This Is Not Normal, June 24, 2019 – June 30, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that a White House senior adviser has refused to testify before Congress about her ethics violations, and has now received a subpoena to testify which she intends to defy.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a consultant to the president has set up a fake candidate website for one of the Democratic contenders for president in an attempt to troll him. (We have another sixteen months of this election cycle; is a little dignity too much to ask?)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president joked with the president of Russia about Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of education repealed a regulation cracking down on for-profit colleges and universities that offer expensive and useless degrees.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that during a press conference, the president misunderstood basic political terms such as “Western-style liberalism” (this phrase refers to the Western world,  including both the United States and parts of Europe; the president apparently thought it was a reference to Los Angeles) and “busing” (the president seemed to think this was simply about using school buses as transportation instead of desegregating schools and also confusingly said his administration was advancing a “very interesting and very surprising” busing policy).
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • conduct foreign policy on social media (this week it was China, Japan, Iran, India, and North Korea);
    • complain that the Federal Reserve “doesn’t know what it is doing” and that the stock market would be “thousands of points higher” and the GDP would be in the “4’s or even 5’s” if they had not raised interest rates and had agreed to cut them when he wanted them to (no reputation economist believes the president’s theory);
    • tweet “Presidential Harassment!” after it was announced that the special counsel would testify before Congress in July (if the president could decide whether he thinks that the special counsel’s report fully exonerated him or that the special counsel is out to get him, it would be helpful);
    • allege that “Democrats want Open Borders, which equals violent crime, drugs and human trafficking. They also want very high taxes, like 90%” (no);
    • complain that a soccer player who expressed colorfully that she did not want to visit the White House “should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag”;
    • call the hearings in the House of Representatives about his campaign’s ties to Russia “a Rigged Democrat Con Game”;
    • tweet “BORING!” during the first night of the Democratic debates;
    • tweet that “@NBCNews and @MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate. Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!” (this is a weird thing for the president of the United States to tweet about);
    • float the idea of delaying the census because he was unhappy that the Supreme Court had ruled against his administration’s desire to put a citizenship question on it (the timing of the census is in the Constitution);
    • insist that he should get credit for “That big Stock Market increase” after his election (Fortune magazine said three weeks ago that the stock market did better during the previous administration than during the current one); and
    • trumpet “54% in Poll!” when the poll in question was not on presidential approval but whether the respondent thought the president would win re-election (it is possible to believe the president will win reelection even if you do not approve of his performance).