The Trump administration is like the morally bankrupt black hole at the center of a galaxy of craven, depraved stars. To say Trump World is full of unscrupulous (if wealthy) dirtbags is unremarkable. But the case of Anthony Scaramucci is more interesting, as an illustration of the utterly pernicious moral failure of the entire Republican establishment.
Mostly, Anthony Scaramucci is a punchline, due to being fired incredibly fast for doing something dumb, and also, in a broader sense, because he spent many years as a stone cold media hound in New York with a pathological addiction to the press, much like a mini-Donald Trump. What sets Trump and Scaramucci apart, besides the number of zeroes in their bank accounts, is that Scaramucci has a genuine, deep-seated need to feel that he is a good person, whereas Trump only has a deep-seated narcissism that is completely immune to ethical judgment. Though Scaramucci owns a financial firm, he really got famous for his skills as a salesman—he started a popular Las Vegas hedge fund conference and made himself the face of the hedge fund industry despite not really being an investment genius himself. He is a professional networker and back-patter who has always tried to leaven his thirst for success with a patina of ostentatious conscience.
Now, in the summer of 2019, Scaramucci has finally, publicly split with Donald Trump, even earning himself an angry Trump tweet in the process. “For the last 3 years I have fully supported this President. Recently he has said things that divide the country in a way that is unacceptable. So I didn’t pass the 100% litmus test. Eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country,” Scaramucci said on Twitter. “To those asking, “what took so long?” You’re right. I tried to see best in @realDonaldTrump based on private interactions and select policy alignment. But his increasingly divisive rhetoric - and damage it’s doing to fabric of our society - outweighs any short-term economic gain.”
Okay. In August of 2019, Anthony Scaramucci, the former chief spokesman for Donald Trump, and a major fundraiser for Donald Trump’s election campaign, decided he could no longer support Trump. Here are a few of the things that happened while Scaramucci was still supporting Donald Trump—not just in an abstract way, but actively working to make Donald Trump president and then to empower the Trump administration:
- The Muslim ban.
- Calling Mexican’s “rapists.”
- Say the Central Park Five was guilty despite the fact that they were exonerated.
- Banning transgender people from the military.
- “Grab her by the pussy.”
- Mocking a disabled reporter.
- Calling for protesters at his rallies to be beaten up.
- Charlottesville and the “fine people” on both sides.
- Obvious, provable, outrageous lies [too many to name].
Saying, in August of 2019, that you have finally decided that you cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump is like telling a home invader that you have finally decided that you must condemn their actions after they have killed seven of your eight children. And why did Anthony Scaramucci, such a nice, friendly man, not just tolerate but actively work to empower Donald Trump before now? Obviously, because of that “short-term economic gain” that he couldn’t help but mention even in his public disavowal of the guy whose professional mouthpiece he aspired to be.
Many rich and powerful people who do not care about anything but their own self-interest have supported Donald Trump out of pure greed, and they do not give a damn who gets hurt as long as they get richer. Indeed, this is the operating principle of the Republican party. Anthony Scaramucci’s incessant need to appear in the spotlight and appeal far and wide for respect simply makes him the clearest example of a fact that applies to thousands of others who are just like him, but are more reticent to stand up and be counted: All of the horrible things that the Trump administration has done and will do to millions and millions of people are happening because, on balance, lots of people care less about those things than they do about money. The entire Republican party made it possible for Donald Trump to be where he is and to do what he does. You are all responsible. You can’t just disavow it all, after you’ve pocketed your tax cut, and expect everyone to praise your bravery. Until you fully reckon with what you’ve done, we are not going to forgive you.
This is what you worked for, Anthony Scaramucci.