This Is Not Normal, December 3, 2018 – December 9, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of state suggested that the United Nations and the European Union, among other international organizations, were no longer useful.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that Wisconsin and Michigan Republicans are passing lame-duck legislation that limits the power of newly elected governors and other state officials who are Democrats. (I mentioned this last week, too, but it is hard to imagine a more blatant attempt to subvert the will of the voters than the measures that these legislators have passed.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a North Carolina political operative appears to have engaged in absentee-ballot fraud to an extent that may have affected the results of at least one race.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s former campaign chairman continued to be in contact with high-level White House officials several months after his arrest and then lied to federal investigators about those contacts.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that federal prosecutors say that the president instructed his lawyer to make illegal payments to prevent a sex scandal in the final weeks before the 2016 election. (Such an instruction would be a crime in and of itself.) It is also NOT NORMAL that prosecutors say the lawyer was in contact with Russian oligarchs who offered “government level” relationships as early as November 2015.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s son-in-law/senior adviser has maintained close ties and privately offered support and advice to the Saudi prince accused of masterminding the murder of a journalist.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to nominate a former Fox News host to be Ambassador to the United Nations.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be the social media equivalent of a dumpster fire. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • claim significant progress with China on trade when the Chinese readouts of the same meetings belie his enormous confidence (in addition, the president would be wise to eschew the phrase “BIG leap forward” in discussing China);
    • publicly call for his former lawyer to get a long prison sentence, which is an inappropriate attempt to influence a federal judge;
    • engage in a little light witness tampering by praising a former adviser for saying “I will never testify against Trump,” saying “Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!'” (also, it is strange that in this tweet he put quotes around “President Trump”);
    • complain that no one is talking about how his party won the Senate;
    • tweet, apropos of nothing, “FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” (the last president who called the press an enemy? Richard Milhous Nixon);
    • refer to the former FBI director as “Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey” once and “Leakin’ James Comey” multiple times (a little dignity — is that so much to ask?);
    • claim that his team is working on a rebuttal to the special counsel’s report that is already more than 87 pages long;
    • refer to his former secretary of state as “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell”;
    • claim that Parisians are chanting “We Want Trump!” (they are not);
    • again argue that Europeans should abandon plans for their own military agreement in favor of NATO, which he continues to view as some kind of Tony-Sopranoesque protection scheme;
    • tweet “Watched Da Nang Dick Blumenthal on television spewing facts almost as accurate as his bravery in Vietnam (which he never saw). As the bullets whizzed by Da Nang Dicks [sic] head, as he was saving soldiers left and right, he then woke up from his dream screaming that HE LIED. Next time I go to Vietnam I will ask ‘the Dick’ to travel with me!” (words fail me);
    • tweet “The Trump Administration has accomplished more than any other U.S. Administration in its first two (not even) years of existence, & we are having a great time doing it! All of this despite the Fake News Media, which has gone totally out of its mind-truly the Enemy of the People!” (this is not how anyone else, even members of his own administration, sees the current situation); and
    • tweet, in the face of a prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation that literally accused him of a federal crime, “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”
  • Many, many references to “Fake News” and “Angry Democrats.” I did not see any “Crooked Hillary” comments this week, though.