The Mooch is gone and not a moment too soon.
Normally I write about when politics and sports intersect, and this week I had intended to opine about the cultural rot in evidence from the prefight trash talking between Conor McGregor and boxer Floyd Mayweather. Call me prudish, but I think their public discourse is a disgrace and deserves more backlash than it has gotten.
Only McGregor and Mayweather proved to be pure amateurs in the rudeness game compared to the White House’s newly minted, and now dethroned Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci (insert your own joke of how ironic that job title is). If you thought the fight game is dirty, it has nothing on Washington, D.C. politics. Between both, it makes you sit back and wonder what ever happened to simple decency.
To compare and contrast communications gone bad, let’s start with boxing.
Right now, the most talked about sporting event in the world is a fight this August between mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor and boxer Floyd Mayweather. A series of prefight press conferences to promote the bout turned into nothing more than a succession of foul-mouthed diatribes tinged with purposefully racially charged language. In between four-letter word screeds, McGregor called Mayweather, who is black, a “Juice head monkey,” asking Mayweather to “dance for me, boy,” and McGregor was most likely referring to black people when he said “dancing monkeys” during a discussion of Rocky III.
If at this point you’re feeling sorry for Mayweather, don’t waste your pity. He gives as good as he gets, and has had plenty of his own foul-mouthed rants, including talking disparagingly about his opponent’s ethnicity and has called Conor McGregor a faggot. Fitting with our times, both fighters have extended the crudeness to all the various social media sites you can imagine.
When it comes to trash talking, Anthony Scaramucci pushes it to a new low, far lower than where McGregor and Mayweather went. I am of course referring to the now infamous conversation Scaramucci had with reporter Ryan Lizza from the New Yorker. I’m not sure what was more classless, the utter disrespect he showed his then co-workers or the utter disrespect he showed to the American people as in his position at the White House he was representing America.
If somehow you missed it, on Reince Priebus the then Chief of Staff, who has either since quit or been fired depending on your source, Scaramucci said, “Reince is a (expletive) paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” Of Steven Bannon, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own (expletive),” Scaramucci said. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the (expletive) strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
Please don’t defend him to me by saying he thought he was talking off the record. Even a 12-year-old knows anything told to the New Yorker that could paint Trump and/or Republicans in a bad light will be printed faster than Usain Bolt can run one of his famous dashes.
Look, I’m no prude or the language police, and how ever Anthony Scaramucci or anyone else for that matter wants to speak in their private life is their own business. But this was an on-the-record conversation he had as the White House Communications Director, and for Scaramucci to use this type of language so flippantly and without regard to basic decency is just a plain embarrassment to our country.
Listening to what Mayweather, McGregor and Scaramucci had to say on the record makes one ask, do we have any standards for conduct left anymore? How much lower as a society can we sink?
President Trump’s new Chief of Staff is a former 4-star general by the name of John Kelly. Upon taking office Kelly, in a respectable manner, thanked his predecessor Reince Priebus for his service to the country and then showed Mooch the door.
This is exactly the kind of dignity, professionalism and conduct both the White House and this country needs, and, coincidentally, Kelly knows more about real fighting than McGregor and Mayweather combined. Let’s hope Kelly’s presence in the White House is a positive step.
With a Republican House, Senate and White House we have a historic opportunity to make positive changes, both in Washington and throughout the country. The changes need not only to be legislative but cultural as well. If we can’t do it now, it may never get done.