The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: We Were Just Getting Used to Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci at Long Island MacArthur Airport on Saturday.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

On Monday, conservatives traded jokes about the sudden firing of new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci:

“Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends,” Hot Air’s Allahpundit wrote. The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastiach noted that Scaramucci had been fired technically before he had even officially joined the White House staff.

At the Federalist, David Harsanyi writes that the drama could actually be good news for Trump: “If you’re a Trump fan, and you’re looking for the bright side of all of this, you could be somewhat heartened that Kelly didn’t let the problem fester.”

Monday morning, hours before Scaramucci’s firing, fellow Federalist writer David Marcus contributed a lengthy post, now amusing in hindsight, titled “Why Anthony Scaramucci Is The Man Trump and America Need”:

Any normal White House communications team would be working overtime to mitigate the president’s remarks. Thus far, Scaramucci’s team is doing no such thing. Why not? Because it is what the president actually believes, for better or worse. And in an environment where our nation’s police are under constant attack for brutality—some real, some imagined—it’s a message that plays with a law and order base.

At the end of the day, it’s better that we know what the president genuinely feels about such issues, not what his comms team thinks is the best message. This is because the president will not follow his comms team’s advice and is going to cut his own path. Let’s hear Trump out, let’s have his ideas and policies displayed in all their glory and not let career handlers try to massage the message. The communications director is the mouth of the president. In his colorful way, Scaramucci is not just the Mooch, he’s the mouth, and it sounds very much like Trump’s.

In other news:

Conservatives debated a tweet from President Trump asking members of Congress and insurance companies to share the pain of Obamacare.

“Trump had previously threatened to end what he called ‘bailouts’ for insurance companies and Congress after the failing of the GOP-led Senate to pass either a healthcare reform bill, a flat-out Obamacare repeal, or a so-called ‘skinny repeal’ of Obamacare,” Breitbart’s Adam Shaw wrote.

At the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro argued that punishing insurance companies will inevitably wind up hurting the insured:

Now, forcing Congress to purchase insurance through the Obamacare exchanges isn’t a bad idea – it at least forces our representatives to live with the system they’ve created. But the notion that the president should aim at “hurting the insurance companies” is foolish: there is no way to “hurt” the insurance companies without also hurting those they provide insurance. The only factor keeping insurance prices within reason is the subsidies provided by the government; thanks to Obamacare’s regulations, the costs for coverage have skyrocketed, which is why so many insurance companies have dropped out of the Obamacare exchanges altogether even with the subsidies.

If Trump’s plan is to allow Obamacare to collapse by removing its subsidies, he shouldn’t be spilling that publicly. That’s just rotten politics. When President Obama attempted to pressure Congress into ending the government shutdown in 2013, he closed open air war memorials and national parks – superfluous measures designed to increase the pain of the American people. But he didn’t announce that’s what he was doing.

At National Review, Josh Blackman agreed with Trump’s previous characterization of federal payments to insurance companies under Obamacare as “bailouts”:

The ACA employed two strategies to make health insurance more affordable. Section 1401 of the law provides for the payment of subsidies to consumers to reduce premiums. Section 1402 provides payments to insurers to offset certain “cost sharing” fees, such as deductibles and co-pays.

But while the ACA funds the subsidies under Section 1401 with a permanent appropriation, to date, Congress has not provided an annual appropriation for the cost-sharing subsidies under Section 1402. Once again, where Congress would not act, President Obama did so unilaterally. The executive branch pretended that the ACA had actually funded Section 1402 all along, and it paid billions of dollars to insurers. Once again, Mr. Trump is exactly right that this is a “BAILOUT.” And, once again, the payments are a violation of the separation of powers.

On Fox & Friends, Rep. Ron DeSantis agreed with the implication of Trump’s tweet that federal subsidies for the coverage of members of Congress under Obamacare should be eliminated. “The president would be absolutely within his rights to cancel the Obama rule that conferred this subsidy on Congress,” he said. “Other Americans who are in these exchanges are not getting employer subsidies.”