This Is Not Normal, April 22, 2019 – April 28, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House has tried to block multiple congressional subpoenas of staff members and requests for papers and other information. Congressional oversight of the executive branch is a key feature of the separation of powers established in the Constitution, as you probably remember from fifth-grade social studies.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, in the ongoing saga of the president’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board, one of the wildly unqualified picks has been found to make a series of sexist statements in the National Review, including suggestions that women should only be allowed to cover men’s basketball if they were attractive and wore halter tops and complaints that women were “sooo malleable” because his then-wife had voted for a Democrat. (It will not shock you to learn that he and his wife have since divorced.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the members of the president’s party in the Senate called the special counsel’s findings that the president had both obstructed justice and attempted to obstruct justice on several occasions merely “unflattering” and “inappropriate.” It is worth noting that many of these Senators voted to remove a former president from office for less blatant obstruction.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the governor of Kentucky blamed striking teachers for the shooting of a seven-year-old who was at home due to school closures.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the former homeland security secretary was instructed not to mention efforts to prevent Russian interference in the 2020 election to the president.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be ridiculous. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • claim that he couldn’t be impeached because he had not been accused of any crimes, which is a misreading of both the special counsel’s report and the Constitution;
    • retweet several tweets from pundits and politicians criticizing the special counsel, going back as far as a year (my working theory is that his lawyers told him not to criticize the special counsel personally, and he seized on retweeting as a loophole);
    • call a writer for the New York Times “obsessed with hatred, just as others are obsessed with how stupid he is,” apparently because he was critical of the president’s economic policy;
    • falsely claim that the New York Times had been forced to apologize for its coverage of him in 2016, saying “On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!”;
    • lament that “In the ‘old days’ if you were President and you had a good economy, you were basically immune from criticism” (no president has ever been immune from criticism; this is kind of the point of the First Amendment);
    • offer reviews of several morning political shows (Fox & Friends is “by far the best”; “Morning Psycho (Joe)” is “Angry Dumb and Sick”; CNN is “beyond disaster”);
    • threaten that Congress will “get involved” with Twitter, apparently because many of his bot followers were removed;
    • argue that he should not be impeached because the stock market was at its peak (that is not really how that works);
    • start up the caravan talk again, for which I have no patience whatsoever;
    • claim that the special counsel’s report “didn’t lay a glove on me” (that is not true) and that “If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the Supreme Court” (again, that is not how that works);
    • falsely claim that “there has NEVER been a President who has been more transparent” (scroll up to see the first item on this week’s list, and bear in mind that this president has yet to release his tax returns);
    • falsely claim that he never told the White House counsel to fire the special counsel (the special counsel’s report provides evidence that he did);
    • tweet “DRAIN THE SWAMP!”, which is big talk from someone presiding over arguably the most corrupt Cabinet in American history;
    • refer to a former vice president of the United States, who has entered the race for the Democratic nomination as “Sleepy Joe” and claim that his intelligence is “long in doubt” (so on top of everything else this president has done, he has now forced me to defend JOE BIDEN);
    • refer to a Democratic donor and funder of impeachment ads as “Weirdo Tom Steyer”;
    • praise the number two pick in the NFL draft but not the number one pick, finishing up his congratulatory tweet with “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” (this *might* be racist but it is unquestionably weird); and
    • refer to another Democratic candidate for the presidential nomination as “Crazy Bernie Sanders” and suggest that he is going to “get screwed” by the Democratic National Committee.
  • Lots of “fake news” and “angry Democrats” (also he seems to have settled on 18 as the exact number of angry Democrats). No references to Crooked Hillary or, unless I just missed one, to a witch hunt, although he did declare the special counsel’s investigation illegal several times. Baby steps.