On Friday evening, during our joint appearance on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that he stood by President Trump despite his flaws — because Scaramucci loves his country. He also warned Democrats that his bosom buddy could win re-election in a 40-state landslide.
By Sunday afternoon, Scaramucci was calling for a new candidate to top the 2020 Republican ticket.
"Bullying is very anti-American," he told Bloomberg News. "People are embarrassed now."
So what happened in the intervening, oh, 36 hours?
Presumably, Scaramucci still loves his country. There was also no detectable change in Trump's "embarrassing" and "bullying" behavior. The racism, xenophobia, grifting, misogyny, narcissism, flattery of dictators, trade wars or any of the other things endangering the lives and livelihoods of Americans: All that long pre-dated Friday's panel.
Most of it by several decades, in fact.
As I noted during our discussion with Maher, Trump's documented bigotry goes back at least to the 1970s, when he got in trouble with the Nixon administration for refusing to rent to black tenants. Do you know how racist you need to be to be considered too racist by the Nixon administration?
Here's my theory of what broke the camel's back: Trump watched the show.
Trump tweeted that he tuned in "by accident." He must have seen Scaramucci defending his former boss not by denying Trump's racism but rather by deflecting the charge, pivoting to a talking point that Trump has "the toughest job in the world."
And then — as he does with everyone who exhibits even the gentlest, mildest dissent — Trump turned on Scaramucci in a series of mean tweets. As one op-ed columnist put it, completely unironically: "By trolling Anthony Scaramucci, Trump has crossed a line." Finally, someone speaks for all those single-issue Scaramucci voters out there.
It's tempting to see Scaramucci as a sort of cautionary tale, one that should be heeded by all Republicans still willing to debase themselves for Trump — whether for "love of country" or plain old tax cuts.
On the other hand, it's frustrating that Scaramucci and other Trump surrogates haven't yet learned this lesson from all the other cautionary prequels, including those starring Michael Cohen, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Paul Ryan and other allies, aides and surrogates similarly, summarily humiliated.
For a guy who claims to care about infrastructure, Trump loves burning bridges.
Maybe this falling out — and the subsequent Scaramucci evolution — was inevitable. Welcome to the Resistance, Mooch. Better late than never.
Catherine Rampell's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @crampell.