Anthony Scaramucci gives us a way out of this hell (yes, really). He deserves our support.
And If you can’t stomach that, remember; the enemy of my enemy is my friend
It’s said that it was Trump’s racists attacks on ‘the squad’ that did it. Whatever it was, it’s clear the the former Director of Communications for the White House can “no longer in good conscience support the president’s reelection”. In typical 2019 fashion, the spat between Scaramucci and Trump is being played out live, unedited on Twitter.
I don’t much care for the specifics of who started it, what I do care about is winning in 2020. And amongst the name-calling, we can find an antidote to this hell we’re in. Mooch has handed out a rare olive branch; it’s incumbent upon us to accept it. Scaramucci is right and he should be supported, not vilified.
One of Trump’s attack lines against Mooch — in addition to him being a ‘nut job’ — is that he only used his brief time in the White House to advance his television career and that’s exactly what he is trying to do again in his most recent vocal opposition. For some, this immediately discredits anything Scaramucci says. For those people, firstly, let me introduce you to your candidate; Donald J Trump. In all of history (and I’m trying not to exaggerate here) he is the person who has used TV and media to advance his career more than anyone else. Indeed, there is commentary available to suggest Trump never even intended to win in 2016 and that his campaign was only ever a branding exercise. This rebuttal is moronic and hypocritical. Unsurprisingly, as it’s the one being led by Trump.
For others, it’s the simple, inescapable fact that Mooch is a Republican. That, and only that, is enough not to welcome him back to the good side, no matter what. For them, he served in a repugnant administration and deserves all the back-lash that should rightfully come with that.
For those hundreds who have left the administration and still try and support it, I am sympathetic to the idea these individuals do not deserve our consideration and are still very much the political opposition. But Scaramucci is doing the exact opposite. In fact, to his very core, he is the antithesis of Trump.
Democrats are currently terrified about the state of the nation. How could we have gone from electing our first African American president to one that actively inspired racist murder of the streets of the nation? It is almost unfathomable and any explanation of economic anxiety is being heavily disputed in the light of more fundamental, deeper socio-economic patterns.
One of the ways that we can start to put an end to this nightmare is to demand better discourse at the top of our politics. A quick, but depressing reminder of the language Trump uses:
“I have black guys counting my money. … I hate it”
“Laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that.”
“He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?” (John McCain)
“Blood coming out of her wherever” (Megyn Kelly)
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists”
I could go on, but honestly I do not want to. Compare this to how Scaramucci talks, even when he is clearly riled.
“I’m not seeking absolution. I just want to be part of the solution.”
“ I thought wrong”
“It’s difficult and embarrassing to admit my errors in judgement, I believe I still have the ability to make amends.”
How many people in modern times exhibit, publicly, that level of self-reflection and demonstrate a willingness to be so open about their mistakes? Imagine the cultural heeling power that the country could experience if more senior officials behaved and spoke like that. Mooch is light years ahead of most, especially in the GOP.
It is therefore entirely wrong that we tar Scaramucci with the same brush that we rightly use to condemn Trump.
If you are still not convinced; if you can still not see past Mooch as, what one twitter user said ‘as phoney as a three dollar bill’, then how about this: The enemy of my enemy if my friend.
For three years Democrats have struggled to land effective shots on Trump. Sure, his polling hasn’t surpassed 50% but hey, he won in 2016 and the Republicans still control the Senate. There is all good likelihood he could win in 2020 again. In his own words, he could still probably go and shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and wouldn’t lose votes. It’s become too easy but too ineffective to point out the gross incompetence and hypocrisy at the heart of the Republican administration. There needs to be something else.
In the same way that a lot of people won’t listen to Scaramucci now because he is inherently a Republican and therefore the ‘bad guy’, many millions of Trump supporters are now immune to objective commentary from Democrats, independents, or even the media. A murderer has just gunned-down American citizens in cold blood after being inspired by the current President. If that’s not going to persuade Trump supporters to think again, then another Democrat whining on Twitter isn’t, is it?*
(*Yes, I am guilty of whining on Twitter myself. It’s cathartic)
Scaramucci is probably the most vocal anti-Trump convert there is at the moment. But crucially, he didn’t ever belong to the never-Trump movement and in fact, serving in the administration gives him more credibility to convince those who need an viable alternative. Bill Kristol described this as the ‘permission structure’ that only someone like Scaramucci could provide. Democrats might have to bite their tongues, or roll their eyes, but they need to use every resource they can. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Fundamentally I believe Democrats have a great duty to be in office. They need to be on the right side of history and the only way to do that is to win. It’s a view not everyone shares; certainty not everyone who voted for Trump, that’s for sure.
It is much more effective for Democrats to use their dogma previously reserved for Republicans writ large and focus it instead on anyone facilitating the Trump administration. Scaramucci no longer belongs to that group. Both principle and pragmatism dictate we should support him.