This Is Not Normal, February 10, 2020 – February 16, 2020

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Department of Justice stepped in and reduced the sentencing recommendation for a former adviser to the president, prompting four federal prosecutors to quit in protest. For context, there were several thousand federal criminal cases last year and this is the only one in which the Department of Justice intervened. I would also point out that the federal prosecutorial bench does not tend to be a hotbed of liberalism.
  • Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the Attorney General has declared that he will personally handle cases of interest to the president, and has ordered a review of the prosecution of the president’s former national security adviser, who has pleaded guilty twice.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the memo the White House sent to Congress explaining the assassination of an Iranian general did not cite an imminent threat from Iran, which was the stated reason for the action.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House is sending tactical law enforcement units to sanctuary cities.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president lied about at least two of the personal stories he highlighted in his State of the Union address: the Army veteran who supposedly got a construction job at one of the “Opportunity Zones” does not work at an Opportunity Zone site; and the fourth grader who was dramatically awarded a scholarship during the speech to allow her to transfer from public school has been attending a free, highly-ranked charter school for several months.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be a mess (and this week features a screenshot of Senator Marco Rubio making what appears to be a Wakanda salute and that isn’t really a NOT NORMAL thing but it’s also a whole lot of nope for one image). To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • refer to a sitting Senator as “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer”, while claiming based on nothing that I can tell that “AOC will primary [him], and win” (I don’t think AOC is technically old enough to run for the Senate?);
    • complain repeatedly about the “Impeachment Hoax”;
    • tweet “Meeting with U.S. Governors in a short while. All States are doing well. ‘Thank you Mr. President'” (I think he just thanked himself? For something?);
    • claim that it was a “nice conflict” for a columnist to write a critical editorial about him, because she is married to Senator Sherrod Brown who, did not, as the president claims “[drop] out of presidential race FAST” or “[poll] at ZERO!” (he was one of a handful of white male Democrats who chose not to run);
    • complain about the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, whom he appointed;
    • retweet a clip from the television show Curb Your Enthusiasm, apparently unaware that it was actually mocking his base;
    • tweet “DRAIN THE SWAMP!” sans context, and later “DRAIN THE SWAMP! We want bad people out of our government!” (and yes, yes, I do with all my heart);
    • complain that the judge presiding over the case of his former adviser had put his former campaign chairman (the adviser and the chairman are in fact two different people) in solitary confinement, asking the rhetorical question “How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton?” (she . . . had nothing to say about Hillary Clinton, as Hillary Clinton has not been charged with any federal crimes and thus is free to go for relaxing hikes in the woods as often as she pleases);
    • claim that a presidential candidate’s “calling for unity” is “sending signals that she wants out,” which is an interesting window into the president’s thought processes (the candidate might just want unity?);
    • tweet “Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?”;
    • claim that the New Hampshire primary was “A very bad night for Mini Mike!”, a reference to Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg, who was not a candidate in the New Hampshire primary;
    • complain that the “Fake News” was failing to talk about his lopsided victories in Iowa and New Hampshire;
    • claim, after being publicly disavowed by his former chief of staff, that the chief of staff’s wife “once pulled me aside & said strongly that ‘John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you'” (I feel that there must be more to this story, right?);
    • announce, in a tweet, where everyone can see it, that he would only allow New York State residents to use the Trusted Traveler program if New York dropped its “unnecessary lawsuits & harassment” (this is essentially the Ukraine thing, except domestic policy instead of foreign policy) and for good measure referred to the Italian-American governor’s brother as “Fredo”;
    • claim that he has “as President, the legal right” to interfere in federal criminal cases (just imagine if Obama had said this);
    • complain that the Democratic senator from West Virginia voted against him in the impeachment trial;
    • claim that the Democrats “are taking the [nomination] away” from “Crazy Bernie,” and I do hope people are paying attention to the president’s desperate desire for the Democrats to nominate Sanders; and
    • tweet a lot about the Dayton 500 (the president was *psyched* to go to Daytona, you guys).
  • The president also retweeted many terrible people, including himself.