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Mon Jul 31, 2017, 12:32 PM

"Scaramucci's love interest, the president, was elected for his persona rather than his principles"



By George F. Will Opinion writer July 28

Furthermore, today’s president is doing invaluable damage to Americans’ infantilizing assumption that the presidency magically envelops its occupant with a nimbus of seriousness. After the president went to West Virginia to harangue some (probably mystified) Boy Scouts about his magnificence and persecutions, he confessed to Ohioans that Lincoln, but only Lincoln, was more “presidential” than he. So much for the austere and reticent first president who, when the office was soft wax, tried to fashion a style of dignity compatible with republican simplicity.

Fastidious people who worry that the president’s West Virginia and Ohio performances — the alpha male as crybaby — diminished the presidency are missing the point, which is: For now, worse is better. Diminution drains this office of the sacerdotal pomposities that have encrusted it. There will be 42 more months of this president’s increasingly hilarious-beyond-satire apotheosis of himself, leavened by his incessant whining about his tribulations (“What dunce saddled me with this silly attorney general who takes my policy expostulations seriously?”). This protracted learning experience, which the public chose to have and which should not be truncated, might whet the public’s appetite for an adult president confident enough to wince at, and disdain, the adoration of his most comically groveling hirelings.

Speaking of Scaramucci, and in his defense: His love interest, the president, was elected for his persona rather than his principles. Hence there is a vacuum at the center of the person who is at the center of the country’s absurdly president-centric conception of government. Therefore, loyalty inevitably manifests itself as sycophancy. Nevertheless, the smitten Scaramucci is himself evidence of something encouraging: Upward social aspiration is still as American as Jay Gatsby.

When plighting his troth to Trump, Scaramucci repeatedly confessed his “love” for his employer, thereby exceeding Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comparatively pallid testimonial to the president’s “superhuman” health. Scaramucci grew up in Port Washington, the Long Island community that is East Egg in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Gatsby lived in West Egg, yearning to live across the water, where shone the beckoning green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. Scaramucci’s ascent to a glory surpassing even that available in East Egg shows that the light on the lectern in the White House press room is, at last, something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-something-the-nation-did-not-know-it-needed/2017/07/28/8dc09ae0-7302-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.d2711b68ec29&tid=a_inl

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