This Is Not Normal, August 26, 2019 – September 1, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly told aides that he would pardon him if they broke the law while implementing plans to build his precious border wall.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the current administration abruptly ended deferred action for immigrants with serious medical issues. Seriously, I try to focus on governance and not policy when I write these posts, but I’m making an exception here because this is horrifyingly inhumane and — I know I’ve said this before — I don’t understand how people who support the president and believe in a cosmic final judgment don’t think they’re going to be judged for this.
  • Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the administration has ended the policy of treating the children of naturalized military personnel who are born overseas as natural-born citizens. This only affects a handful of people each year, which makes it even more baffling that this was a White House priority.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president apparently took a cellphone picture of an image from a classified briefing and then tweeted it. (Insert obligatory “but her emails” reference.) I realize that the president has the legal right to declassify any image he wants to, but that doesn’t make it prudent. (Insert obligatory Dana Carvey impression of George H. W. Bush.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a notorious congressman from Iowa joked about the mistreatment of Uighurs by the Chinese government, nor is it normal that earlier this month he argued that there would not “be any population of the world left” if not for rape and incest.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Federal Election Commission is down to three members — one short of a quorum — because the president and the majority party in the Senate do not want to honor the traditional compromise of confirming one new member from each party simultaneously to ensure an evenly divided membership.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president said to the White House press that he didn’t know there was such a thing as a category 5 hurricane. There have been four category 5 hurricanes during his presidency alone.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president pretended to have had calls from the Chinese government asking to restart trade talks because he did not like the bad press his tariffs had gotten.
  • The president’s Twitter feed was even busier than usual this week. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • complain repeatedly over several days that his “very successful” G-7 conference was not covered well and undermined by a “phony story” from the media (his conference was not “very successful,” and by this time, let’s face it, everyone has already forgotten that the president wanted to nuke hurricanes and buy Greenland);
    • claim that reports of bedbugs at one of his properties were a “false and nasty rumor” (I am skeptical, and also, remember how we made Jimmy Carter give up his peanut farm?);
    • respond to a tropical storm threatening Puerto Rico with the shockingly callous “Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for ‘anywhere'” (so far Puerto Rico has only received 14 billion dollars, and although it will likely still receive more, it is unlikely to top the record 120 billion dollars dispersed to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina);
    • later take a swipe at the mayor of San Juan when claiming that he was “tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico” (that “as usual” is quite the little aside) and later still, argue that “I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!”;
    • claim that the “Federal Reserve loves watching our manufacturers struggle with their exports to the benefit of other parts of the world” (there were multiple attacks on the Fed across the week, to the point that it is becoming difficult to ascertain whether he hates the Fed or the media more);
    • argue that the media is padding the crowd sizes of one Democratic contender while underreporting his own crowd sizes;
    • refer to the three members of his party running for the presidential nomination as the “Three Stooges”;
    • weigh in on a Twitter spat between a Never-Trumper columnist for the New York Times and a political science professor unknown to virtually everyone until said Twitter spat (how does the president have time for this? I don’t have time for this);
    • complain that Fox News “isn’t working for us anymore” because some members of the Fox News team have had the temerity to suggest that he isn’t perfect;
    • refer to the Washington Post as the “Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist)”;
    • issue this virtually incoherent tweet: “The Amazon Washington Post and
      @CNN just did a Fake Interview on Pardons for Aids on the Wall, and that I didn’t think the Wall on the Southern Border was that important to stop Illegals wanting to come into our Country. WRONG, vitally important. Will make a BIG impact. So bad!” (I remind you that the White House has said presidential tweets are official White House statements, and also that foreign leaders read these tweets and that is just so embarrassing);
    • call the former director of the FBI a “CROOKED COP!”;
    • tweet “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, which is happening, and then, KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” sans context; and
    • find time, in the aftermath of two mass shootings and while a hurricane is bearing down on the United States, to attack both the former director of the FBI and a sitcom actress.