Welcome To The Proctocracy

by Mark Sumner, Daily Kos

[Mark Sumner summarizes the week in politics and in the process coins a term that I intend to use every day whenever I reference this administration in casual conversation: The Proctocracy. Got a nice ring to it, and pointedly describes the smelly reality that has been infecting our environment since November 9th.]


The latest Friday dump wasn’t just news. It was Reince Priebus, who was literally left on the tarmac with neither a ride nor the keys to get his stuff back from his office. Priebus later tried to claim that he had quit before he was fired, but … it’s kind of unconvincing if you get in the car and ride out to the airport only to be booted. You just know that, in the other vehicle, Anthony Scarammuci was howling with laughter.

Scaramucci spent the week attacking Priebus and making an ass of himself to a truly astonishing degree. In just a couple of days, Mooch …

  • Claimed that Priebus had stolen a public disclosure form and given it to the media.
  • Threatened to fire his entire staff.
  • Threatened to kill his entire staff.
  • Threatened to sic the FBI on Priebus for a nonexistent “leak.”
  • Called up a reporter and delivered a foul-mouthed rant in which he attacked both Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon.
  • Admitted that he was tweeting threats for the express purpose of making Priebus angry.

At the end of that week. who was punished? Priebus. Because of course he was. This is a Proctocracy after all — government by, for, and of assholes.

There is something to be gained from this. At least Americans are getting a good look at what “business leaders” are like and how businesses are run. For decades, Americans have been fed a line of BS about how government is inefficient and corrupt while businesses are handled by enlightened leaders guided by the invisible-but-wise hand of the market.

Nope. This is what they’re like. Most businesses are Proctocracies in their purest form, run by the guys who bully, backstab, betray, undercut and cheat their way to the top. They’re exactly as wise as Scaramucci’s call to Ryan Lizza. Exactly as fairly run as Trump’s money-laundering casino.

Quiz time: One of these men worked at a young age in the wealth management division of a big investment firm, then went on to found a series of hedge funds before riding his sneer into America’s living rooms. Now, is that Anthony Scaramucci or ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli? It’s a trick. It’s both of them.

You can’t say Trump isn’t running the government like a business. This week full of infighting and failure? That’s exactly what business is like.

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