This Is Not Normal, April 8, 2019 – April 14, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that disaster relief for several states is stalled in Congress because the president doesn’t want to offer money to Puerto Rico and the Republicans in Congress don’t want to challenge him.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the attorney general accused the Justice Department of “spying” on the president’s campaign. (It is difficult to think of another context in which a conservative law enforcement official would refer to a legal investigation as “spying.”)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of the treasury is refusing to turn over the president’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee despite a clear statutory requirement to do so when requested.
  • It is NOT NORMAL, and it should alarm you, that the president purged several homeland security officials, including the director of the Secret Service.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration is floating ideas such as military-run migrant detention camps, closing the southern border of the United States, and shipping immigrants to sanctuary cities as an act of political retribution, to deal with a pretend security crisis. (It IS a humanitarian crisis. It is NOT a national security crisis. You are in much more danger from homegrown white supremacists than you are from migrants.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly offered pardons to Homeland Security officials if they broke federal law in implementing his immigration policies.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for various representatives of a political party to engage in bad-faith attacks  on a congresswoman, leading to death threats against her. It is not anti-Semitic to call a blatantly white-nationalist White House advisor a white nationalist, even if he is Jewish. It is not dismissive of the 9/11 terrorist attack to point out that mainstream Muslims were disproportionately stigmatized in the aftermath.
  • 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 judicial rulings against his various anti-immigration policies;
    • tweet that “The Mainstream Media has never been more inaccurate or corrupt than it is today. It only seems to get worse. So much Fake News!”;
    • approvingly quote a conservative pundit, twice, who accused the congresswoman above of “targeting” and “assaulting” Jewish people;
    • claim that “Everybody is now acknowledging that, right from the time I announced my run for President, I was 100% correct on the Border” (as part of “Everybody,” I object to this statement);
    • argue that his innocence in the Russia scandal was conclusively proven by the special counsel investigation, while maintaining that the special counsel’s report should not be released;
    • call Democrats “TREASONOUS” for opposing his draconian, authoritarian, and counterproductive immigration policies (as a country, we really need to stop throwing around the word “treasonous”);
    • approvingly crow about the indictment of a former Obama lawyer on “very serious charge” which stem from the lawyer’s post-White House work with the president’s campaign manager, whom the president maintains is an innocent victim of a witch hunt (my head hurts);
    • brag about his close personal relationship to the brutal authoritarian dictator who runs North Korea;
    • claim that the New York Times had to apologize for its false coverage of  him (this never happened);
    • complain that the New York Times story on his idea to ship illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities was “knowingly wrong on almost every fact” and then, three tweets later, suggested that he might ship illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities; and
    • claim that “If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%  . . . with almost no inflation” (the president chose four of the five Fed members, and you would be hard-pressed to find an economist who would sign on to his prediction about the stock market and the GDP).
  • This week saw references to Crooked Hillary, Fake News, the Witch Hunt, and various numbers of Angry Democrats. On a positive note, the president is very, very happy about the Tiger Woods Masters win.