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

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the outgoing governor of Kentucky pardoned a man who was convicted of murdering a father in front of  his family during a home invasion. (The man who was pardoned was the brother of a man who had raised thousands of dollars for the governor’s campaign; the two co-defendants in the case did not receive pardons, presumably because they were less well connected politically.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Senate majority leader — who would be a juror in any presidential impeachment trial — is coordinating impeachment strategy with the White House.
  • Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said that “I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.” (Good to know.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is floating the idea of skipping the general election debates in 2020 because he expects to dislike the chosen moderator (or, you know, because he expects to embarrass himself).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the inspector general of the Justice Department and the attorney general are publicly squabbling over the inspector general’s findings that the investigation into the president’s campaign was not politically motivated. (Of all the strange notions and wild conspiracy theories that have been floated in the past three years, the idea of the FBI as a hotbed of liberalism continues to disconcert me.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president of the United States is tweeting upwards of 100 times a day some days. But beyond that, the content of the president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • comment “Let our great soldiers fight!” on a news story about a pardoned war criminal being released from prison;
    • tweet “Witch hunt!” multiple times (occasionally in all caps);
    • refer to the opposition party as “The Do Nothing Democrats” several times over the course of the week;
    • tweet “Read the Transcripts!” because he is still apparently convinced that the transcript of the call with the Ukraine president somehow exonerates him;
    • refer to his impending impeachment as “sheer Political Madness!”;
    • complain yet again, and then retweet the complaint three separate times, about the parody of the phone call that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee read (the parody may have been ill-considered, but it was neither treason nor fraud);
    • mock the teenage climate change activist who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year (later the president’s communications team posted a version of the Time cover with the president’s head photoshopped onto the teenage activist’s body and how on earth they thought that made the president look good I will never understand);
    • claim that “Poll numbers have gone through the roof in favor of No Impeachment, especially with Swing States and Independents in Swing States” (they have not; poll numbers have consistently shown about fifty percent of the country in favor of impeachment and removal and about 41 percent of the country opposed to both);
    • make an obvious bid for a “wonderful” Supreme Court Justice’s sympathy, apparently in an attempt to curry favor before the hearings on Congress’s subpoena of the president’s financial records;
    • complain about Fox News interviewing “sleazebag & totally discredited former FBI Director James Comey, & also corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff”;
    • refer to MSNBC as “Commiecast,” which I think is a new one, refer to a CNN anchor of Italian-American heritage as “Fredo,” and claim that “Only pro Trump Fox shows do well”;
    • refer to his 2016 presidential campaign opponent as “Crooked Hillary”;
    • refer to his phone call with the Ukraine president as “PERFECT”; and
    • claim that the Democrats did not include bribery among the articles of impeachment because the Speaker’s “teeth were falling out of her mouth, and she didn’t have time to think!” (I confess this one confuses me).
  • I really only skimmed the president’s tweets this week because I apparently do not have as much time on my hands as the president of the United States does.