Friday, June 9, 2017

Morning After Comey Reading

Among the many post- mortems of James Comey's testimony yesterday, we noticed several which pointed to the phenomenon  known as "normalization," related to the abnormal behavior of Donald "Rump" Trump and how we're in danger of accepting the Rump miasma of corruption and illegality as business as usual.

Amy Zegart at The Atlantic notes how this is infusing all aspects of Russiagate:
The Trump era has brought the normalization of deviance to politics. In four short months, this administration’s national-security advisor has had to resign in disgrace for lying about his contacts with Russians and now faces possible criminal charges. The attorney general is so tainted by his own Russian-related activities that he has had to recuse himself from the bureau’s investigation of Russian-related activities. And the FBI director, who by law serves a 10-year term precisely to ensure independence from the president, was fired by the president because he was independent. This is bizarro world. Any one of these events would in normal times be enough to bring down a president. And yet senators today were talking about whether President Trump’s exact words to Jim Comey constituted a hope, a wish, an order, a directive, a threat, or as one senator characterized it, simply a “light touch” approach.
Joan Walsh at The Nation offers an examples in the forms of New Jersey bridge controller Gov. Chris "Krispycreme" Christie and Sneaker of the House Paul "Lyin'" Ryan:
... New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tried to reassure MSNBC: “What you’re seeing is a president who is now very publicly learning about the way people react to what he considers to be normal New York City conversation.” Normal New York City conversation? For mobsters, maybe. Mafia dons expect loyalty; presidents know the FBI director operates independently from the White House. [snip] 
...[T]his process is likely to move slowly, as long as GOP leaders, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, defend Trump’s Comey coercion as the actions of a neophyte who “was new at this” FBI-independence stuff. They’ll defend him until he hurts them more than he helps, and who knows when they’ll decide that will be?
Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog picks up on Republicans normalizing Rump's behavior as that of an inexperienced CEO:
... It’s as if some on the right want Americans to believe we elected an ignorant television personality to lead the executive branch of a global superpower, and if he started ignoring the rule of law shortly after taking office, it’s only because he’s a fool, not a criminal. 
And that’s supposed to be the defense of the president. 
By any fair measure, it’s not a good one. Trump spent a year and a half on the campaign trail, telling the electorate and the world he was ready to be president, giving himself ample time to learn about the position he was seeking. There was also the post-election transition period, where Trump had an opportunity to learn basic details such as, “Don’t pressure the FBI director about an ongoing investigation into one of the president’s pals.”
None of this is normal, Rump is far from normal, and anyone and anything that suggests otherwise needs to be challenged forcefully and often.

BONUS:  Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog casts a light on Rump's drooling base to show "what normalization looks like."

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