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28 July 2017updated 12 Oct 2023 10:16am

Spicer who? Anthony Scaramucci shows that in Trump’s world the bar can always go lower

We are now in Scarface territory.

By Nesrine Malik

There is a law of nature emerging from the White House. If a bar is low, it can always go lower. Things are constantly deteriorating at such a rapid pace, that events and personalities that only seemed to happen on to the scene last week appear to be an ancient history, when things were so much more innocent and dignified. Remember Sean Spicer? That actually was last week. And yet, now that the Mooch has lowered the bar yet again to the level of expletives and unprintables and asterisks, Spicer seems like something out of Gone With the Wind. A romantic tragic figure whose only faults now appear to be poorly cut clothes and probably a mild learning disorder that we bullied him for. Not only that, his resignation in objection to the hiring of the newly-horrific Anthony Scaramucci seems so prescient, so principled in hindsight. As the Trump car crash continues to careen down the highway, Sean Spicer stands on the side of the road, his stature growing with every second. 


In the Trump administration rear view mirror, objects are closer than they appear. Remember Comey? That was a political scandal from Roman times. He wasn’t even fired by tweet, he was sent a letter. So classy. Remember Steve Bannon’s interview with the NYT where we clutched our pearls in horror at his apocalyptic view of the world and his direction to the media to “keep its mouth shut”? I mean, that was the stuff of Shakespeare. And if you compare current day scandals to older ones, the contrast starts to look like something out of Interstellar. Every hour on Planet Trump is the equivalent of ten years on planet earth. Remember Watergate? Wasn’t that in the Bible? The Apostle Richard fell from grace as his lust for power blinded him to the glory of God, who in His righteous anger verily smote him. He then roamed the earth in disgrace for the rest of his living years, finding no bosom of comfort to lighten the load of his sin.

Fast forward a few million years and we are now in Scarface territory. Anthony Scaramucci, incensed at an apparent leak about a dinner at the White House with some Fox people (major national security stuff, this leak) called up the New Yorker and I’m pretty sure said “Say hello to my little friend” instead of “Hello”. If you haven’t read it, just do so now before you carry on. There is nothing I can do here that will do it justice apart from quote it in its entirety. 

It’s hard to pick out separate strands of Trump admin craziness and analyse them intelligently. It’s hard to be granular and try and draw conclusions from clues when what you’re examining is just a constant stream of baby sick. To try to rationally approach the Trump regime is to sort through effluence, find a pea, all intact and undigested, and then fixate on it as some concrete evidence of what was consumed, and what that might say about what might be consumed in the future and therefore understand what Trump has in mind and where America is headed. There is no plan and Trump has nothing in mind. All that we can confidently assert is that the main survival skill of an incompetent is to constantly assail what is normal so that there are no standards anymore by which to judge them. That is all the Trump administration is definitely doing. It has chiseled the Overton Window out of its wall and loaded it onto a hot wired getaway car. The window has not shifted, it no longer exists. 

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But if one were to try to analyse the pea, it helps to remember that in Anthony Scaramucci’s debut address as White House comms director, he referred many times to his business background when challenged on the strength of his credentials to take on such a role. You see, Trump and the Mooch like to appeal to the fact that they are business guys as an indication of their sangfroid and calm under pressure. You think the politics and intrigue of Washington will get to us? We’re business guys! We’ve seen it all. Try us. We’re straight shooters and straight talkers and the American people are tired of elitist political correctness. But what one never really suffers from in business, is constant scrutiny and public accountability. And they both have neither the temperament nor the discipline to handle it. They might have been able to swear and go nuts behind the scenes of Trump Tower or the Equities division of Goldman Sachs, but not on the phone, on the record, to a New Yorker journalist who prints what you have just said within minutes and has a recording what makes you sound like you just rubbed two lines on your gums before going out to meet another don’s henchmen.

Yes, the Italian mafia jokes are lazy and obvious, but honestly the Mooch (the Mooch!) makes it so hard. He refers to himself in the third person and wears a pinky ring and points at people when he talks to them like bad dancers do on the dancefloor. He is utterly ridiculous, riddled with alpha male anxiety and disastrously bad at his job. And we will look back on him one day in the distant distant future, when someone else comes along and lowers the bar again and think, maybe he wasn’t so bad. So in about a week. 

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