This Is Not Normal, September 30, 2019 – October 6, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that in various phone calls deliberately hidden from public and congressional view, the president (a) told the president of Russia, who interfered in the 2016 presidential election, that he was a great leader; (b) promised to help Saudi Arabia enter the Group of Seven, an alliance of democratic economies; (c) pushed the prime minister of Japan to nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize; and (d) defending the president of Russia to the former prime minister of Great Britain when Russia was accused of attempting to murder a former Russian spy in England.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s former lawyer consulted with the president’s imprisoned former campaign chairman in his efforts to force Ukraine to investigate the 2016 election and the son of the former vice president of the United States.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president personally reached out to the new prime minister of Great Britain to see if he could undermine the conclusions of the special counsel’s report on the president’s 2016 campaign.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly suggested building an alligator-filled moat at the southern border of the United States and shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president asked the leader of China — both in a private phone call and very publicly in front of television cameras — to investigate the son of the former vice president.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that border patrol officers refused to return the passport of a journalist until he agreed that he wrote “propaganda.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of state, the vice president, and the attorney general have all assisted the president’s efforts to have Ukraine assist his political campaign, a blatant violation of their positions.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that high-ranking officials in the department of the treasury have attempted to involve themselves in the required annual audit of the president’s tax returns, according to a whistleblower within the department.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that texts between senior envoys to Europe and Ukraine make clear that the administration was seeking a politically motivated investigation of the vice president’s son in exchange for congressionally approved military aid.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president threw a temper tantrum and accused the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee of treason in the middle of a joint press conference in front of a clearly uncomfortable president of Finland. (Dear President of Finland, on behalf of all Americans, I am very sorry that you had to be in the middle of that and I hope you will return when things have calmed down a bit.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that most members of the president’s party refuse to denounce or even mildly criticize the administration’s obvious violations of the public trust, outlined above.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be quite the reading experience. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • call the first whistleblower’s complaint “a fraud!” and falsely claim that he “immediately released” the transcript of the Ukraine call;
    • complain incessantly about the chairman of the House intelligence committee, repeatedly floating the idea of arresting him for treason because he read a parody of the president’s phone call in open session (that is not what treason is);
    • repeatedly refer to the same congressman as “Shifty Schiff” (I detect a whiff of anti-Semitism, but I am going to do the president the favor of assuming that is accidental);
    • tweet “#FakeWhistleblower,” “#DONOTHINGDEMS” (twice), “DRAIN THE SWAMP!”, and “ELECTION INTERFERENCE!” sans context;
    • argue that “the Media may be even more Corrupt than the Bidens, which is hard to do!” (apropos of nothing, the president’s daughter and son-in-law made $82 million in business deals while also working fulltime at the White House);
    • congratulate the leader of China on the seventieth anniversary of the Chinese Communist Revolution (that is . . . not something the president of the United States usually does);
    • repeatedly call the telephone conversation with the Ukrainian president “perfect” (or, at times, “PERFECT”);
    • complain about the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board yet again;
    • refer to impeachment as a “COUP” (impeachment is a Constitutionally created remedy for egregious behavior by governmental officials);
    • falsely claim that “Massive sections of The Wall are being built at our Southern Border” (no);
    • falsely claim that the Democrats are only pursuing impeachment to bring the stock market down;
    • refer to the impeachment effort as “BULLSHIT” and, in the same tweet, misstate the 2016 electoral vote in his favor (for the record, it was 304 – 227, not 306 – 223);
    • refer to his former presidential opponent as “Crooked Hillary” (I’m not even mad, I’m just disappointed);
    • refer to a sitting Congresswoman as a “Wack Job!”;
    • complain bitterly about a senator from his own party who was critical of his requests for political favors from other world leaders, calling the senator a “pompous ‘ass'” and claiming that he “begged” for the president’s endorsement;
    • argue for the impeachment of the aforesaid senator, which is not a thing;
    • tweet, about the aforesaid senator that “The Democrats are lucky that they don’t have any Mitt Romney types. They may be lousy politicians, with really bad policies (Open Borders, Sanctuary Cities etc.), but they stick together!” (there’s a lot to unpack here, but I’m going to focus on the fact that he hilariously claimed that the Democrats “stick together”–as a Democrat, my dream is that we all stay on the same page for, say, five minutes, but it just doesn’t happen);
    • tweet “So Crooked Hillary Clinton can delete and acid wash 33,000 emails AFTER getting a Subpoena from the United States Congress, but I can’t make one totally appropriate telephone call to the President of Ukraine? Witch Hunt!” (he was so proud of this tweet that he retweeted it a few hours later);
    • claim that the former vice president’s family was “PAID OFF, pure and simple!” and that “I would LOVE running against 1% Joe Biden” (whatever, dude); and
    • refer to Bob Woodward’s appearance on “Face the Nation,” as “cool, calm, and interesting” (God help me, I may end up watching this because I am so intrigued).
  • The president also retweeted a lot of nonsense and more clips from Fox News than I would be willing to watch in a lifetime, much less an afternoon.

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