Updated: The Mooch: More of a Front-Stabber

Update: Well.  Wish this had happened before I had the urge to put these thoughts to virtual paper.  And he was off to such a nice start. Sheesh.  --ed.

I'm not under the illusion that Anthony Scaramucci is anything but a conventional thinker on most issues, but so far I really enjoy him in his new White House Communications Director role. He's funny, and he seems candid in that when he doesn't want to answer a question he'll just tell you that and not stonewall.

More importantly, he seems to bring to the job a couple of things the President desperately needs: a guy who understands him and and a guy who will defend him, wholeheartedly, and not with the sense of doing so against better judgment or perhaps holding his nose.

Without defending every tweet President Trump has ever sent, his tweeting doesn't trouble me. It's his way of going over the media's head, which needs to be done, and it's his way of taking their smug superiority down a peg, which equally needs to be done when we have a press that thinks it, and not the sovereign people, rules. ("When you mock the student government president, you undo him," as the late Tony Snow said.)

What I criticize the President for, communications-wise, is that, like President Bush, he hasn't bothered much to defend himself (apart from tweets) --hasn't even seemed to try to coordinate messaging with his own team; and, like President Obama, he seems to have an oversized sense of the power of his own rhetoric -- as if saying stuff makes it so. (To wit, yesterday's tweet about banning trans-gender people from the military. Wake me when you find an actual policy and not just a tweet.)

Understanding the President.  In one of his first tv appearances in his new role, responding to Chris Wallace's question about his past criticism of Trump, I loved "the Mooch's" answer both because it was funny and because I think it was an effective translation of Trump for people who find him too abrasive. Watch for two minutes beginning at about 13:20 to 16, including the part about how the President teases him all the time about his past criticism. It's amusing, but it's also revealing of the difference between political insiders and the outsider who currently holds the presidency.

To make the point more succinctly, this morning we read this:
“What I don’t like about Washington is people do not let you know how they feel,” he said. “They’re very nice to your face and then they take a shiv or a machete and they stab it in your back. I don’t like it. I’m a Wall Street guy, and I’m more of a front-stabbing person, and I’d rather tell people directly how I feel about them than this sort of nonsense.”

More of a front-stabber. I can hear him saying it and find it hilarious. I also think it's a brilliant assessment of the difference between Trump and official Washington. 

Getting back to the tweets that make us all roll our eyes about what a goob this guy is. I don't think it's seemly for a President, or anyone, to be coarse. I cringe at "bleeding from her facelift," and wish he'd chosen a more gentlemanly way to mock in that instance. But the smug elites do have to be mocked to break the power of political correctness and show that they can be stood up to.  And if you ask me which is worse: to be called ugly or fat or stupid or to be called a bigot, a warrior against women, and a killer of the elderly and the sick (people will die!), I find Trump's style of insult more honest, and more in the spirit of a fair fight than the vicious, character-maligning rhetoric of the Left I have endured all my life and has only gotten more and more shrill.  The former just tells you the guy is annoyed with you at the moment; the latter is an effort to ruin you utterly, driving you from polite society. Which is more corrosive of civic life? 

(It does, however, remind me of this:)