This Is Not Normal, February 25, 2019 – March 3, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to give a two-hour speech at CPAC which features, among other things, his continuing fixation on the size of his inaugural crowd more than two years later.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president’s former personal lawyer to testify in a Congressional hearing that that he had overheard a phone call between the president and one of his advisers about Wikileaks; that he had had multiple conversations with the president’s children about real estate developments in Russia that the president has said were abandoned early on; and that the president had reimbursed him for payments to an adult film star with whom the president had an affair.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president held a summit with the North Korean leader without first establishing the terms of the agreement that he hoped to sign, leading to the collapse of the talks. (It is also NOT NORMAL that the president defended the leader, who is a brutal authoritarian dictator, against claims that his regime was responsible for the death of an American student in North Korea and said that he liked and got along with the leader, who is a brutal authoritarian dictator.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s son-in-law, who omitted dozens of foreign contacts and financial conflicts from his application, got a top-level security clearance at the direct order of the president despite the advice of pretty much everyone in government.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s former adviser, who is awaiting trial on charges related to the president’s campaign’s connections to Russia, and who is under a strict gag order because he posted a picture of the judge in his trial next to crosshairs, is publishing a book attacking the special counsel, which he did not mention to the judge during the hearing about the gag order. (The judge is not happy.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the West Virginia GOP posted an exhibit in the capital implicitly linking a Muslim congresswoman to 9/11. (Whatever you may think about this congresswoman, she isn’t responsible for the terrorist attack, and the implication that all Muslims bear responsibility for 9/11 and should thus not be trusted is reprehensible.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the House Minority Leader attacked a Jewish member of the House of Representatives by linking him, without apparent evidence, to a prominent Jewish donor, whose name he spent with a dollar sign. Classy! Not a dog-whistle at all! (If you got mad about the “Benjamins” tweet a couple of weeks ago, you have to get mad about this, too.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • complain about Spike Lee’s acceptance speech at the Oscars (it is a bit of a self-own for the president to regard a call for prioritizing love over hate in 2020 as a “racist hit on your President”);
    • brag about his ability to negotiate with North Korea, which is ironic in retrospect;
    • attack a former senator who is dying of cancer for leading “through lies and deception, only to be replaced by another beauty, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer”;
    • accuse Democrats of voting “against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children” (this is not true, and the way the president and his party are using this issue is profoundly harmful to families facing the tragedy of fetuses with severe medical issues);
    • refer to a sitting Senator as “Da Nang Dick Blumenthal,” apparently because he was feeling sensitive about his use of “bone spurs” to avoid going to Vietnam;
    • accuse his former lawyer of “lying in order to reduce his prison time”;
    • demand, several times over multiple days, the “transcript” of his former lawyer’s book, which he argues would refute the testimony given to Congress (although a book proposal was written, it is not at all clear that an actual manuscript exists);
    • complain that the “Russian Collusion case has fallen apart” and that an investigation of his finances is unfair;
    • blame the failure of the North Korean summit on the his former lawyer’s hearing;
    • argue that his defense of the North Korean leader regarding the American student’s death was “misinterpreted” by the student’s family (dude, you said it out loud, we could all hear you); and
    • once again try to make “Presidential Harassment” take off.
  • “Witch Hunt,” “Fake News,” and “Crooked” (alas) are still commonplace in the president’s Twitter feed.