Alas, poor Mooch, we barely knew him
"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like its (sic) heaven on earth."
— Mark Twain, as told to Anthony Scaramucci.
It was a fall of biblical proportions.
Huge! Like, bigger than Jericho falling to Joshua.
"I said we were brothers," Scaramucci, the newly named White House communications director, said last week of his rivalry with Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff. "That's because we're rough on each other. Some brothers are like Cain and Abel."
Scaramucci's retelling of Genesis had a twist: It was a murder-suicide. Priebus's Abel was indeed slain by Scaramucci's Cain; the chief was ousted Friday. But Cain met the same fate Monday afternoon; his buffoonery, self-aggrandizement and foul mouth caused him to be sacked after just 10 days on the job. He wasn't officially supposed to start until Aug. 15, so his tenure, technically, was minus 16 days.
Much too soon, The Mooch is gone. As the Good Book says: What the &@%$#? Those &@%$# can go &@%$# themselves with a &@%$#.
Never was a man more devoted to a cause than the Mooch was to the Donald. He sold his business. He gave up his political beliefs. He apparently gave up his wife. He definitely surrendered his reputation and his dignity. All for President Trump, who thanked him by saying, "You're fired." Only hours after tweeting to the world: "No WH chaos!"
The Mooch's tenure was such a whirlwind that it's tempting to describe them as Ten Days That Changed the World. But the Mooch didn't really change anything. He just made everything wildly entertaining.
As word leaked on July 21 that Scaramucci had been given the communications job, press secretary Sean Spicer quit. Scaramucci immediately gave a televised news conference, blowing a kiss to the cameras and planting many kisses on the "wonderful human being" who is Trump.
So devoted was the Mooch to his patron that he tried, with all the subtlety of the Soviets, to airbrush his previous criticism of Trump — whom he'd called a "hack" and a "bully" — and Trump's beliefs. "Full transparency," the Mooch tweeted. "I'm deleting old tweets." And so, in the name of transparency, he tried to erase a past in which he thought well of Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, gun control, abortion rights, Islam and climate-change science.
But the Mooch let stand one of his best tweets: his false claim that Mark Twain had uttered the "dance like no one is watching" quotation, which actually had its origins in 1980s pop music. The parodies poured in:
Na na na na na na na nana Na na na na nana Gettin jiggy wit it. — Nelson Mandela
Love. Love will keep us together. Think of me, babe, whenever. — Jesus Christ
Nothing's gonna stop us, nothing's gonna stop us now. — Ernest Hemingway
Then there were the photos: The Mooch giving a thumb's up on Air Force One (en route to Youngstown, Ohio, where Trump would muse about his place on Mount Rushmore), and the Mooch with thumbs in his belt loops, facing off against Priebus in the Oval Office.
Wednesday night brought a tweet suggesting that Priebus was responsible for "the leak of my financial info which is a felony." Turns out the financial information was public record.
Thursday, the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reported on a phone call in which Scaramucci said top Trump strategist Stephen Bannon was trying to "(expletive) his own (expletive)," that Priebus was a (expletive) paranoid schizophrenic" who was trying to "(expletive)-block" rivals. He said he wanted to (expletive) kill all the leakers, who, he said, are "going to have to go (expletive) themselves."
On Friday, the New York Post reported that Scaramucci's second wife, in late-stage pregnancy, had filed for a divorce in early July. The report suggested her husband's involvement with Trump had something to do with it. She gave birth to a boy on Monday, but it took Scaramucci four days to meet his son.
Can the Mooch pick himself up after this fall? I believe he is Abel. As Mark Twain once said:
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramooch, Scaramooch, will you do the fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning — very very frightening me
Galileo, (Galileo), Galileo, (Galileo), Galileo Figaro.
— Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.