This Is Not Normal, January 20, 2020 – January 26, 2020

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president described traumatic brain injuries sustained by soldiers on a military base that was attacked by Iran as “headaches” and “not very serious.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Justice department ignored an order to remand from a federal appeals court.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that multiple Senators found it impossible to just follow the rules and sit still and listen to the testimony in a presidential impeachment trial. (If a presidential impeachment trial cannot hold their attention, what can?)
  • Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that several Republican senators required metaphorical smelling salts after the House managers quoted a presidential aide who said that the president wanted the heads of Republicans who voted against him “on pikes.” And if they are going to be mad at someone, logically they should be mad at the president and his staff, not the congressman quoting the president and his staff.
  • ┬áIt is NOT NORMAL that the president’s defense team persists in describing presidential impeachment as an attempt to undo the 2016 election (if the president is, by some miracle, removed from office the vice-president, who was elected in 2016, will take his place).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that an associate of the president’s personal attorney, who is currently under federal indictment, released a recording of an hourlong personal conversation with the president, who at one point ordered the associate to “get rid of” the ambassador to Ukraine. (And, look, it’s not like the associate could fire the ambassador, since he held no position in government — so why was the president telling him this? What did he think the associate was going to do?)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former national security adviser, the president said he wanted to freeze aid to Ukraine until its government agreed to open investigations into members of the rival party. (Also NOT NORMAL: reportedly even moderate Republican senators do not want to hear testimony from the former national security adviser, even though it seems undeniably relevant.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Secretary of State berated and cursed at an NPR reporter for asking questions about Ukraine (i.e., doing her job) and then insinuated in a press release that she–a graduate of Harvard and Cambridge with a master’s degree in European studies–had confused Bangladesh and Ukraine.
  • The president continues to tweet a great deal, to the extent that one wonders when he does things that are not tweeting. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president
    • tweet “USA! USA! USA!” apropos of nothing;
    • refer to two Washington Post reporters who wrote a book about him as “two stone cold losers from Amazon WP,” and then segue into yet another complaint about the time a congressman satirized his conversation with the president of Ukraine;
    • tweet that “It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office. So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY [sic]” (it is not appropriate for the president to try to make Martin Luther King Day about himself);
    • complain that the Speaker of the House “can’t fix” the homeless crisis in San Francisco (she is not in fact the mayor of San Francisco);
    • tweet “READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!” (he continues to labor under the impression that the transcript of the “perfect phone call” somehow exonerates him);
    • complain that “They are taking the nomination away from Bernie for a second time. Rigged!” (not one vote has been cast in the Democratic primary);
    • tweet “‘NO PRESSURE’,” sans context;
    • falsely complain that the House did not allow him lawyers or witnesses (his lawyers declined to participate in the Judiciary hearings, and the Republicans did call several witnesses);
    • refer to a congressman several times as “Shifty Schiff,” which I continue to maintain is anti-Semitic;
    • tweet “Crazy Bernie takes the lead in the Democrat Primaries, but it is looking more and more like the Dems will never allow him to win! Will Sleepy Joe be able to stumble across the finish line?” (this is just so weird);
    • approvingly quote a Democratic rival saying that he (the president) would be more difficult to beat if he was acquitted by the Senate, only to several minutes later claim that “the Impeachment Hoax is interfering with the 2020 Election — But that was the idea behind the Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems Scam attack” (don’t these two back-to-back tweets directly contradict each other?);
    • refer to his impeachment defense as “Our case against lyin’, cheatin’, liddle’ Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, their leader, dumb as a rock AOC, & the entire Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrat Party”;
    • tweet “Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”, which certainly sounds vaguely threatening;
    • refer to a Nobel Prize-winning economist as “a lightweight thinker”; and
    • call a reporter “Sleepyeyes Chuck Todd.”
  • The president also retweeted many terrible people.