Scaramucci’s revenge

As a movie title, it’s a winner. As a plan to bring down President Trump, not so much.

Anthony Scaramucci (yeah, that guy) is back in the news. He’s taking the easy way back, as a Republican and former Trump ally willing (in this case eager) to trash the president.

In this Washington Post op-ed, Scaramucci blasts the president and “challenges fellow Republicans to summon the nerve to speak out on the record against Trump.” Attempting to rebut the obvious, he says his assault can’t be motivated by his ignominious dismissal by the president after 11 days because if revenge were his motive, he would have lashed out sooner.

But had he lashed out sooner, the revenge factor would have been even more obvious. Scaramucci is shrewd enough to understand this, and to have bided his time.

All of the flaws in Trump that Scaramucci now purports to find disqualifying were there for all to see long before he agreed to serve as the White House communications director. When he took that job in July 2017, Trump’s narcissism, inflammatory rhetoric, and unwillingness to tolerate even mild criticism had been on extravagant display for two years. These are the traits Scaramucci cites in his op-ed as driving his opposition to Trump.

Scaramucci informs us that, although his prior praise of Trump was “over the top at times,” his “private estimation of him was more measured.” Why, then, the over the top praise? Because Scaramucci is a dishonest, unprincipled suck-up. That’s reason enough to discount his claim that his current attack on Trump is motivated by public spirit, rather than revenge.

Scaramucci knows he’s too discredited — too much a figure of ridicule — to harm Trump himself. That’s why he hopes to rally respectable figures from the Trump administration, a “trove” of them he says, to his cause.

Allahpundit lists some candidates: Rex Tillerson, John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, James Mattis, Gary Cohn, Don McGahn, and Nikki Haley. They range from the “ungettable” (Haley especially, it seems to me) to the plausible (Tillerson and Cohn). The problem for Scaramucci is the more gettable they are, the less impact getting them would have.

The other problem is the inherent undesirability of being part of a movement promoted by Anthony Scaramucci. For that reason, his involvement might decrease the likelihood that former administration personalities turn publicly against Trump.

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