Gage Skidmore / Flickr stephen miller...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Last week Trump’s White House sent senior “policy” adviser Stephen Miller before the nation’s cameras to give a press briefing on the White House’s newest immigration “policy” theories. His answers were peppered with dog whistles and talking points promoted by white supremacists. It was a bizarre performance by the dead-eyed policy adviser of no particular qualifications, but his hostile demeanor and insult-laden responses appear to be exactly what Trump wants to see in front of the cameras.

And so all grow’d up Children of the Corn extra Stephen Miller finds himself on the list of potential Scaramucci successors, as Trump and team ponder whether to make him—and this is apparently a legitimate story and not an Onionesque satire—the new White House communications director.

Steve Bannon likes the idea of Miller for the job, and Miller was the hero of the West Wing after he attacked Acosta as a “cosmopolitan” for his views on immigration. […]When Miller finished that press briefing, his colleagues high-fived him, according to Sebastian Gorka, a national-security aide who’s a favorite of the president’s for his over-the-top TV hits.

As for Trump himself, we’ve long known that Trump views hostility towards the press as the only qualifier for positions on his “communications” team. He doesn’t care what you know or what the actual details of your job might be: He just wants to see you on television, berating a press enemy-of-the-day.

It’s difficult to know how to feel about this. The rodent-like Miller is, openly and transparently, a white nationalist. He is a racist. He has the the charisma of a gutted sea bass and the demeanor of a serial killer attempting to order socks from a 1-800 number. That Trump or any of Miller’s other White House allies would even fathom putting him in charge of White House talking points and policy announcements is both ridiculous and execrable; he has dedicated his tenure, both in the White House and in his previous position as Jeff Sessions crony, to elevating the arguments and policy demands of America’s various white nationalist groups.

On the other hand, there is no brighter lights than the ones in the White House press room, and having this angry hairless nutria be the one announcing this White House’s steady stream of white nationalist-inspired policies may do more than any White House critics to demonstrate just how odious the roots of those ideas are. We could expect multiple explanations, each week, tracing his podium pronouncements from prior incarnations in racist forums. We could expect reporters hearing his pronouncements to respond to his hostility In The Manner Appropriate For The Room, which means raking him over the coals both in briefings and immediately after.

If you’re going to have a White House elevating white nationalism into actual policy, it’s at least fortunate for the rest of us that they’re too ignorant and incompetent to even try to hide it.

In the end, however, there’s one very good reason we should hope against hope that wax figure turned real boy Stephen Miller gets the job: When it comes to keeping Trump’s favor, it’s the most dangerous staff position in the entire White House. The last guy couldn’t last even two weeks.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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