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The cautionary tale of The Mooch reminds us we're not so bad
by Dan Brawner Columnist · August 10th, 2017

Let us raise our glasses to outgoing White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. By the end of his short tenure, The Mooch had thrown himself onto the funeral pyre of history, sacrificing what appeared to be a promising career to show us that, no matter what we've seen lately, it doesn't pay to be a jerk.

In 10 short days, The Mooch went from being the most talked about celebrity in Washington to a late-night comedy show punch line, divorced from his wife of three years and fired from his job, escorted by security from the White House in disgrace. He is now even listed in the new Harvard Law School alumni directory as "deceased" (although this appears to be an exaggeration). Scaramucci's fall from grace was precipitous even by Washington standards. Green bananas don't go bad that fast.

The Mooch looked like a guy who had it all. He is movie-star handsome, Harvard educated, fabulously rich from his days with Goldman Sachs as an investment banker, with a beautiful wife and the personal friend of the President of the United States. He was poised to make his mark in history. But then he opened his mouth.

Setting aside the disastrous New Yorker interview in which the communications director blurted out a string of angry obscenities directed at Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, astonishingly assuming it would be off the record, Scaramucci seemed actually proud of being a jerk. He made a point of referring to himself as "The Mooch" - like that was a good thing. A dictionary definition of "mooch" is a beggar or scrounger (his own wife calls him "a grifter"). As a verb, "to mooch" is to ask for or obtain something without paying for it, to beg or to loiter in a bored or listless manner. Not your typical red-blooded American values. On Fox News Wednesday, The Mooch complained about people in Washington, D.C., saying, "They're very nice to your face and then they take a shiv or a machete and stab you in the back. I'm a Wall Street guy. I'm more of a front-stabbing person."

And speaking of The Mooch's wife, she became so disgusted with him that she filed for divorce when she was eight months pregnant. The day their son was born, instead of being by her side, The Mooch was with Trump at the Boy Scout jamboree, listening to the president deliver smarmy anecdotes to adolescent boys. But it's not like he forgot all about her. By way of congratulations, The Mooch sent his wife a text message that read, "I'll pray for our child." What an old sweetheart!

The Mooch was eager to become Trump's hatchet man, saying, "I want to (expletive) kill all the leakers!" Scaramucci had already threatened Trump's chief of staff, his chief strategist and his entire communications team, and he was not even slated to officially begin his job until Aug. 15. Remarkably, it still took five days after the New Yorker article before Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that President Trump considered The Mooch's vulgar tirade to be "inappropriate."

So let's all blow a smooch to the departing Mr. Mooch. Maybe he never got to show us what he could do as communications director. But he allowed us to look at ourselves in the mirror and rejoice that at least we're not like him.
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