July 31st, 2017

Scaramucci, we hardly knew ya

And what we knew, most of us didn’t like.

It turns out that Trump—or John Kelly, or some combination of the two—didn’t like him much either, because after about 10 days as communications director, Scaramucci is out on his ear:

Scaramucci was expected to announce his new communications team Monday afternoon, but he was instead informed of the decision to remove him that morning in Kelly’s office. Scaramucci was not present when senior staff were told of the change, a White House official said. Another senior aide said the move came after discussions over the weekend. There was “no way” Scaramucci could work with Kelly, the senior aide said.

I would certainly have liked to have been the proverbial fly on the wall for that little discussion, or series of discussions. I wonder if Scaramucci knows where any of the bodies are buried, and plans to take revenge.

It also occurs to me that Scaramucci may have been brought in temporarily, for a specific task—to drive out Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus—and that when those things were accomplished, the plan was that it would be time to oust him. That’s pretty Machiavellian, but it’s certainly a possibility.

Scaramucci has had a run of bad luck recently. In addition to this firing, his second wife filed for divorce after only three years of marriage (which starts looking like a long time compared to his tenure at the White House), and even the Harvard Law School directory has offed him (by mistake, apparently). To top it all off, his estranged wife just gave birth one week ago, which would ordinarily be considered good news for him but could be bittersweet coming in the middle of a divorce.

Other than that, not much happening in Scaramucci’s life.

His story reminds me a bit of those fairy tales about genies and wishes—you know, the ones with the moral “be careful what you wish for.” Sacramucci may have wished to be a mover and shaker in the White House under Trump, but perhaps he forgot to add that he wanted to hold the position longer than 10 days before he was the one shaken and moved.

I’m happy to see him leave that position, though. His short tenure appeared to be a disaster in a job for which he had neither aptitude nor skills. His sole function (other than the aforementioned push out the door for Spicer and Priebus) may have been to make Trump looks sober and controlled and tactful in contrast.

49 Responses to “Scaramucci, we hardly knew ya”

  1. Harry the Extremist Says:

    I dont know that Id buy into the covert genius, 5th level chess player meme. I think its much more likely Kelly insisted Trump’s not well chosen choice of communications director take a hike if Kelly was to take the job the most likely choice of what happened. Can Kelly make Trump’s tenure less disaster prone? Thats largely up to Trump, and I dont know that Trump is up to the job. Frankly, I feel sorry for Kelly. I think thats a General who’s going to end up fighting a war he cant win.

  2. MollyNH Says:

    This guy went to Harvard Law ???

  3. Cornhead Says:

    Gossiping, speculation, drama, leaking and controversy is just killing the Trump presidency.

  4. Matt_SE Says:

    I heard that Scaramucci refused to go through Kelly and wanted direct access to Trump. Kelly said no, and Trump backed him.
    I guess 10 days isn’t enough time to develop seniority.

  5. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Even worse, he sold his company to the Chinese to take the WH job.

  6. Oldflyer Says:

    Gen Kelly has won the first fight. Probably not the last, but I think the folks in the WH are in for a shock. Now, if he can get the Boss to exercise a little bit of discretion with his mouth and tweeter, things could get better real soon.

  7. OldTexan Says:

    Hello – – – – Good Bye !

    Gone, faster than crap through a goose.

    Lasted about as long as a 2nd Lt. in a combat zone.

    One of the brighter things to happen recently in the land of Trump.

    And . . . . . You’re FIRED ! ! ! !

  8. parker Says:

    Kelly may be able to gradually stop 90% of the leaking and create a more disciplined WH staff; but I doubt djt will tone down his twitter mania. IMO, that is his greatest character flaw… no self control.

  9. ed in texas Says:

    I had thought that the reason Trump put him there was so they could watch NYT’s reporters heads spin like Linda Blair’s in the ‘Exorcist’. The entertainment value of that wears off after a couple of days.

  10. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Interesting, given that many unabashed Trump supporters (as in “he can do no wrong”) that were thrilled with mooch’s selection now have to grasp the meaning of his demise.

  11. Big Maq Says:

    “His sole function (other than the aforementioned push out the door for Spicer and Priebus) may have been to make Trump looks sober and controlled and tactful in contrast.” – Neo

    If this is the case, and it seems very plausible (it fits with his indirect approach with Sessions), it makes him look weak, as in, not willing to be the guy who does the firing himself.

    It also brings into question his judgement, making a poor choice in personnel (mooch was not someone new to trump), who probably shouldn’t have been given that position to start with.

    Harry above has it right, imho…

    If it weren’t for Gen Kelly, would mooch still be around?

  12. Oldflyer Says:

    Harry, Parker, I have the sense, and I may be wrong, that Trump respects military leaders and war fighters more than he does politicians, or even those who are successful in business. If so, General Kelly’s advice may carry more weight than anyone who has heretofore had access.

    We will see. I think that General Kelly could, with a great deal of credibility, deliver a message that high profile Cabinet Officers such as Mattis and Tillerson, as well as Kelly himself, are not going to work for a loose cannon. In other words, Trump could find himself surrounded only by non entities, and family, if he doesn’t get control of himself.

    Despite my concerns about his self-discipline, I have not given up on Trump just yet. He has clearly exercised self-discipline in those segments of his life that he felt required it; now, he needs to grasp that he is in a very different environment, with different requirements.

  13. huxley Says:

    Gone, faster than crap through a goose.

    OldTexan: My favorite turn of phrase in that department is “like thin shit through a tall Swede.”

    I read it in Tom Robbins’ “Another Roadside Attraction.” I’m not sure if even the fecund Robbins could have come up with that on his own.

  14. Big Maq Says:

    @parker – not sure it is only a matter of self control.

    It seems more is at play there, and seems well beyond “normal” parameters.

    Whatever, it is enough to be a danger, and one hopes the likes of Gen Kelly (and Pence, Mattis, Tillerson, etc) can mitigate the worst of it.

  15. Liz Says:

    Another possibility is that he was one personality type while moving up the chain – always appearing supportive, nice, etc. Once he reached a certain level then, the bad personality comes out.

    I’ve seen people who change personalities when they reach a certain level – many people can relate to the Home Owners Association Board that go nuts.

  16. parker Says:

    I might be wrong, its happened before, but I can’t see djt being swayed by anyone other than Ivanka, Jared, and Donald Jr. Trump is just as narcissitic as bho. Its his way or the highway. But Oldflyer may be correct in the short term, Trump may actually listen to someone like Kelly. We’ll see.

    Big Maq,

    Everything about djt is beyond “normal parameters”. That is obvious.

  17. Mike K Says:

    He got a crash course in talking to reporters, especially unfriendly ones. Pretty dumb stunt.

  18. Jim Miller Says:

    As I understand it, parts of that little talk he had with Ryan Lizza were off the record.

    Considering what he did say on the record, I can’t even imagine what he might have said off the record.

  19. parker Says:

    BTW, its faster than grass through a goose.

  20. Cornhead Says:

    Leaks continue. POTUS dictated Jr.’s first misleading statement regarding Russia.

    Where does this stuff come from?

  21. John Guilfoyle Says:

    But you know what is really awesome about this whole “firing” thing…?

    Hillary Clinton will NEVER be able to fire a White House staff member. NEVER. Not EVER. Because you know what? She’ll NEVER be President.

    That is the smell of victory.

  22. Cornhead Says:

    Latest leak brings talk of obstruction of justice. The worst thing about this Mueller investigation is that it feeds Trump’s worst instincts.

  23. arfldgrs Says:

    and yet, it will never be the same as before, there is a certain, lingering maloder left by a person who is very good at what they do, but have very bad front lobe executive control…

    meanwhile, over at Flopping Aces they just figured out that Putin needed Hillary to win more than anything else given THEIR relationship and the prior work with the prior administration, open mic be damned…

  24. Big Maq Says:

    “Everything about djt is beyond “normal parameters”. That is obvious.” – parker


    But, we still seem to have “explainers” trying to tell us it may be 3D chess of some sort, and that trump is just overdoing it…

    “Occasionally insanity, real or feigned, has its political advantages —largely because of its ancillary traits of unpredictability and an aura of immunity from appeals to reason, sobriety, and moderation.” – VDH

    He argues that it should be used in moderation rather than be habitual.

    Me thinks that the wrong framing, as for trump it is not just a “tool” that is overused, but is an inherent part of him.

    Will Gen Kelly be allowed to green light when to turn it on, and red light stop it? Probably not.

    The other problem is organizational.

    Will Gen Kelly be allowed to manage access and reporting structure, or will trump carry on as he has so far. Probably the latter, ultimately, and unfortunately.

    Maybe the combination of Kelly, Pence, Mattis, etc can find a way to cohesively reign trump in from his worst tendencies.

    Hoping for it, anyway.

  25. arfldgrs Says:

    As an aside in the news for Venezuela:

    How the heck can so many people from academia, the news, the talking heads, the press, pundits, etc… Be surprised that a dictatorship of the proletariat is now coming to full power and that they worry that democracy is ended and a dicatorship is now taking hold?

    think hard…
    ie. they dont even know enough to know that they are working to make dictatorship!!! that that is the whole goal of it!!!! Not freedom and democracy, its like the old patton movie where the germans spun the sign around and painted exit on entrances, and entrance on exits and these morons work harder and harder the more they see they are winning (which to them is losing)… until the actual change happens, then they find out “what side was i on?” and become changers, but as maduro arrests these people of changed heart, he is basically preventing the counter revolution as the whole process in mental attitude is laid out in necheyeves chatechism, whihc is what they follow (no one ever asked me how did i even know that document exists? its what they follow?)

    so, its going to be interesting when the peopel win and are surpsied at WHAT THEY WON…

  26. NeoConScum Says:

    Number One PresidentIslamic Task??


    The Infantile Chaos. The Absence of Impulse Control.
    The Classc Archtype of King Baby……


    Presidential Leadership, NOT Stirring Up Shit just to smell it.


  27. NeoConScum Says:

    **Damned Android:: “Number One Presidential Task.”

  28. BrianE Says:

    I think the tweets serve a legitimate purpose and don’t mind them. Just need to have them vetted– and because the political class is all about saying what you don’t mean, ignore them and tweet away.

    It’s a small price to pay. Trump can walk and chew gum. Incendiary tweets don’t mean the agenda isn’t moving forward. At this point he doesn’t have a natural base– he’s building one. If an infrastructure bill gets passed and the economy continues to heat up, his base will solidify.

    According to the Daily Caller, Democrats have dropped to their lowest point in 27 years at 29 percent while the number of Republicans also dropped to 26 percent, just one point above its 2013 low.

    Maybe Trump should revive the Reform Party.

    Getting rid of Scaramucci and bringing in Kelly does reset the table.

  29. BrianE Says:

    GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) said he came out with an op-ed against President Trump on Monday because he’s “concerned that the type of policies going forward, protectionism, isolationism, are really not conservative values.”

    “And I’m concerned about where the party goes if we embrace those kind of principles,” Flake said this morning on MSNBC. “But also being a conservative means something in terms of demeanor and comportment. A conservative is nothing if, particularly in foreign policy, he’s not measured and sober and predictable. Our allies need to know that, we need to embrace our allies and recognize our adversaries. And to do otherwise is not conservative.”

    This should warm the cockles of Big Maq’s heart.

    They want to return to the party of “Robert Michel, longest-serving minority leader”.

    We are living in a national reality show– and it’s not because of President Trump– he just capitalized on it.

    Jeff Flakes prescription for a return to the loyal opposition.

  30. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian E – there is a YUGE difference between what trump is doing and assertively moving forward on a conservative agenda.

    trump capitalized on our anger, but it seems all he knows how to do is be a “celebrity”, in a somewhat kardashian style.

    With our anger, we’ve let him get away with things we’d have skewered dems for, prior to 2016.

    Now it seems all are eager to have someone mature in place to help control trump’s worst instincts.

    Something is very wrong with that picture.

  31. BrianE Says:

    @Brian E – there is a YUGE difference between what trump is doing and assertively moving forward on a conservative agenda.

    He’s not a conservative. Bush wasn’t a conservative. Ronald Reagan wasn’t a conservative. They all had conservative components– unless you consider Reagan’s amnesty a conservative agenda.

    Now it seems all are eager to have someone mature in place to help control trump’s worst instincts.

    Kelly needs to bring discipline to the West wing (I guess that’s what you call it.) And eliminate leakers and hangerons.

    Let Trump tweet away. For all his braggadocio and crudeness, it comes across as authentic. People are tired of politicians.

    Obama had little to do with the structure of Obamacare. He basically campaigned for 8 years. Get used to it. That’s how elections are won now. The news cycle is endless.

  32. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian E – well we certainly disagree on who was conservative and who was not. Guess, by your definition nobody really is.

    Sorry, forgot, you voted dem before, right?

    Kind of comes back to the two world views you brought up – which side do you cast yourself on?

    Dude, his behavior and disorganization is destroying his ability to get things done.

    His admin is a simmering low level of chaos.

    obama may have campaigned for eight years, but he was out there pushing his and his party’s agenda (notwithstanding his lies, diversions, etc.).

    If you think off message / distractive tweeting, as trump has, is how elections are won, let’s just say that if it isn’t delivering on his “promises”, folks will soon lose patience.

    Oh, forgot, his groupies will all blame Congress, because that is who trump blames. Not that he demonstrated significant leadership on repealing and replacing obamacare, as one example.

    Is that enough to win?

    ONLY if the dems are equally out of touch and disorganized as in 2016.

    Don’t bet on it.

  33. huxley Says:

    Big Maq: Trump ended up as President for many reasons, but all Republicans came together and decided Trump was the perfect candidate was not one of them.

    Your comments, as I read them, convey an impression that Trump’s nomination involved a careful, conscious decision to throw out conservative principles and hypocritically elect some sort of monster.

    Trump had a solid core of supporters who backed him for reasons which were somewhat conservative but not purely so. Many, like my friend who broke with me over Trump, came to decide they were more patriotic than by-the-book conservative and above all they were concerned about American decline, particularly in the Obama years.

    Trump’s base. combined with about a billion dollars worth of free publicity the MSM gave Trump because his outrageous comments sold papers and clicks, allowed Trump to break out in a crowded field. Meanwhile his opponents failed to come up with a successful challenge.

    Over time more people pragmatically came around to Trump because he looked like he would win the nomination, Then during the election even more people came around to Trump because they couldn’t stomach Hillary.

    Of course you know all this. But I feel obliged to recount the process because it seems to get lost in your Old Testament-like calls to Republicans to repent.

  34. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “Of course you know all this. But I feel obliged to recount the process because it seems to get lost in your Old Testament-like calls to Republicans to repent.”

    Ok huxley…now THAT made me laugh.

  35. Big Maq Says:

    @huxley – two things:

    1) there is MUCH more to that story.
    2) it is not a call to repent – totally mischaracterizes what I’m arguing.

    You’ve missed out the parts where a number of “conservative” voices who long promoted a set of ideas, who skewered dems in the process for not living up to their stated standards, who have, in 2016, since changed their tune.

    It is the not seeing that trump’s crap isn’t really doing the job today, but still those very same voices continuing to make excuses, blame others, or ignore it all.

    You frame it as pragmatic. Fine, but I disagree. Not in the short term. Not in the long term.

    At some point, since we SAY we want to maintain our democratic republic (at least that is what I am assuming what folks want), we need to persuade a majority of folks that our ideas are superior (does it work any other way?).

    By voting the way we have, arguing the way we have, ignoring what we have, we have lost significant credibility. Every step in that same direction is further loss.

    Whether or not trump proves to be damaging to this country in other ways (and we are not out of the woods on that, G0d we pray not), he is damaging the very ideas that (at least I thought that) conservatism (and we?) stood for.

    The dems will make d*mn sure we all get branded with their caricatures of the right, something that trump seems to do his darnedest to exemplify.

    There is a place where trump can be criticized without having to take sides with the left. It is not a sign of weakness that we do so.

    In fact, it ought to be in our interest, as for all I know about this world, trump cannot carry on as he has and still hope to achieve much of (our?) agenda.

    And, worse, his antics may well go a good long way to turning people so off of the GOP, that it puts the dems back in power, making any changes achieved rather short term.

    This time he doesn’t have a $B of free (non-critical) publicity. He didn’t get all the conservatives to vote for him (one of the lowest percentages of eligible voters), and he’s evidently not expanding the base. He’s not bringing Congress on side. And he’s distracting everyone with irrelevant petty crap, not reinforcing messaging and agenda.

    I’d like to think Gen Kelly will help, but I think it is bigger than one man.

    He won’t change unless he starts getting feedback from his supporters.

    Don’t see much of that happening to date.

    By the time folks finally get around to it, it may be too late.

  36. The Other Chuck Says:

    MigMag, agree wholeheartedly with what you say. Unfortunately you are a voice in the wilderness. It’s almost as if Trump purposely set out to destroy the Republican Party. What would he do differently if he were a Democrat mole? His very personal and quite devastating attacks against primary opponents left memories that won’t soon fade. The more he blames a Republican congress in an effort to deflect blame for his inept leadership, the more damage he does to the party, and to conservatism.

    I’ll go out on a limb here and predict the loss of congress next year, both the house and the senate. We’re watching a train wreck in slow motion.

  37. huxley Says:

    Big Maq: I am reporting my good faith attempt to understand what you are saying and keep saying. I’m still not sure.

    You often use “we” and “us.” I”m not sure who they are either. But I don’t feel like you speak for me and that’s some of what rankles.

    Trump’s faults aren’t a mystery in this forum, even to the more solid Trump supporters. Likewise the risks of his Presidency.

    Some will defend Trump more than others. That’s a judgment call.

    However, now Trump is President. True, Republicans will be judged for his Presidency, but that milk is spilled. There’s not much to do about it.

    Unless you are calling for us to repudiate Trump now so as to limit that judgment later. I guess we could do that, but for me that ship has sailed.

    If your point is that we should honestly criticize Trump, I think we are, though there are more than thirteen ways of looking at that blackbird.

  38. Sean Says:

    Was relieved to hear Scaramucci’s out. It was pretty obvious he was going to be making news every other night for all the wrong reasons if he’d stayed.

  39. Big Maq Says:


    “Us, we, our” is a question in some ways.

    It refers to those who call themselves “conservative”, who talk of following rule of law, preserving the Constitution, of maintaining the Founding Principles, of restoring our democratic institutions to their proper role, of reducing the size, reach and influence of the government, of federal fiscal responsibility, of personal responsibility, of all the behavior, attitude, and antics that we rightly criticized about the left / msm, etc., etc., etc..

    I am still assuming, while wondering if it is true, that this is what folks are aiming for in their desire for change.

    This election has set me scratching my head on that like never before.

    “Spilled milk”, and water under the bridge. This is a forever debate. There is always the argument that “there is not much to do about it” be it in 1765, or in November 1980.

    Being resigned to it is not the answer. We can do better.

    If you think there is any other way to go about getting our ideas implemented in a democracy, besides persuading >51% of the public, I’d like to know.

    I get that many hoped trump would be a catalyst for change.

    However, it is clear that trump is persuading no one beyond his “core”. It is not working. He is failing to provide leadership. He is, deliberately or not, sabataging his own path to success.

    Does it have to be all the way to repudiating trump? I don’t think so, but I honestly don’t know if he can change, yet I think we ought to try.

    He seems to feed off of the “crowds” at his rallys and all around supportive attention he receives, as he selectively picks from the media, or his own “sources”.

    This is one route that seems might be effective at sending a message to him.

    I do see some, just recently, coming around to the idea that this “blackbird” isn’t working.

    But some comments here, cheering crowds elsewhere, and “conservative” media excuses and misdirections still seem to say that trump is doing great, when he’s not even close.

    The message isn’t breaking through.

    It surely doesn’t look like trump’s current course and speed is the way to continue forward. And, if not, then if we don’t change our personal daily narrative of it, forget trump ever changing.

    If, in our every day lives, we cheer him on with our neighbors, we continue to consume media that feeds us the excuses to mask that behavior, we continue to get suckered into the distractions, our daily choices, in aggregate, get reflected up.

    This has always been the case.

    If we want our neighbors (and, ultimately, the greater population) to be convinced of the superiority of our ideas, not willing to give trump much criticism for things we’d be full throated on if it were a dem, just loses us credibility in the long run.

    The changes we need don’t come from one election alone, and, though we’d like to blame the politicians, it is they who we freely choose to elect.

    Those elections are not won consistently if we don’t do our part, and elected officials won’t make those changes unless we hold them accountable.

    We all individually have a part in making this happen.

  40. Frog Says:

    Cabinet turnover. Kelly leaves DHS for COS. Now Perry may leave Energy to run DHS. Not a good prospect for the long term, having a limited number of players, moving them around the board, and giving running-and-foul-mouth Scaramucci a job, as Comms Director, of all things.

    Meanwhile, despite McConnell’s conflicting strategy and/or incompetence or both, his wife Chao remains apparently secure in Transportation, a job granted doubtless as a bribe to Mr. Chinless.

    I had hoped Priebus would help maneuvers inside the Beltway due to his experience, but may be he was too conciliatory, insufficent as a traffic cop.

    The auguries are troubling; the guts of the sacred chickens seem to be knotting up.

  41. The Other Chuck Says:

    The omens are indeed troubling. For all his faults there is one almost Shakespearean tragic flaw that will be Trump’s downfall. He cannot let the slightest criticism go. He must always answer with an attack which is often way out of proportion to the injury. Even helpful guidance is seen as criticism, and is why I don’t give Kelly much hope in the long run.

    For all of his boasting, bravado, and apparent self assurance, he is a man with a very fragile ego.

  42. BrianE Says:

    …reducing the size, reach and influence of the government, of federal fiscal responsibility… – Big Maq

    Nice words you have there BM. It rings rather hollow when measured against reality.

    President Trump sent a budget to congress proposing $4.3 trillion dollars in spending cuts over the next 10 years. What was the GOP reaction? Ain’t gonna happen.

    Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers rejected President Donald Trump’s proposed budget blueprint even before it was formally released Tuesday, saying that the cuts are too steep and the accounting is too unrealistic. Lawmakers said the document, which reflects the president’s broad vision, will go nowhere in Congress.

    Trump’s proposal, which is the more complete version to the “skinny budget” the White House released in March, seeks to dramatically cut programs for low-income Americans while exponentially increasing defense spending. It also makes drastic cuts to environmental protection programs, agriculture and a host of other programs that senators say go too far.

    Sen. John Cornyn, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, called it “dead on arrival.”

    Get your facts straight BM. Even with Trump’s proposed budget actually increasing Medicaid spending over the next decade, his budget trimmed spending from other discretionary programs.

    Here’s Reason.com take on his budget: Under the current baseline, non-defense discretionary spending is going to grow, too. Over the next decade, it is slated to rise from $624 billion to $739 billion. Under Trump’s proposed budget, though, it would shrink to $429 billion. Now that’s an actual, honest-to-God budget cut.


    Meanwhile a former GOP presidential candidate returned to the Senate to the applause of the Democrats to drive a stake through the heart of a modest proposal to return some of your cherished freedoms to the citizenry. How’s that for Republican treachery?

    BM, I noticed you conspicuously absent from engaging with Somebody. Here was a chance to try out the “superiority of our ideas”. But you were AWOL.

    What is really ironic about all this is in the aftermath of the 2008 election, conservatives were saying the identical things you’re spouting now. We needed to improve our message. Convince people. Renewed conservative ideals– after they were trashed by John McCain.

    Remember all the support his staff gave Palin? With friends like that, you don’t need enemies.

  43. huxley Says:

    “Spilled milk”, and water under the bridge. This is a forever debate. There is always the argument that “there is not much to do about it” be it in 1765, or in November 1980.

    Being resigned to it is not the answer. We can do better.

    Big Maq: My point was not fatalism, but the simple fact that the 2016 election is over. Republicans will be judged by Trump’s presidency. That can’t be changed.

    So I’m confused you keep bringing it up.

    I’m still not sure of your point. I guess you are arguing for Republicans to return to a purer conservatism.

    I can go there. I’m pretty much a National Review style Republican, but hectoring Trump supporters for tribalism and being no better than Democrats on that score is a very low priority for me.

  44. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    As a foreign observer it is not for me to intrude on US internal politics but I must say that I “yugely”enjoyed and will “biggly” miss the theatre that was part and parcel of Mr Scaramucci’s tenure.

    Highly entertaining. Bravo Signor Scaramucci! Effective politics always features a theatrical component. (I well recall a “Mission Accomplished” banner on an aircraft carrier and an American president flying in on a fighter jet. Brilliant optics).

    I will also venture that I am sympathetic to him. Yes, the language was highly indiscreet and to speak in such an unguarded and crude way to a source he knew, or ought to have known, was unsympathetic to the Trumpian cause and would therefore try to embarrass him and the White House shows poor judgement indeed.

    But the Trump administration and those who serve this president are in office to reset the swamp and to be agents of change. To do so they must fight and overcome not just the other side of politics but the power brokers of their own party, most of its commentariat and the entrenched public service.

    A yuge task indeed. Only those with copious amounts of rude animal energy need apply.

    It has been my experience that drastic changes to institutional culture, especially in the short term, aren’t made by discreet, prim people who are anxious to fit in and not make waves. The most effective change agents are, of necessity, people who are willing to “rattle the cage”. Such people can be quite crude on occasion. Such is life.

    But what struck me most about Mr Scaramucci, and I speak as someone with his own Italian paternal heritage, an Italophile to his core, and someone who founded an Italian Australian Lawyers association in my home state, is how strongly he seems to identify with his Italian blood.

    How representative of Italian Americans is Mooch?

    His general presentation struck me as straight out of the Sopranos or Goodfellas. Mr Scaramucci’s “Italian-ness” really was striking to these foreign eyes and ears.

    In his own words, during the notorious phone call to the “New Yorker” journalist he considered himself as speaking: “one Italian to another.”

    That might be fine for someone born overseas, but what I have read of his background suggests he was born in New York, as were his parents.

    He also attended Harvard Law School and worked, post-university, in the WASP field off finance on Wall Street. He has not been marinating in Italian-ness all these years, surely.

    I have yet to meet an Italian Australian, even one whose parents came here as recently as the ’60’s, who self-identifies or presents so strongly as Italian as does Mooch. He is almost, and I mean this respectfully, a caricature.

    Is it a uniquely Mooch thing or is it perhaps a NewYork/New Jesey corridor Italian-American thing? Perhaps it is a thing amongst those who work in the Finance field or on Wall Street? Or is it common for Italian Americans generally to present and identify so strongly with Italy and things Italian?

    Justice Alito, who is from New Jersey and also attended an Ivy League law school does not strike me as so Italianissimo.

  45. Sean Says:

    So according to the infamous Roger Stone, Scaramucci was never long for the job in the first place, but was a “suicide bomber” sent in to get rid of Priebus.


    What is the logic of sending in Scaramucci to get rid of Priebus instead of having Trump fire him himself?

  46. Big Maq Says:

    “the 2016 election is over. Republicans will be judged by Trump’s presidency. That can’t be changed.” – huxley

    It isn’t about the last election.

    Current course and speed with trump isn’t going to accomplish much of what folks here say they want.

    We can do better. We don’t have to be lumped in with all of the bad from trump.

    trump may not change his behavior, but what is his incentive if we keep cheering on everything good and bad, and mimicking dem behavior in this regard?

    That behavior seems the fastpath to heads we lose, tails they win.

    If I read between the lines, you’ve disassociated yourself from the Republicans.

  47. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian E – I don’t know all the details of trump’s proposed budget.

    Just so you know where I stand…

    I’m all for steep cuts.

    I’d like to see government size and scope dramatically reduced, as I see that as the source of much of our angst, leaving too much power in the hands of a few, open for abuse.

    BUT, if the government programs are not cut to match, then all that is, is deficit boosting spending.

    More debt. Kicking the can down the road for someone else to deal with.

    The debt, and (dwarfed by) the looming unfunded liabilities (political promises of future payouts), are an existential threat, imho, as our economy cannot grow fast enough, nor taxes raised high enough, to cover them.

    We have seen the end result of this can kicking approach – Detroit, and Illinois are two examples.

    Brian, right, I was not as engaged as you with Somebody, obviously, but AWOL not.

    There are some who drive down a rabbit hole and Somebody is one such commenter, though he was plainer spoken than some.

    Would have liked to engage him more (and perhaps will if he shows up again some day) but not be chasing him down a hole.

  48. BrianE Says:

    Big Maq,

    Here’s where we have agreement. Our debt is a looming crisis, that will be “managed” by inflation.

    The conclusion I have come to is both Democrats and Republicans are the problem.

    I don’t so much object to government programs (there needs to be a return, taking into account the law of diminishing returns), if they serve a legitimate purpose, but they should be paid for.

    If Congress wants to expand health care insurance on a means tested basis, fine. Included in the bill are the taxes necessary to pay for it. I think many Americans that are fine with increased “kindness” might rethink their position if they knew exactly how much it was going to cost.

    That’s why I support the balanced budget amendment– which John Kasich, along with many others, are working toward.

    But I object to your vague generalizations about conservative principles, when there are very few of those principles evident in the Republican party.

    Trump proposes actually reductions in spending, not decreasing the rate of growth, and the Republican party’s response– “dead on arrival.”

    It’s convenient to blame Trump, I suppose, but the fault lies with Congress.

  49. The Other Chuck Says:

    Headline at instapundit today linking to article by Roger Kimball:

    NO. NEXT QUESTION? Could Donald Trump Do Anything to Win the NeverTrumpers?

    Yes. Resign.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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