Torments of the ‘Collective Scaramucci’

The recent notorious dismissal in Donald Trump’s administration is the dismissal of White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who did not hold his post for even two weeks. This dismissal, with all its tragicomedy, pointed out one of the main problems of the 45th U.S president. It can be defined as a lack of a tight-knit team, united by internal discipline, with the ability to work toward a common goal and have a clear understanding of where the country is going. The first sign was Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and then all hell broke loose. Leaks, testifying to the struggle of personal ambitions, mutual hostility and assertiveness at the expense of others, suggest that Scaramucci is not the last in the list of retirees. New dismissals are further down the road. It’s time to stock up on popcorn for the spectators who are watching this White House performance.

Scaramucci’s story is interesting not only because he had all the chances to leave his mark on American political history as a person who worked in his position for an unprecedented short amount of time. The career path of the former communications director, who, before joining the White House, managed to work as a financier, public activist and an expert, and who at first supported Democrat Barack Obama then switched to the camp of his Republican opponent Mitt Romney, shows that Scaramucci is a typical “here today, gone tomorrow” kind of person — a “specialist in all matters,” a meddler who has no backbone and whose beliefs constantly change depending on the environment. Today Trump’s administration consists of such random people. It is a conglomerate of employees, which can be called the “collective Scaramucci.”

Why did it happen this way? The deal is not that a person new to big politics came to the White House and forced everyone to start from scratch. Basically, Trump’s two predecessors — George W. Bush and Barack Obama — were also newcomers according to Washington standards. George W. Bush was the representative of the Bush clan, who after moving to the capital from Texas, tried to position himself as a president who wanted to change the hated Washington political culture — the personification of which, for him, was Bill Clinton. Obama came to replace Bush; a senator from Illinois who did not have much political experience, and who also tried to play the card that U.S. leadership needed new faces, fresh blood.

However, neither George W. Bush nor Obama fully broke ties with the political party establishment. The backbones of their teams consisted of professionals with significant managerial and political experience, and they were surrounded by groups of like-minded people. George W. Bush had Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld; Obama had John Kerry and Joseph Biden. The very same Kerry who, before joining the U.S. Department of State, not only managed to run for president but was officially nominated by the Democratic Party for the presidency in the 2004 elections. There are no such supporting figures who are capable of taking over the game without violating team discipline in Trump’s surroundings. His team was created on the principle that every little bit helps (relatives, friends, confidants, sponsors of his campaign). Even the presence of such figures as Vice President Mike Pence does not save the situation.

Thus, new dismissals that will further shake the White House are inevitable. And the president himself, with such a retinue, more and more resembles the very king about whom people say, “The emperor has no clothes.”*

*Translator’s Note: This saying is from “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a short tale, written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent.

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