This Is Not Normal, September 24, 2018 – September 30, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • The hearing on sexual assault allegations against a Supreme Court nominee was NOT NORMAL:
    • It is NOT NORMAL for the Supreme Court nominee to talk about how much he likes beer while alternately yelling and crying. This is not the kind of temperament most judges seek to display in public.
    • It is NOT NORMAL that the Senate refused to subpoena additional witnesses to the alleged sexual assault.
    • It is NOT NORMAL that the Supreme Court nominee told several demonstrable lies during the hearing.
    • It is NOT NORMAL that one Senator described the woman making the sexual assault allegations as “pleasing.”
    • It is NOT NORMAL that another Senator claimed that “if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics,” because after all, why should a mere attempted rape keep someone off the highest court in the land?
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to agree to open an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against his nominee to the Supreme Court but limit  the witnesses that the FBI can speak to.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is being sued by members of Congress because he is illegally profiting from business dealings with foreign governments, a violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the federal government is using doctors with a history of infractions, including sexual violations of patients, to medically screen immigrants seeking green cards.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House and the deputy attorney general spent the week hinting that the deputy attorney general might resign, or might be fired, or might literally be on the way to the White House to get fired, or might stay on indefinitely, or might just need to clear the air with the president, with whom he might or might not meet on Thursday. I think I speak for an entire nation when I say to everyone involved, please get it together, this is exhausting.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president made such ludicrous claims during his speech to the United Nations that he was openly laughed at by foreign dignitaries.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a Virginia congressman’s campaign is accused of helping an independent candidate get onto the ballot in order to draw votes away from his main challenger.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, at a rally in West Virginia, the president
    • mocked a fellow Republican president’s volunteer initiative, “Thousand Points of Light”;
    • claimed that he “fell in love” with the authoritarian dictator who runs North Korea (North Korea, for its part, issued a statement that it had no intention of disarming its nuclear weapons until it had more trust in the United States, so it appears that the love is unrequited);
    • referred to a sitting Democratic senator as “Pocahontas”; and
    • call the Democratic party as a whole “angry and mean and nasty and untruthful” (but not “deplorable,” so it’s apparently acceptable).
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • complain that the “Democrats are working hard to destroy a wonderful man” because the Democratic senators on the Judiciary committee wanted to investigation the sexual assault allegations against the Supreme Court nominee;
    • tweet “REMEMBER THE MIDTERMS!” sans context;
    • refer to one of the attorneys for one of the accusers of the Supreme Court nominee as “a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations” and “a total low-life”;
    • attack a Democratic senator for lying about his service in Vietnam;
    • claim that NBC News was falsely reporting about limits on the FBI investigation, even as other news outlets independently confirmed the story; and
    • complain about Saturday Night Live and praise an entertainer for putting on a MAGA hat.