You may ask yourself: Why bother to highlight the hiring of Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci? And you’d be right, because who really cares who’s flacking for Trump?
Conway, Spicer, Sanders, some lawyer with one foot out the door — it makes no difference, because they’re all lying for Dear Leader. And they’re all subservient to his tweeting megaphone; as The Mooch said on Fox News yesterday, “I’m not going to want to stop him or be able to stop him.” Indeed, he said of Trump, “I want him to express the full nature of his personality.” (That shouldn’t be a problem.)
But Scaramucci, the Wall Street hedge fund hustler and brand-new White House propaganda overlord, warrants our attention if only because of all the ways he has sold himself out. It’s classic Washington, where (malleable) principles are summarily deep-sixed for a seat at the table. Here’s how power prostitution works in practice:
In 2015, on the Fox Business Network, Scaramucci said of Trump, “He’s a hack … I’ll tell you who he’s going to be president of – you can tell Donald I said this – the Queens County Bullies Association. [He’s] an inherited money dude … He’s got a big mouth.”
But yesterday, on Fox News, Scaramucci said of Trump, “I love the guy. And this is my point, I want to finish my point. I love the guy.”
Wow. It was like the last line in Orwell’s “1984.” Winston Smith, the heroic resister, had been persuaded that the fight was not winnable and that surrender was deliverance. Therefore, “He loved Big Brother.”
In “1984,” inconvenient information was routinely flushed down “the memory hole.” Scaramucci, in order to get himself Correct for his new job, dutifully sought to do the same by deleting his old tweets. He announced Friday, “Full transparency: I’m deleting old tweets. Past views evolved.” It’s very Orwellian to flush information and call it “full transparency,” but what I love most is how his views have suddenly “evolved.”
Joining us now, in our celestial studio, is German novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. After this short commercial break, he’ll tell us how Faust “evolved” when he sold his soul to Mephistopheles.
Before The Mooch “evolved,” he supported Barack Obama and donated to John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, and Harry Reid. Donor records live forever — as do the old tweets, captured in screen shots. In 2012, he tweeted, “I like Hillary … she’s incredibly competent.” He said he was “for Gay Marriage, against the death penalty, and Pro Choice.” He said he “has always been for strong gun control laws.” He said, of the border wall idea, “Walls don’t work. Never have, never will.” He said we should “take steps to combat climate change … The fact many people still believe CC is a hoax is disheartening.”
Best of all, there’s no way to scrub what he wrote in January ’16 on FoxBusiness.com. Targeting Trump, he warned that Republicans were abandoning “common decency out of primeval fear,” and lamented that “unbridled demagoguery has driven the GOP to an inflection point from which there is no turning back.”
That particular column surfaced for discussion yesterday on CNN. Jake Tapper, doing his job, told Scaramucci: “You evolved from thinking Donald Trump was a demagogue to thinking he wasn’t a demagogue.” To which Scaramucci replied, “I didn’t say that Donald Trump was a demagogue.” Tapper pointed out, “You’re very clearly referring to Donald Trump.” To which Scaramucci replied, “You’re going to play the gotcha thing right now.” (When hacks are nailed six ways from Sunday, they always whine about a “gotcha” thing.)
Tapper also brought up the old tweets — which praised Hillary, mocked Trump’s climate change “hoax,” and assailed Trump’s position on building a border wall. Tapper said that people might look at those tweets think, “‘Wow, this guy is willing to suppress everything he believes in order to get close to power.’ What is your answer to that?” Scaramucci’s response: “Totally not true … That’s totally — that’s — see, that’s a — that’s a ridiculous Washington sort of narrative.”
Actually, it’s a classic Washington sort of narrative; as he said yesterday, perhaps more candidly than he intended, “Look, I’m involved in the political establishment. I’m going to back somebody.”
He’s just the latest wannabee player — a guy who has ditched whatever he once appeared to believe, parking whatever convictions he once held, in exchange for an ephemeral moment in the limelight peddling a demagogue he professed to abhor. Let’s see how long he lasts, hollowing out his mind for a stint of servility.