“I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart. And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.” – Steve Bannon
Bannon is out.
This had been forecast for a couple weeks – and became a near certainty given his recent interview with American Prospect.
Reports indicate Bannon submitted his resignation two weeks ago – perhaps after realizing an inevitable ouster was forthcoming.
Democrats should not be cheering the move.
Bannon Unleashed is a formidable force to be reckoned with. He can almost certainly accomplish more outside the White House than from within.
In an interview with Bloomberg, he made this telling and direct statement:
“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.”
This evening, Bannon rejoined Breitbart News as its Executive Chairman and chaired the company’s evening editorial meeting.
Bannon, unfettered by White House constraints, will be free to pursue his agenda. He’s already been planning his next series of moves, given his recent strategy meeting with Trump mega-donor, Robert Mercer.
We had this early response from Joel Pollak, senior-editor-at-large for Breitbart:
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) August 18, 2017
A couple points of note:
Bannon was part of the Trump Team for almost exactly one year.
The New York Times – not Breitbart – broke the story of Bannon leaving.
Despite many past leaks – intentional or otherwise – Bannon’s resignation/ouster did not leak.
The real question is this. What will Bannon do next and whom will he target?
Democrats are certain to fall into his sights. Will Trump Administration members – Cohn, Kushner, McMaster or Kelly – find themselves in a similar position?
I believe – and hope – Bannon will continue to support President Trump. He has the ability to become a larger asset on the outside than he was from within – but the ultimate outcome is unknown.
My prediction is this:
Bannon will return with a vengeance, going after Democratic targets with gusto. He will continue to support President Trump but will feel free to criticize him whenever he perceives it’s right to do so. He will aggressively push against Globalists and more moderate Republicans – including Kushner, Cohn, et al. He will strive to push the Administration towards the Right. And he will harshly criticize Administration moderates when he feels they are moving in the wrong direction.
In short, Bannon will be Bannon.
Bannon’s interview with Prospect raised a few points:
China. “The economic war with China is everything.”
White Nationalism. “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element…we gotta help crush it. These guys are a collection of clowns.”
Democrats. “The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
I happen to agree with all three of these points.
China is our primary economic foe. Russia – with an energy-dependent economy a fraction the size of China’s – has already been constrained through our national energy resurgence. I’ve previously written on the power of economic leverage in foreign policy.
Bannon is right about White Nationalists as well. They are a “collection of clowns”. They are also not a very large group. Exposure is their worst enemy. Antifa, a national and loose-knit group of violent Marxists, has far greater membership. Their primary goal is to silence free speech. If you care about my opinion on them – and Charlottesville – you may find it here.
The Democratic Party is in utter disarray. Their organization in shambles. It doesn’t always appear this way, given Democrat’s control over the MSM. But it’s true. The more outlandish and strident Liberals and the media become, the more they are shunned by everyday Americans.
To the extent there is any unity within the Democratic Party, it seems to arise under Socialist principles – even Marxist ones. And that platform is not going to win elections.
I present to you Exhibit A.
A poll was released by NPR/PBS/Marist today. You can find the actual poll here. Articles by both PBS and NPR present the poll with the headline “Majority of Americans unhappy with Trump’s response to Charlottesville”.
Less heralded are the results of polling on the removal of Confederate statues.
62% of Americans believe the statues should remain. Only 27% think they should be removed.
Republican support for keeping the monuments is 86%. Independents are at 61% and Democrats at 44%.
These numbers understate actual support for Confederate statue retention as the poll specifically oversampled Democrats by 8 points.
Current Party Affiliation stands at Republicans 28%, Democrats 28% and Independents 41%. The poll used a sample comprised of Republicans 26%, Democrats 36% and Independents 37%.
Although you wouldn’t know it from the media, public support for retention of Confederate statues is more than double those who think the statues should be removed – even with the polling bias.
CNN stated their belief the terrorist van attack in Spain was a copycat strike inspired by the Charlottesville car attack.
Away from being outlandish and factually incorrect, this type of ideological narrative is repellent to most Americans. As infuriating as these stories are, the blatancy of the media misrepresentation is actually hurting Democrats. But they seem unable to see the strategic error.
Bannon is correct. If Democrats stay with this approach they will be crushed.
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