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Scaramucci's out! Another one bounced from the White House clown car

  • Anthony Scaramucci's days were numbered as White House communications chief from his first blown kiss.
  • If new Chief of Staff John Kelly was to do his job, job one was to whack the Mooch.
  • The Mooch learned the hard way that there can only be one star in this White House and that star is Trump.

In the 1980s I was a twenty-something aide in the Reagan White House Communications Office and one of the first things I was told was that the communications department must, by its nature, maintain a "passion for anonymity." Whatever youthful egos we may have had, it was made abundantly clear that even Reagan's top aides were servants. "You want to be a rock star, start a band," one of my bosses said in a staff meeting. He made it clear that wasn't going to happen while we were working at the White House.

Anthony Scaramucci was doomed from his first blown kiss — a guy who has watched "The Godfather" films a few too many times and actually believed Mario Puzo's shtick works in this crumbling southern town. In the movie, Michael Corleone wipes out the heads of the five rival families and, amazingly, nobody shoots back. In Washington – in real life -- people strike back, but they use long knives, not guns.

"[I]f Kelly was to do his job, job one was to whack the Mooch."

This town has been replete with wise guys who ride into town, shoot their cuffs, and say "Let me show you idiots how it's done." Bada bing bada boom!

Scaramucci's attitude collided with two forces that made his fiasco vortex spin even faster. One was a new Chief of Staff Marine General John Kelly who almost surely found the Mooch as adorable as would a Supreme Court Justice being deftly slipped a Benjamin by the Mooch to "do the right thing" on an upcoming decision. No, if Kelly was to do his job, job one was to whack the Mooch.

Factor number two is that there can be only one star of our reality show that is the Trump presidency. Trump is a president so destitute of humility that even he could foresee that an advisor encroaching on his Twitter following was going to be a stone in his shoe, especially when you factor in the Mooch's pornographic briefing to the press last week not to mention what appears to be an operatic personal and business career. Only one showboat per White House, pally.

The problem, of course, will continue to be Trump himself, not his abused staff who are, nevertheless, adults with their own free will. How long can this go on? As one character in Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" cried to the other "I can't go on like this." The response: "That's what you think."

In the meantime, the sounds of long knives being sharpened are echoing through the swamps of the Beltway.

Commentary by Eric Dezenhall, CEO of Dezenhall Resources, a crisis-management firm in Washington, DC. He was an aide in the Reagan White House Communications Office and is also the author of "Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal." Follow him on Twitter @EricDezenhall.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

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