James Howard Kunstler: Scaramucci, won’t you do the fandango?
I know I’m not the first to point out how Anthony Scaramucci, President Trump’s brand new Communications Director, is suddenly and eerily carrying on like his namesake, the arch-rascal / buffoon of the Old World Commedia dell’Arte in lashing out at his fellow scamps and bozos in the clown school that the White House has become. Of course, these antics only reflect the astounding violent vulgarity of current US culture in general, especially as it recursively re-amplifies itself in the distorting echo chamber of TV. It’s how we roll nowadays — right up the collective butt-hole of history until some fateful event provokes a last frightful purging of our own bullshit.
Still, it was rather shocking to hear Scaramucci refer to White House Chief of Staff Rance Priebus as “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic” and Trump ultra-insider Steve Bannon as someone who “enjoys sucking his own cock.” It’s kind of like Paulie Walnuts of “The Sopranos” wandered into the West Wing of “Veep.” Somebody’s gonna get whacked, and it’ll be a laugh-riot when it happens.
We need a little comic relief in these midsummer horse latitudes of the mind as the ill-starred Trump Show appears to enter its ceremonial death dance. There’s also something satisfyingly Napoleonesque about Scaramucci. Here’s a guy who cuts through the odious blubber of US politics right to the bone of things with a flensing blade of profane righteousness.
Personally, I’d like to see him take some whacks at a few more deserving targets, and I can even imagine a somewhat farfetched scenario where the little guy shoves Trump out during a concocted national emergency and manages to declare himself First Citizen, or some such innovative title allowing him to run things for a while — say, until the generals toss him out a window.
Or maybe he’ll last less than a week in his current position. I would not be surprised, either, if Mr. Bannon beats little Mooch to death with an Oval Office fireplace poker right in front of the Golden Golem of Greatness himself.
The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine — in this case, inexorably toward the restorative medicine of the 25th amendment. There is, after all, that hoary old artifact called the national interest lurking somewhere offstage aside of all this colorful mummery, especially as the Russian Meddling gambit appears to be dribbling away to nothing.
It’s more than self-evident that poor Trump is in so far over his head that he’s come down with something like the bends, a debilitating systemic disorder rendering him unfit to execute the powers of office. Decades from now, they’ll say he had “the tweets.”
This is a melodrama of a type the world has seen before in a hundred royal palaces and other centers of mis-rule. The need to get rid of the head of state becomes so painfully self-evident that idle chatter about it ceases and all intention is signaled in mere eye-rolls, sighs, portentous glances, and other fraught devices of body language.
That’s what’s going on now in the senate, the agency executive suites, the terraces of Martha’s Vineyard, and surely the hallowed corridors of the White House itself. One way or another, the knives are coming out.
The most economical script would have Trump graciously “resign” and be allowed to return to his familiar money-grubbing activities in real estate, where he can really only do harm to his own bank accounts and family posterity.
Or, he could be dragged kicking and screaming from the premises, shall we say, and thrown to the bloodthirsty beasts of Deep State justice. That will not be pretty. Either outcome could provoke a lot of mischief “out there” among those who voted for him.
In any case, I doubt that the polity can take much more of Trump after Labor Day — and I say all this as one who was
never part of the so-called “Resistance.” I’m not even very much convinced that getting rid of Trump and installing his stand-in, Mike Pence, will leave the government any less dysfunctional. After all, the nation is riding a larger and scarier arc of history as the techno-industrial fiesta winds down, with all the awfully disruptive consequences that implies.
But at least there’s a chance that we might at least face this predicament seriously instead of feeling trapped in some sort of cosmic sitcom in an alternative universe of endless fucking nonsense.
(Originally appeared at Clusterfuck Nation.)