This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.
- It is NOT NORMAL that the RNC was allocated VIP tickets for the Fourth of July celebration, which has traditionally been a non-partisan event that presidents did not attend. (The president’s speech was refreshingly non-partisan, although it did include a puzzling reference to airports during the Revolutionary War.)
- It is NOT NORMAL that the president falsely claimed that his predecessor in the White House sought audiences with the North Korea’s brutal authoritarian dictator but was rebuffed. The former president did not seek such a meeting because he, like other presidents of both parties, did not want to appear to endorse the regime.
- It is NOT NORMAL that, after signaling that it would accept the Supreme Court’s decision opposing a citizenship question on the census, the Justice Department did an abrupt about-face and said it was seeking new legal paths to institute such a question, apparently because of an angry tweet from the president.
It is also NOT NORMAL that the president is reportedly considering issuing an executive order to add such a question, which could lead to a true constitutional conflict between the executive and judicial branches.
And it is further NOT NORMAL that the president said that the citizenship question was particularly important because of “Congress for districting,” which Justice Department lawyers had specifically denied as a rationale.
- It is NOT NORMAL that the president claimed that homelessness is “a phenomenon that started two years ago” and that he ended it in Washington, D.C., by saying “you can’t do that.” (I . . . honestly don’t even know what to say about this one.)
- It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of housing and urban development hired a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official who had resigned earlier because of racist comments he made over a ten-year period.
- The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
- complain in a four-part Tweetstorm that the governor of New York “uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes” and “never even looked at the disgusting Clinton Foundation” because the president’s charitable foundation is being investigated for various improprieties (There is no evidence that the Clinton Foundation handled its finances improperly);
- praise the brutal authoritarian dictator of North Korea for looking “really well and very healthy”;
- claim that “people are fleeing New York like never before” (although New York’s population was down 0.8% over the previous year, this is not a record) and that New York is treating “our great NRA” poorly;
- argue that “according to the Polls, I won EVERY debate, including the three with Crooked Hillary Clinton” (according to the polls, the president’s opponent won every debate with the president, and also, two-and-a-half years on, it is really time for the president to let go of grievances from an election that he won);
- complain about the “Witch Hunt” because the special counsel has been subpoenaed to testify before Congress;
- end an angry tweet about the citizenship question on the census with “USA! USA! USA!”;
- falsely claim yet again that the previous administration paid Iran as part of the Iran deal (the previous administration turned over to Iran money that it was ordered by the World Court to repay after it seized Iranian assets during the 1979 hostage crisis);
- tweet “Glad I could help!” after the acquittal of a Navy SEAL, which makes one wonder what the president did to help and why that would be an appropriate use of executive power (to be fair, my guess is he did nothing to help and he is once again just talking);
- claim that the concentration camps on the border that are being used to imprison children are “far better than where they came from”;
- call a former Republican congressman who left the party over its support for the president “one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress”;
- refer to the former vice president as “a reclamation project” and say “Some things are just not salvageable” and refer to him as “Sleepy Joe Biden”;
- complain that the “Fake News Media” is lying about the concentration camps at the border; and
- turn on his favorite network, claiming that “watching Fox News weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News CNN or Lyin’ Brian Williams.”