Politics

Seb Gorka Is a National Treasure

When in doubt, always go Full-Gorka.
February 6, 2019
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(Illustration by Hannah Yoest / photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“I asked Sebastian Gorka about his tweets; he told me to ‘go outside and lick a metal street lamp.’”

— Will Sommer, The Daily Beast

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Sebastian Gorka is a man of many distinctions. He was one of the first Breitbart alums to be tapped to serve a U.S. president. The first deputy assistant to a president to also be a fugitive from justice in a foreign county. And the only White House employee to ever be confused with an Olmec head.

In short: At some point in the medium-future, Donald Trump will be gone, the executive branch will return to something resembling normalcy, and people like Seb Gorka won’t be allowed within sniffing distance of political power. So we ought to appreciate him while we have him.

Few presidential advisors ever struggled with security clearance the way Gorka did. Shortly before he was fired, he had his clearance revoked while he was on vacation. And even now, two years after his departure, the fact of his clearance is being investigated by the Democrats.

The Hungarian Dragon came to Trump World offering himself as an academic and even though his credentials were somewhat . . . questionable . . . the vanity plates on his (four cylinder?) black Mustang—the poor man’s Darth Vader sports car—told you everything you needed to know about his tough-guy bona fides. And in case you wanted an extra helping of bona fides, there’s this Gorka-ism: “The era of the pajama boy is over and alpha males are back!” Because Lord knows, there’s nothing more alpha than talking about how alpha you are while sitting in a satellite cable studio talking into a camera.

Since his time in the White House, the Gorka has done what many terminated members of Trump World have done: Engaged in a humiliating struggle to cling to his small piece of the fame pie. And it’s a battle he’s mostly winning: His LinkedIn page proclaims that he’s a contributor to Fox News and the Heritage Foundation and has a show, “America First,” on the Salem Radio Network.

But it hasn’t been all green rooms and think tank splendor. He’s had to hustle with the base, too. He gave an amazing interview with a magazine called Recoil—tag line: “The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle”—in which he divulged all sorts of fascinating personal details that attest to the return of the alpha male. For instance: “As a kid I loved long-range prone position rifle shooting at Bisley in the U.K. Once a month, my dad and I would make the trip and shoot 7.62 bolt actions with iron aperture sights at 1,000 yards. I loved the delay between the ignition and the bullet hitting the butts.”

And he always carries with him a C-A-T tourniquet and “I can deploy it with one hand.”

Also:

Recoil: What do you do for fun?

Gorka: Once a month, I join my FFL for a night of full-auto shooting (Tommy guns, HK MP-5, HK-53, etc.). Rummage through the local comic book/used sci-fi bookstore. I grew up on Doctor Who, 2000AD, and Judge Dredd, and you never get that out of your bloodstream.

Gorka also decided to grab some #MeToo publicity by tweeting advice at Harvey Weinstein. And then there was the time he suggested Mike Flynn should be pardoned and given John Kelly’s old job as chief of staff. Because sometimes the only way to get your name in the headlines is going the Full Gorka. For instance, when the anonymous New York Times op-ed was roiling the media world, no one especially cared what Gorka thought. So he rushed in front of a camera to predict that “John Kelly will root out and “publicly humiliate” the author of the anonymous New York Times op-ed within days of its release.” To paraphrase Sun Tzu, The clever warrior knows that the accuracy of predictions matter not, so long as they get you on TV.

When he’s not on television—or bullying young reporters or getting chesty with journalists—Gorka still takes time to write. After all, you can be an intellectual and an alpha male. His latest is a book titled Why We Fight. Staying on-brand, Gorka held the book party at the Trump hotel in Washington where Mrs. Bill Shine began the evening by announcing, “I’m the racist and he’s the rapist!” (She was referring to her husband, White House advisor Bill Shine, not Gorka.)

But what has the Dragon been doing lately? If you guessed that he was dipping his toe into the boiling hellscape that is Qanon . . . you would be right!

Last week, Gorka started hinting at the conspiracy theory that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was weirdly absent from the world and maybe, kind-of, sort-of dead? He’s just asking questions!

The “Missing RBG” theory is a corollary to the massive Storm theory that the Qanon nuts have been obsessing over recently. Gorka was the first semi-respectable figure to play footsie with it.

Like so much else about Gorka—his “resignation,” his “doctorate,” his predictions, his alpha-bear status—this turned out to be cracked, too.

But just be warned: You may think that Sebastian Gorka is a ridiculous figure of fun. But some day the White House is going to be run by boring, semi-competent technocrats again. And you’ll miss him.

Molly Jong-Fast

Molly Jong-Fast is a contributor to The Bulwark and the author of three books. Follow her on Twitter @MollyJongFast.