Is it just me or did normalization just have a very good week?
Maybe it was reading “Trump has been his most disciplined this week” from a Washington Post columnist. Or that the last few times I’ve looked at the New York Times home page, I haven’t seen the word “Russia” anywhere in the headlines. Or a gut feeling that a lot of Americans don’t really care that three mainstream news organizations were barred from a White House briefing.
Whatever it is, this feels too normal.
This is what David Remnick of The New Yorker warned us about the day after the election: “We will be asked to count on the stability of American institutions, the tendency of even the most radical politicians to rein themselves in when admitted to office.” The thing for us to watch out for is when the President and his radicals pretend that they are reining themselves in.
This week they started.
The appointment of H.R. McMasters as National Security Advisor was an act of sanity. The Vice President denouncing anti-Semitism at a Jewish cemetery was an act of decency.
Don’t let it distract you. Every morning while we’re having breakfast and reading about the President’s war with the press, a battalion of loyal Trumpistas is settling into another day of dismantling our democratic institutions. Federal government, not just in DC but across the country, is in crisis, as much from incompetence as ideology. We’ve gotten used to government functioning on auto pilot. It doesn’t, and the people in charge are digging in for a long, systematic dismantling of our government.
Meanwhile, we have lives to life and — phew! — the courts kind of rescinded the Muslim ban. It’s exhausting to fight every day. The hard part about running a marathon isn’t just the toll it takes on your body, it’s that it’s long and boring and takes a lot of concentration. It’s real easy to be distracted on a long torturous run.
Stay focused, people. Soon enough, this administration will get better at pretending that they are reining themselves in. We will see more “the president looked presidential” stories. More “Reince Preibus is having a very good week” reports. More “the President is actually getting a lot accomplished” articles. More normal.
This is not normal. Keep resisting. Focus on Russia. Give $20 (or more) to Jon Ossoff’s campaign for Congress in Georgia. Attend one of the 11 trainings nationwide that Wellstone Action just announced. Settle in, we’re barely past Mile One.