Trumpism Distilled

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci speaks to members of the media at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

If the facts of the situation are as they appear this morning, in his first days on the job, Anthony Scaramucci has managed to become a compressed, crystallized version of all the ridiculousness of Trumpism. He has gone to the unprecedented and almost unimaginable extremity of publicly accusing the White House Chief of Staff of a felony and demanding the FBI investigate him for that crime. While Scaramucci does not report to Reince Priebus (itself highly unusual), Priebus still at least nominally outranks him in the White House’s organizational hierarchy.

This swaggering move is classic, over-the-top Trumpite aggression and dominance games. And yet, it is even more signature Trump in the sense that Scaramucci seems to be screaming ‘felony’ over the public release of a document that is available on request to anyone who asks for it. What constitutes a ‘leak’, let alone a criminal leak, is often murky – usually on the facts and often on the law. Here there seems to be no ambiguity, just what amounts to the platonic ideal of a Homer Simpson “D’oh!” In other words, wild demonstrative aggression based on the most elementary kind of ignorance and misunderstanding – purified, high-grade, mainline-it-for-moments-of-ecstasy-before-you-die Trumpism.

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