This Is Not Normal, September 9, 2019 – September 15, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly greeted a group of Egyptian and American officials with “Where’s my favorite dictator?”, an apparent reference to Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. (I can’t stop thinking about how hurt Kim Jong Un must be.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president fired his national security adviser on Twitter.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the acting Director of National Intelligence is reportedly hiding a whistleblower complaint in order to protect the president and/or senior members of his staff.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Justice Department is still attempting to prosecute the former deputy director of the FBI despite the fact that a grand jury has seemingly refused to indict him.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Justice Department is bestowing a prestigious award on the lawyers who successfully spearheaded a Supreme Court nomination battle despite the nominee being credibly accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, lying to Congress, and (given his meltdowns during the Senate hearings) lacking the temperament required for a Supreme Court justice.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a former FEMA official was arrested on charges of taking bribes from a company that was later awarded $1.8 billion in federal contracts to repair the electrical grid in Puerto Rico that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a prominent Senator who has been critical of the president refused to comment, much less disavow the endorsement, after the president praised him on Twitter.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, during a typically unhinged rally in North Carolina, the president said that after his second term in office, “we may have to go for an extra term.”
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • refer to the former South Carolina governor’s companion as a “Flaming Dancer friend” (he seems to have meant “flamenco dancer,” which she wasn’t);
    • claim that foreign leaders “are always asking me, ‘Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?'” (this is nonsense);
    • argue that the “Trump Administration has achieved more in the first 2 1/2 years of its existence than perhaps any administration in the history of our Country” (no);
    • complain about media reports that the vice president and other officials pushed back against the president’s plans to meet with the Taliban at Camp David;
    • make multiple references to “Fake News” and the “LameStream media”;
    • falsely claim that “ABC/Washington Post Poll was the worst and most inaccurate poll of any taken prior to the 2016 election. When my lawyers protested, they took a 12 point down and brought it to almost even by Election Day. It was a Fake Poll by two very bad and dangerous media outlets” (as best I can tell, this is sheer fantasy);
    • claim that “Internal polling looks great, the best ever!” (if this were true, his advisers would have leaked the polls);
    • falsely claim that “Dan Bishop [a newly elected Congressman] was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race” (again, this appears to just be make-believe on the part of the president);
    • argue that polls showing him losing to most Democratic candidates in 2020 “phony suppression poll[s]” (look, I share his skepticism about these polls for a variety of reasons, but they aren’t made up out of whole cloth, and they are run every four years, no matter who the presidential candidates are);
    • continue to conduct foreign policy on Twitter (this time it was China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Iran);
    • misquote a Democratic representative, claiming that he said, “We can’t beat him, so let’s impeach him!” (in May, the representative in question did say, ““I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach the president, he will get re-elected”);
    • complain about the impeachment inquiry, repeating the same tropes that we are all accustomed to (illegal “Witch Hunt,” “No Obstruction, No Collusion,” etc., etc.);
    • quote himself calling himself “A Very Stable Genius!”, and then thank . . . himself? (this one really confuses me);
    • tweet, sans context, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” followed immediately by “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”;
    • complain about a journalist who wrote a book about him;
    • claim that the sexual assault and harassment accusations against the most recent Supreme Court justice are meant to “scare him into turning Liberal!”; and
    • argue that the most recent Supreme Court justice should sue his accusers for libel, “or the Justice Department should come to his rescue.”