Now it begins. The great unravelling.
Will there be an intervention in the White House, perhaps led by Chuck Grassley and Lindsay Graham?
A palace coup led by Mike Pence? A mass cabinet resignation? Either you go or the rest of us go?
Where are we? Paraguay?
The Trump Uber Alles crowd is silent, their Facebook posts fewer and more restrained.
Yes, John McCain is still a traitor (I blame his health care vote on either spite for Trump demeaning his ordeal in the Hanoi Hilton or his brain tumor.) And Hillary still needs locking up, according to the Facebook bottom feeders. But no one is stepping forward to defend Anthony Scaramucci.
The Republican leaders who swallowed hard to accept “a different kind of president” are now girding their loins. Donald Trump is not draining the swamp, he’s breeding more alligators.
Who better to serve as communications director for a pussy-grabbing boss than someone obsessed with the male appendage? The profane Scaramucci talks like Tony Soprano wielding a baseball bat.
Who describes, for public consumption, the White House chief of staff this way: “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” That’s Scaramucci, according to the report in The New Yorker. (Takes one to …)
The whacking comes when you least expect it.
A most incredible photograph on Page One of today’s Wall Street Journal. Preibus and The Mooch staring each other down from across the room. Scaramucci with thumbs in his belt like a gun slinger. Don’t need to draw little daggers — you can see them. If body language had bullets they’d both be dead. (UPDATE: But it was Preibus who bit the bullet.)
Now comes word that there was no leak. Politico got the goods on the Mooch via a public records request. Why do we make it so easy for Rachel Maddow?
Meanwhile, the Tweeter in Chief is letting Jeff Sessions twist in the wind. “Beleagued.” “Weak” Jeff Sessions, who is only the attorney general of the United States. The Jeff Sessions who was the first and highest elected official to endorse candidate Donald Trump and for a long time, the only one. That Jeff Sessions.
What Donald Trump does not understand is that Jeff Sessions has a constituency. Good on old Sen. Grassley of Iowa, chair of the Judiciary Committee. We won’t be confirming any more attorneys general for the coming year, Grassley informed the president in almost so many words, so you’re stuck with him because he was one of us and we respect the man.
Ben Sasse warns Trump, “No recess appointments.”
The irony is that on policy, foreign and domestic, the Trump White House is right on. Ignore it, David. It’s just background noise. But if words don’t matter why all the turmoil in the White House communications department? (Not that there isn’t turmoil everywhere else, either.)
We don’t need Theodore H. White to report the backstage machinations of the White House. The people who have their fingers on the nuclear button are working the Twitter “send” key.
Character will tell
The Mooch maintains he is not a backstabbler. “I’m a front stabber!”
O.K., we love the quote!
Then The Mooch shows he has no business being a communications director. “I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won’t happen again,” he said.
Wha?!!! A student council president at the local high school knows that if you don’t want to see it in print you don’t say it to a REPORTER!
That’s the other part of communicating. (Half of the Squire’s career was spent as a communications director in state government.)
What you don’t say can be as important as what you do say. Or, as Reagan adviser Michael Deaver once said, “Be a well, not a fountain.”
It’s amazing that Mooch went after both the establishment guy and the populist guy in Trump’s inner circle. If he had chosen one or the other and concentrated his fire, he would have gotten some “enemy of my enemy is my friend” support from one wing of the party. Instead he went after both. That’s either proof that he’s unhinged or proof that he’s alien enough to the right in his own politics that he doesn’t know where the fault lines within the GOP lie.
One last point. If reports are to be believed, there are a lot of unhappy campers in Trump’s cabinet right now: Sessions is upset for obvious reasons, Mattis is upset at how Trump handled the transgender ban, McMaster is upset at being frozen out on some big decisions, and Tillerson is upset at his Department being decimated and at Sessions’s humiliation. This could be the last straw for any of them. It’s one thing to work in an “unorthodox” environment for the good of the country but who wants to be part of a freak show when you’re that accomplished and respected?
Finally, about Sessions unwillingness to prosecute the Hildabeast, we turn to Charles Krauthammer: “In America we don’t lock up our adversaries. they do that in Turkey … Part of American greatness is that we don’t criminalize our politics.”
Krauthammer noted that the finest thing Gerald Ford did as president was to pardon Richard Nixon. America needed to heal. It did not need the spectacle of a former president in the dock, doing the perp walk.
The obsessive witch hunt over “Russian influence” is absurd. But it should be allowed to play itself out. People are smart, they are seeing it for what it is, a big nothing burger. Donald Trump is raining on his own parade.