This Is Not Normal, September 17, 2018 – September 23, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development claimed that sexual assault allegations against a Supreme Court nominee were part of a socialist plot dating back several centuries.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a congressman from the majority party made a “joke” about a Supreme Court justice being groped by Abraham Lincoln, because nothing is more hilarious than jokes about sexual assault.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee spent an entire week issuing a series of pissy ultimatums to the woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault while refusing to do anything to investigate the claims. Frankly, the refusal to investigate the claims or question additional witnesses under oath makes me think more than anything else that the majority party Senators believe what the woman is saying. (Also, it is NOT NORMAL that the chairman of the Judiciary Committee appears to have accidentally tweeted a private message to Judge Kavanaugh.)
  • It is also NOT NORMAL that a majority party operative reacted to the allegations against the Supreme Court nominee by arguing that the woman in question had confused the nominee with someone else, and naming the person he suspected, with no proof other than an extremely cursory resemblance, on social media. Also NOT NORMAL: the operative seems to have been given the woman’s name by someone connected with the White House, the Senate, or the nominee before it became public.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the deputy attorney general, jokingly or not, discussed invoking the 25th Amendment and wearing a wire in his discussions with the president.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that at the end of a debate, when given the opportunity to say something nice about his opponent, a sitting Senator chose to insult the opponent instead. (Did no one teach any of these people manners?)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that at a rally in Missouri, the president called Democrats “dangerous” and “crazy” (please explain to me why these epithets are acceptable but “deplorables” was out of line) as well as refer to the “lingering stench” at the FBI.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president decided to unilaterally and selectively declassify several documents relating to the Russia investigation, only to reverse the order several days later.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a senator sent voters a fundraising letter labeled “summons enclosed,” confusing and misleading many. (Incidentally, this senator is apparently in danger of losing reelection, in part because he is considered unlikable. Leaning into the “unlikable” thing is an interesting choice on his part.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • threaten other countries that if they will not make “fair deals” with the United States they will be “Tariffed!”;
    • refer to the Russia investigation as a “totally illegal Witch Hunt!”;
    • make snarky comments about the woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, and complain that members of the minority party “just want to destroy and delay”; and
    • ask, in regard to the allegations against the Supreme Court nominee, “Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?”
  • I did not see any references to “Fake News” in the president’s Twitter feed this week, and I believe we have now gone a month with no references to “Crooked Hillary.”