Tony the Moocher

Why Anthony Scaramucci was the most skillful employee of the current administration

Success is subjective. That’s because it’s determined by what someone wants to accomplish. For me, getting up and walking across the room is a routine task. For a paraplegic, this simple act is a huge triumph. That is why when evaluating the effectiveness of anything, we should consider not only our perspective, but the perspective of all stakeholders.

That brings us to Anthony Scarimuchi, the former White House Communications Director who lasted only 10 days before he was fired. Logic dictates that being hired and fired within a ten day span would be considered a failed tenure. But as we know, what may seem like a failure for us might be a success for others. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, when the two men want opposite things.

We already know that the game plan for this White House is to “drain the swamp” by replacing the “Washington establishment” with Trump’s family, friends and business associates. We also know that the administration uses sensational stories to distract the public from noticing unpopular policy changes being done out of sight. When you look at the goals of the Trump administration and the events of Scaramucci’s ten  days, it’s easy to make the argument that his tenure was a resounding success.

“Draining” the Republican establishment

Trump is not a Republican. Before he decided to run for President he supported candidates on both sides of the aisle, including Hilary Clinton. He supported any politician that would benefit his company. Now as President, he now has the ability to put his fellow businessmen in positions of power to further benefit his holdings. To achieve that end, he vowed to “drain the swap” by removing as many of the “Washington establishment” figures from positions of power as possible. By “Washington establishment,” I’m referring to both Democrats and Republicans who are familiar with inside the beltway politics.

Six months into Trump’s presidency, the three most widely recognized members of the “swamp” left in the White House were Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer had worked on communications for the Republican Party since 2000 and Priebus was the Chair of the Republican National committee before accepting the job of Trump’s Chief of Staff. You couldn’t get more establishment than these two guys. As was to be expected, these two were not in good graces at the White House. They were on the wrong side of an internal divide that often left them opposing Trump’s ideas.

So in comes Scaramucci and what happens? The day he’s announced as the new Communications Director, Sean Spicer resigns from his position. A week later Reince Priebus is replaced with someone with no political management experience (Yes, General Kelly does have military leadership experience but running the White House is not like running the Army.) In his ten short days, Scaramucci was able to drain two of the biggest clogs that were flooding the swamp. GREAT SUCCESS!!!

Theatricality and Deception

In the Trump White House, public outcry has become a daily occurrence. Whether it’s something Trump tweeted, said in a speech, or an executive order, the administration has figured out that if you can enrage the public with the right hand, you can grant yourself cover to do whatever you want with the left hand. In the ten days Scaramucci was in office, there were three major stories involving him that took up considerable airtime on the political and late night shows. Two of them were ones I mentioned earlier, the resignations of Priebus and Spicer. The third on was one of the most daring media smokescreens of all time.

Determined to stop leaks from coming out the White House (and, as we found out later, to put pressure on Priebus to expedite his departure) Scaramucci called up New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza and said the following statements COMPLETELY ON RECORD!!!!

  • “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac”
  • “I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go fuck themselves.”
  • “What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers”
  • “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock”

Let me repeat. Everything that he, the White House Communications Director, said was ON THE RECORD.

Note that this call was made Wednesday night which meant that the article detailing this call was published on Thursday. Why is this important? Earlier I said that the Trump administration used purposefully inflammatory actions to distract the public while they are trying to sneak political changes under the radar. At 1:30 AM on Friday, a couple hours after the story broke, the bill to repeal Obamacare narrowly avoided passing. Most of America didn’t know that vote was coming up. I wonder why? Scaramucci strikes again.

Lowering the bar like it’s limbo

Finally, the hiring and firing of Scaramucci continued the lowering of the bar for public service in the Trump administration. Since August of 2015, Trump and his team have been so unprofessional that attributes usually expected from world leaders have been turned into praises and complements for Trump. During speeches where he simply reads exactly what is written for him, TV pundits from CNN to FOX will comment on how he seemed so “Presidential.” How is being presidential a complement for the President?

With Scaramucci, the bar isn’t quite at rock bottom but it’s really close. The next Communication Director’s expectations is now set at, don’t get fired before the end of your first pay period. Don’t have an on-the-record profanity laced tirade that gets published by the media. And finally, don’t be so unbearable that your make your fellow employees resign after working with you for less than a week.

Scaramucci hiring is one in a continual line of unqualified people he has put in positions of power. Just look at who he had previously nominated to serve in his administration. First it was Rick Perry who wanted to get rid of the Department of Energy, the agency he now runs. Then it was Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency who currently has lawsuits against the work the EPA is supposed to do. Then there was Betty DeVos , head of Education who has never worked in a school. Finally, there are Ivanka Trump and Jared Kuschner, who are lead advisers even though they’ve never worked in politics or policy.

At least all of those people are tactful enough you not got on record with damning statements. Scaramucci has now lowered the expectations of a Trump administration employee to, “just don’t put us into a position where we have to fire you immediately.”  I guess it’s good to have the bar lowered when half your staff is under investigation for colluding with Russia.

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The field of Economics is built on the idea that we need perfect information to make decisions. Perfect information is when the all sides in a transaction have the same, complete knowledge of a product. This allows them to make the decision that is most beneficial for everyone, aka the most rational decision. If one side knows more than the other, that is when seemingly irrational decisions are made. I believe that this type of thinking also applies to the Scaramucci situation.

To the general public, it seems like the short tenure of Anthony Scaramucci was a tremendous failer. Maybe but based on what we’ve seen from the administration so far, I think the Mooch accomplished exactly what he was supposed to accomplish in his 240 hours at the White House. I’m not saying that everything is perfect in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but a lot of things that were beneficial to the President happened under Scaramucci’s watch.

So when you hear stories that the Mooch’s firing is the beginning of the end, don’t drink the Kool-Aid …or whatever Steve Bannon is sipping on.

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