Something happened in America... something sinister, something morbid, something so depraved as to lie far beyond any reasonable mind to comprehend as existing anywhere within the norms of our society as we once knew it. In my many years as a White House watcher, as a federal employee, as a Presidential Schedule C appointee, as a very proud public servant during 14 years as a staff member in the House and the Senate, I cannot recall a more frightening, more disturbing specter of a debauched human being than White House Chief of Communications, Anthony Scaramucci from whose mouth emerge the demonic toads of inhumanity.
In Thursday’s release of a transcript of an interview between Scaramucci and the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, the American public—and the world—was shown proof positive that President Trump’s trash talk in the back of Billy Bush’s bus was just a preview of what was to become of White House decorum in a Trump administration. Simply put, whatever decorum there might have been, is now nothing more than a pile of ashes of sensibility and tatters of comity that once graced conversations within the executive mansion.
Oh yes, there was H. R. Haldeman. There was John Ehrlichman. There was Richard Nixon. I’ve not forgotten. As the onion of their deceit was peeled back by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, we all gasped at the crude, scratchy voices we heard on the tapes, and we were revolted by the coarseness of their language. But this... this... thing called Scaramucci — hired, aided and abetted by Trump — is so repellant, so repugnant, so vile, it defies comparison to anything we’ve experienced thus far.
Here are just three excerpts from the interview. Context is hardly necessary.
“Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something — he’ll be asked to resign very shortly. … Reince is a f―-ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” He then did a Priebus imitation: ” ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f―-ing thing and see if I can c―-block these people the way I c―-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ”
“I’m not Stephen K. Bannon, I’m not trying to su― my own c――,” he said. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f―-ing strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
“What I want to do is I want to f―-ing kill all the leakers and I want to get the President’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people.”
This, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls (Boy Scouts, take particular notice), is the Trump-approved language of a man who purports to want to serve the country. I would ask, “Which country?” Certainly not the United States. I’m pretty sure not one of our close allies would sign off on this sort of raving departure from decency.
Can you imagine for a moment what Angela Merkel, or Emmanuel Macron, or Theresa May, or Justin Trudeau would have done to any advisor who spoke such words to the world press? I cannot imagine they would have hired such a troglodyte in the first place.
How did we come to this? How does an Anthony Scaramucci crawl from beneath the rocks of odium and gain entrance to the greatest office in the land? The Scaramuccis of the world exist because the Donald Trumps of the world turn over the rocks and give the slime-bathed newts of negativity their power.
Trump had other choices, of course: There were his new friends, Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte of the Philippines, or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, or Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi of Egypt, but they were otherwise occupied with their own dungeon- and grave-filling capers. So, the call went out to Scaramucci. And he oozed down from New York and, within a day, began his mission to scare, bully, browbeat, insult, and demean all those his weird imaginings targeted as “not like the President and me.”
So this is what has become of the White House? An imperious president with no moral or ethical compass, surrounded by a scurrilous team of back-stabbing rivals, and defended at the gate by a messenger who is eager to flay his own staff in order to appease the will of his master within the oval walls?
Is this the norm? Is the Trump-Scaramucci model going to guide the national discourse? Is this the new template for leadership? Is this what the Trump voters and the hangers-on in Congress really wanted?
If yes to the above, then Trump has been given the keys to stable wherein resides the pale horse of pestilence, upon which Scaramucci will ride across our national sensibilities. I’m sure he is eager to saddle up.