This Is Not Normal, January 27, 2020 – February 2, 2020

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Senate voted not to have witnesses at the president’s impeachment trial (every other presidential impeachment trial has included witnesses, as have the thirteen impeachment trials against other federal officials).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a Florida senator defended his vote against witnesses in the impeachment trial by saying that “Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office” (that is not a ringing endorsement of the president).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that an Iowa senator said that if the former vice president won the presidency, her party would immediately push for his impeachment. (This is unlikely to actually happen, since if the former vice president wins the presidency his party is likely to hold onto the House.) Hilariously, this same senator claims to be “confident” that the president will stop soliciting foreign interference in the presidential election after his acquittal. Again, this is not a ringing endorsement of the president.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a Kentucky senator tried to out the whistleblower in a question during the impeachment trial. (The Chief Justice rejected the question.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that after cursing at and insulting an NPR reporter, the Secretary of State kicked a different NPR reporter off his plane for no apparent reason.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the former national security adviser (not the one currently awaiting sentencing, to be clear), by his own account, told the Attorney General that he believed the president was granting personal favors to the authoritarian leaders of Turkey and China. Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the former national security adviser alleges that the president’s personal lawyer was involved in the plans to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president’s rival, and that these plans were formulated as early as May 2019.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s DNA is being sought by a woman who claims he raped her in the 1990s and is suing him for defamation.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that one of the president’s attorneys argued during the impeachment trial that “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.” (By this standard the president could break any election law on the grounds that he believed his reelection was in the country’s best interest.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be both NOT NORMAL and also quite voluminous. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • lie about whether the House asked the former national security adviser to testify (he declined) and whether there were Republican witnesses in the House hearings (there were);
    • tweet yet again “READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!” in the apparent misguided belief that the transcripts somehow exonerate him;
    • refer to a CNN journalist as “the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!)”;
    • complain about Fox News interviewing Democratic politicians and employing Chris Wallace, which he called “really pathetic” and “the beginning of the end for Fox”;
    • brag that “It’s amazing what I’ve done, the most of any President in the first three years (by far)” (this is not true);
    • refer to the impeachment trial as “just another political CON JOB!”;
    • falsely claim that the national security adviser’s book was “All Classified National Security” (this does not seem to be true) and “nasty & untrue” (also does not seem to be true);
    • refer to the Senate Minority Leader as “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer”;
    • claim that two of the House impeachment managers are “fighting big time!”;
    • refer to a Democratic candidate for the presidency as “Mini Mike Bloomberg” and argue that the Democratic National Convention is trying to “rig the election against Crazy Bernie”;
    • claim that “Mini Mike is now negotiating both to get on the Democrat Primary debate stage, and to have the right to stand on boxes, or a lift, during the debates. This is sometimes done, but really not fair!” (I don’t even know where to go with this one); and
    • tweet before the Super Bowl, “ENJOY¬† THE GAME USA, OUR COUNTRY IS DOING GREAT!”
  • The president also retweeted many terrible people.