This Is Not Normal, February 4, 2019 – February 10, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is apparently appallingly NORMAL that Virginia’s governor, attorney general, and Senate Majority Leader are all embroiled in various blackface scandals. In addition, it is NOT NORMAL that Virginia’s lieutenant governor is facing two separate accusations of sexual assault. And it is NOT NORMAL that all of these men are apparently planning to just hang out in office until forced to leave. (I live in Michigan, but might I suggest that Virginia employ a total and complete shutdown of men in public office until its representatives can figure out what is going on?)
  • It is also NOT NORMAL that the embattled Virginia governor vowed to dedicate the rest of his term to race relations and then immediately referred to the seventeenth-century arrival of “black indentured servants” to the state. DUDE.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Supreme Court refused to allow a Muslim prisoner to have an imam with him when he was executed. I don’t usually criticize Supreme Court decisions on this list but that seems like an appalling abridgment of the First Amendment rights of non-Christians.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that one of the president’s invited guests to the State of the Union was a sixth grader who has been bullied for sharing the president’s last name. Even in the best of situations, the whole presidential guests at the State of the Union thing seems cheesy and pandering to me — but this president managed to find a heretofore unimagined layer of nonsense.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president argued in the State of the Union that “peace and legislation” relied on the opposition party forgoing their plans to investigate his campaign’s and administration’s various violations of ethics and other laws. The last president to make such an argument was Richard Nixon. You may remember that things turned out great for him.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s inaugural committee is being investigated by federal prosecutors for, among other things, overpaying the president’s hotel for services provided during the festivities, which means that the president may have been violating the emoluments clause just moments into his administration.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the acting attorney general was rude and combative during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s former campaign chairman, who has been convicted of multiple crimes, reportedly lied to federal prosecutors about “an extremely sensitive issue” in hopes of preserving the possibility of a presidential pardon.
  • As you might expect, the president’s Twitter feed continues to be super-classy. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • offer to “build a Human Wall if necessary”;
    • complain about the Senate minority leader just hours before delivering what was billed as a unifying State of the Union (it wasn’t, but still);
    • try several times to make “Presidential Harassment” happen (reminder that the current president spent the better part of eight years loudly accusing the former president of being born in Kenya);
    • complain that the Republicans “never did this” to the former president (i.e., investigate him) — this is not true;
    • argue that if the Virginia governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general “were Republicans, far stronger action would be taken” (Democrats have called on the governor and lieutenant governor to resign; many Republicans endorsed and supported similarly scandal-ridden members of their own party);
    • call the allegations about his campaign’s ties to Russia “a GIANT AND ILLEGAL HOAX”;
    • describe the brutal authoritarian dictator of North Korea as “capable” and predict that he would lead North Korea to “become a great Economic Powerhouse” (read about life in North Korea if you haven’t; this is one step away from praising Hitler for making the trains run on time);
    • claim that the country would have been in a depression if the former president’s policies had continued (the economy steadily improved for the bulk of the former president’s term and was doing quite well when the current president took office);
    • make a “joke” about the freaking Trail of Tears when the senator whom he likes to call Pocahontas announced her presidential bid, which reminds me what a joy the 2020 campaign season is going to be;
    • tweet, sans evidence, that “African Americans are very angry at the double standard on full display in Virginia!”;
    • misrepresent a Gallup Poll in service of an argument that 42 million Latin Americans might head to the United States if the borders were fully open, which isn’t even a thing that is under discussion, for crying out loud;
    • claim that he “probably works more hours than almost any past President” and that when he “took over as President, our Country was a mess” (none of this is true); and
    • say that another rival for the presidency “looked like a Snowman (woman)!” when she announced her bid during a snowstorm, which in his mind somehow disproves climate change.
  • As always, the recap of the Twitter feed just hits the highlights.
  • “Witch Hunt,” “Crooked Hillary,” and “Fake News” all made appearances.