This Is Not Normal, November 11, 2019 – November 17, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s close adviser was convicted of seven counts of making false statements, witness tampering, and obstruction.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president was tweeting an insult at the former ambassador to Ukraine while she was testifying before Congress.
  • It is NOT NORMAL (although not remotely surprising) that the White House adviser behind the president’s draconian immigration policies promoted white nationalist theories, articles, and writers to various journalists before joining the administration.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the acting White House chief of staff defied a subpoena to testify before Congress.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president–over the objections of the Pentagon–pardoned several servicemen convicted of war crimes.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s ambassador to the European Union told an embassy official that the president didn’t care about Ukraine policy but only about things that would benefit him, such as an investigation into the 2016 election or an investigation into the company that hired the son of a Democratic candidate for the president. (Incidentally, the same embassy official overheard the president asking about whether Ukraine was willing to launch such investigations.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House released a transcript of the first call with the Ukrainian president that seemed innocuous, but did not match the readout of the call that was released in April. (While we’re on the subject of the first transcript, it is not usual for presidents to compliment fellow world leaders by commenting on the great beauty of their countries’ Miss Universe contestants.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president personally added his own resort to the list of potential sites for the 2020 G-7 summit, substituting it for two of the four finalists for the contract.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be both busy and NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • claim that he singlehandedly lifted the poll numbers of the Kentucky gubernatorial candidate by nineteen points with only one rally;
    • argue that any transcripts released by the House Intelligence Committee would be “doctored”;
    • demand that the whistleblower, and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, should testify (I . . . don’t think he would like Schiff’s testimony much, to be honest);
    • tweet “Read the Transcript. It is PERFECT!” (it isn’t);
    • suggest that the American public would find the transcript of the first (“and therefore more important”) phone call with the Ukrainian president “tantalizing” (maybe I’m nitpicking here, but that is a weird word to use);
    • refer to the young people covered by DACA as “no angels” and “very tough, hardened criminals” (DACA explicitly excludes anyone with a criminal record);
    • refer to impeachment hearings as a “phony showtrial” with “zero due process” (a lawyer for the president’s party had 45-minute blocks to question witnesses during the public hearings);
    • tweet “NEVER TRUMPERS!” sans context;
    • tweet “Where’s the fake Whistleblower?” multiple times;
    • insult the district of the Speaker of the House;
    • blame the former ambassador to Ukraine for the situation in Somalia when she was stationed there (the president is honestly just a terrible person);
    • complain that the conviction of his former adviser showed a “double standard”;
    • complain that “Paul Krugman has called me wrong from day one. People at the Failing New York Times are very angry at him for having “missed” by soooo much. Paul, match over!”; and
    • call an anchor for a conservative news network “nasty & obnoxious”.
  • The president also retweeted several terrible people, including himself.