Republicans have accepted President Trump’s douchebaggery for so long that they cannot longer tell the difference between decency and immorality, or between lawful and criminal. As a result, the GOP has become the POD (party of douchebags).
And it appears that only a miracle can remove the mobsters that have taken control of the party because Republican voters simply don’t care about their fraudulent shenanigans.
The president and his foul-mouthed communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, are elite members of that particular species.
Trump’s scandal-ridden administration already has more than its share of troubles, with the Russia collusion investigation escalating, the president feuding with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the Republican discord over Obamacare repeal (RIP, for now).
Only a douchebag hires a douchebag in the midst of this turmoil. In most administrations, Scaramucci’s public badmouthing of his colleagues would be a major liability, likely a fireable offense. But Trump operates from a different set of rules—the same rules, it would seem, that Scaramucci operates from.
Scaramucci, the loudmouth financier known as “the Mooch” who joined the White House last week as communications director created his own drama by calling up New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza and insulting his White House colleagues in the crudest possible terms.
Scaramucci called Reince Priebus “a f*cking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” and compared himself favorably to Trump’s chief strategist, saying, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c*ck. I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
Reading his rant, it is hard not to recall the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasts about sexually assaulting women: “You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.” Indeed, Scaramucci is a sort of mini-Trump: brash, hyper-masculine, bro-loyal, sexually crass, and street smart, perhaps, but not actually smart.
Which is to say, Trump and his new minion aren’t just colorful personalities, but members of a particular species: the New York douchebag.
He believes in his right to make loads of money without paying taxes. Usually white, he is belligerent, garrulous, ruthlessly competitive, and excessively confident in his persuasive abilities. He is also hypersensitive; the smallest perceived slight will trigger a full-scale defense of his pride. He demands to be respected at all times.
Trump is the quintessential New York douchebag, but to win the Republican nomination, he had to make peace with the Southern evangelical base of the GOP. Toward that end, Trump implausibly reinvented himself as a social conservative, giving powerful posts to Southern traditionalists like Jeff Sessions and religious conservatives like Mike Pence.
But Trump is clearly happiest in the company of his fellow tri-state douchebags. During the campaign, he spent a great deal of time around figures like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, two exemplars of the group.
With Scaramucci in the White House, Trump has a fellow douchebag he can commune with.
“With his brash outer-borough New York ethos and flair for showmanship, Scaramucci is perhaps more like Trump himself than anyone else on the White House staff,” Politico reported on Thursday.
As The New York Times noted, Scaramucci’s fiery first week, a brash, blustering performance that at times verged on self-parody, illustrates a deeper truth about the Trump White House: New Yorkers have taken over the West Wing and are turbocharging its culture.”
The Times on Friday cited a “long list of people from the New York metro area who occupy prime real estate near the president: Hope Hicks, Dan Scavino Jr., Keith Schiller, Kellyanne Conway, Gary D. Cohn, Dina Powell, Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Jason D. Greenblatt, Michael Anton, Josh Raffel—not to mention Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.”
The likes of Scaramucci are not invincible, but they have a much longer leash—so long as they know their role. For the New York douchebag is keenly aware of hierarchy, just like in a mob family. If he does get booted out of the White House, it won’t be for making crude comments about his coworkers. It’ll be for getting more press than the president, and he is doing just that.