This Is Not Normal, September 23, 2019 – September 29, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president, in a telephone call with the president of Ukraine, seemingly conditioned arms sales to Ukraine upon Ukraine opening an investigation into (a) a conspiracy theory about the DNC’s server and (b) the son of one of the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that in the same phone call, the president asked the president of Ukraine to work with his own personal attorney, who has no official foreign policy role.
  • It is also NOT NORMAL that the president of Ukraine felt compelled to point out to the president that he stayed at Trump Tower when he visited the United States.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, according to a whistleblower complaint, the transcript of the Ukraine phone call was put into a special electronic system reserved for highly classified information, in an apparent attempt to cover it up, even though it did not contain any sensitive national security information. (Abusing the system of classified documents to prevent political repercussions is illegal.)
  • It is also NOT NORMAL that phone calls with other leaders, including the leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia, have purportedly received the same treatment for similar reasons.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that in the days before the phone call, the president suspended congressionally approved foreign aid to Ukraine for unknown reasons, to the dismay of legislators from both parties.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that according to the whistleblower complaint, the leadership of Ukraine believed that if they did not accede to the president’s requests for investigations and work with his personal attorney, the president would not meet with them.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that Republicans on Capitol Hill could not find time to read the nine-page whistleblower complaint, which is part of their job.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that several years later, the State Department is still adjudicating the former Democratic candidate’s email server, even though the previous eight items on this list would lead one to believe they might have more pressing problems to deal with.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that in an interview, the president said, “I think I’ll get a Nobel prize for a lot of things.”
  • The president’s Twitter feed is, even more than usual, NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • retweet the parody account Trump But About Sharks that he apparently did not realize was mocking him;
    • mock a sixteen-year-old climate change activist;
    • claim that the transcript of his phone call with the Ukraine president was “a very friendly and totally appropriate call,” and complain that any concerns about it were “nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!” (Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey beg to differ);
    • complain that “the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean” his speech to the United Nations by calling for an investigation into his actions regarding Ukraine;
    • continue to try to make “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” happen;
    • complain that “There has been no President in the history of our Country who has been treated so badly as I have” (four presidents were assassinated while in office);
    • repeatedly refer to his call with the president of Ukraine as “perfect,” including tweeting “‘IT WAS A PERFECT CONVERSATION WITH THE UKRAINE PRESIDENT!'” in quotes (I have no idea who he was quote);
    • refer to a sitting congressman as “Liddle’ Adam Schiff”;
    • tweet this gem, which must be read in its entirety: “To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings @CNN  purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!”;
    • tweet “If that perfect phone call with the President of Ukraine isn’t considered appropriate, then no future President can EVER again speak to another foreign leader!”;
    • tweet “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” followed immediately by “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” (is America great or isn’t it? pick a lane);
    • refer to two Jewish congressmen and three congresswomen of color as “Do Nothing Democrat Savages” (incidentally, there plenty of white Christian Democrats who also support impeachment); and
    • tweet “I AM DRAINING THE SWAMP!” (there have been an awful lot of cabinet-level scandals for a swamp-draining administration).