It Is Not Normal, November 18, 2019 – November 24, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration is seeking the resignation of the navy secretary because he wanted to kick a war criminal out of the SEALs. (He’ll listen to the generals, I was told.) (I mean, I understand that the navy actually has admirals, but you get the point.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, according to internal State Department documetns, the secretary of state discussed Ukraine with the president’s personal attorney in at least one call arranged by the president’s personal assistant.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that many Republican officeholders are supporting a conspiracy theory about Ukraine and the 2016 election that originated in a Russian disinformation campaign.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, in an interview with Fox & Friends, the president accused a witness in the impeachment inquiry of making up a phone call between the president and the European Union ambassador.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a group of self-described “attorneys who would traditionally be considered conservative or libertarian” criticized the attorney general for a speech in which he argued that the executive branch should have overwhelming power without significant checks from the other two branches of government.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the ambassador to the European Union told the House Intelligence Committee that the president ordered him to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into a Ukrainian company that employed the former vice president’s son and into a conspiracy theory about the 2016 presidential election.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be both exhausting and  NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • call the Speaker of the House “Nervous Nancy Pelosi” (which is incidentally a terrible nickname since nothing about this woman indicates any nervousness) and claim that the “Radical Left” and the “Fake News Media” are her “BOSS”;
    • tease the idea of testifying before the House Intelligence Committee;
    • complain yet again about the chairman of the Federal Reserve;
    • falsify a quote he attributed to the Speaker of the House (she did not say “it is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate”–she said that “the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections”);
    • declare that the “Impeachment Witch Hunt is now OVER!” during the testimony of the ambassador to the European Union;
    • tweet, of the impeachment hearings, “If this were a prizefight, they’d stop it!”;
    • complain about the way the “FAKE & CORRUPT NEWS” media covered the impeachment hearings;
    • complain about the “local New York Democrat prosecutors” conducting a “Witch Hunt” over his financial dealings;
    • yet again describe the call with the president of Ukraine as “perfect”;
    • call the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee “human scum”;
    • attack the Navy for trying to remove a war criminal from the SEALs;
    • exhort everyone to “Read the two transcripts of Ukrainian calls!” (I have);
    • announce that the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee “will be compelled to testify” if impeachment succeeds;
    • complain that a book about the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings was “a badly written & researched disaster” (there is zero chance this man read one word of that book); and
    • tweet “The Impeachment Scam is driving Republican Poll Numbers UP, UP, UP! Thank you Shifty.”
  • To end this list on a positive note, I want to give the president credit for restraining himself from blatant witness tampering via social media this week. Because apparently that’s where the bar is now.