas of the family of the PLO’s ambassador to the United States even though they remained valid until 2020. (No matter how you feel about the PLO, this is not how ambassadors’ families are usually treated and will not make delicate negotiations any easier.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House and the majority members of the Senate Judiciary Committee still want to push through the current Supreme Court nominee, despite concerns about whether he has mislead the Senate on multiple occasions, some strange and unexplained debt problems, and now a credible accusation of sexual misconduct. Also NOT NORMAL: three sources tell Politico that the president is likely to “go after” the woman accusing the nominee of attempted rape.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration has cancelled the president’s upcoming trip to Ireland, apparently because of concerns that he would be protested.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s former campaign manager has pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and agreed to answer “fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly” questions about “any and all matters” that the special counsel wants to know about.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be a wonder to behold. Specifically, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • falsely claim that President Obama said he would “need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP” (Obama never said this, and in fact the GDP was above 4% several times when Obama was in office) and that the GDP was higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in more than a century (that has happened many times in the last hundred years, and also this is not a metric that makes any sense);
    • frequently quote cable news pundits who approve of his administration;
    • claim that the economy would collapse if the rival party was in power;
    • give himself an A+ for his administration’s work with Texas and Florida after hurricanes in those states, and his “unappreciated great job” with disaster relief in Puerto Rico, while also making yet more jabs at the Puerto Rican government;
    • say that a private citizen who criticized him in the press “doesn’t have the aptitude or ‘smarts’ & is a poor public speaker & nervous mess”;
    • retweet himself multiple times for no apparent reason;
    • claim that the official death toll in the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico last year was “done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible”;
    • criticize the Wall Street Journal (of all journals, although I suppose it is telling that he didn’t give them an epithet) for saying his administration was under pressure to make a deal with China;
    • criticize President Obama for a slip of the tongue he made in 2008;
    • claim that his “poll numbers are good,” which is only accurate if he isĀ  comfortable with more than half the country thinking he has poor leadership skills and does not care about average Americans; and
    • call the special counsel’s investigation “illegal” and “not allowed under the LAW!”, which strikes me as ominous.
  • “Fake News” and “Rigged Witch Hunt” both showed up this week, but on the plus side I think this is the third week in a row without a “Crooked Hillary” sighting.