This Is Not Normal, February 17, 2020 – February 23, 2020

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Attorney General has violated legal, ethical, and political norms so egregiously that more than one thousand former federal prosecutors and officials, who served under presidents of both parties, signed a letter urging him to step down. Again I remind you that the federal prosecutorial bench is not a hotbed of liberalism.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration is diverting billions of dollars that Congress had earmarked for military funding to the construction of the border wall, angering both Republican and Democratic congressional representatives.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president continues to dismiss intelligence briefings on possible Russian interference in the 2020 election as a hoax.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s choice for acting director of national intelligence is removing longtime intelligence officers and replacing them with conspiracy theorists.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that in a campaign speech the president referred to the leaders of the FBI as “dirty cops” and complained about the federal case against his former adviser, who was convicted of lying to protect the president.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the WikiLeaks founder claimed through his legal team that the president offered to pardon him of any federal crimes if he would say that Russia had not been behind the hack of Democratic emails in 2016.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president granted pardons and commutations to eleven wealthy white-collar criminals convicted of a range of fraud, corruption, and perjury charges. (None of these clemency grants followed the normal process.)
  • ┬áIt is NOT NORMAL that the president complained about a foreign film winning Best Picture at the Oscars. (Ordinarily I would think this is too petty to mention, but it was just a bizarre thing for the president to involve himself in.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL (and also quite prolific). To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • tweet “HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY!” on Monday (ordinarily I would not pick at a mere misplaced apostrophe, but come on, we all know he thinks it is a day set aside to honor him);
    • continue to tweet repeatedly about the Daytona 500, which apparently was quite a highlight for him;
    • say, of the Mueller investigation, that “If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL!”;
    • complain that the DNC is “working overtime to take the Democrat Nomination away from Bernie, AGAIN!” (funny way of showing it they have);
    • repeatedly refer to the former mayor of New York as “Mini Mike” and accuse him of “illegally buying the Democrat Nomination” (like it or not, there is nothing illegal about spending millions of dollars on campaign ads, and also why are so many Republicans convinced that using an ungrammatical adjectival form is a sick burn on the Democratic party?);
    • retweet an aide’s Photoshop of a picture of a Democratic debate making the mayor of New York look absurdly short (this is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and his Tweets are OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS and all the other countries can see this nonsense);
    • claim that “Internal REAL Polls show I am beating all of the Dem candidates” (if this were true his campaign would have leaked them);
    • claim that two Democrats “grossly violated the Logan Act with respect to Iran. If a Republican did what they did, there would be very serious ramifications!” (no one of either party has ever been charged under the Logan Act, not even when the president’s son-in-law set up a backchannel to the Kremlin at the Russian embassy);
    • tweet that “Fake Media” reports of that Russia favors a Democratic candidate for president are “disinformation Hoax number 7” because the DNC does not want the candidate to be nominated, only to immediately follow that tweet with an image of the candidate as a ventriloquist puppet being controlled by the Russian president (don’t those two back-to-back tweets directly contradict each other?); and
    • refer to his 2016 Democratic opponent as “Crooked Hillary Clinton,” which I thought we had finally gotten past.
  • The president also retweeted many terrible people, including himself.