Taking front and center in the media today is a continuation of the Steve Bannon story. The media is trying to determine what Steve Bannon is doing vis a vis the most current flair up of Bannon statements, trashing the family of Donald Trump and claiming that actions where Don Jr met with Russians in Trump Tower were “treasonous”.
Since the story first broke quoting from the book about the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, President Trump has responded by claiming Bannon “had lost his mind”. Additionally, the Trump attorneys sent a Cease and Desist Letter to Bannon demanding the offending statements be stopped and retracted.
Bannon has since responded claiming he still supported Trump, but did not address his comments otherwise, leaving people to believe that Bannon did utter those words.
Now the world asks, “What is up with Steve Bannon?”
What are Bannon’s motives?
Since the death of Andrew Breitbart in 2011, Steve Bannon has tried to assume the mantle of leadership vacated by his death. Bannon has sought to take over the Far Right faction of the Republican Party, and lead them to party leadership.
As a part of this strategy, Bannon has declared war upon the Republican Party leadership, and most elected Republican office holders in DC as well as state governors. He looks at those up for reelection and reviews their voting history and positions. If they do not meet his approval, he wants to field candidates that meet his standards, though these candidates will not be likely to win.
In Alabama, Judge Roy Moore was the chosen candidate of Bannon to implement this strategy. In a special election to determine who would fill the Jeff Session’s seat, Bannon pushed Moore in a heavily Republican state because Moore met his criteria. The end result was as expected, Moore lost because he was not a good candidate. People did not come out to support him. (Let the excuses flow now about how McConnell did him in.)
As a result of Bannon’s “strategy”, the Senate Reps lost a seat and now only a 51-49 advantage. And that may turn to a minority position after the 2018 election.
Bannon also appears to have a lust for being President. Last November, Bannon commented to major donors that Rebekah Mercer and the Mercer family would support a Bannon run for the Presidency. He lost Mercer support with that comment. The Mercer’s would not support him running for the Presidency.
Stepping back and looking at Bannon objectively, the only way that Bannon could be President would be either having his “troops” take control of the party, or else destroying the party.
What was the purpose of the Bannon attacks on the Trump family?
For Bannon to mount a successful Presidential run, he must seriously damage President Trump and at the same time, he must increase the support he currently has. Bannon appears to have chosen the Trump children as the medium to start the war against Trump.
First, Bannon was well aware of many Trump supporters dissatisfaction with Ivanka and her husband. Comments of “we didn’t vote for them” are everywhere. So Bannon could “burnish” his credentials and his support with an attack on Jarod and Ivanka.
As well, it was Ivanka, Jarod and Don Jr who were the ones who pushed the President into firing Bannon. They were tired of his duplicitous “honey-badger” ways and his backstabbing methods, so firing was a given.
Bannon was obviously pissed that he had lost influence, prestige and credibility, so he went after the Trump kids for the purpose of revenge also.
Trump is like any father. Attack his children and he is going to respond. So when Bannon attacked Don Jr and Ivanka, Trump responded as it was expected that he would do. He hit back, and hard.
Bannon, having been in a “heady” position throughout his years at Breitbart and then with the campaign, and later in the White House, had grown overly large in his mind. He felt that he could wrestle control of the Republican Party from the current leadership and could lead a resurgent Far Right resurrection.
Bannon also felt that he could attack President Trump through his children, but in his haste, he forgot a major element.
If you are going to usurp a King, better be sure that he dies.
(Figuratively speaking only)
President Trump’s response to Bannon essentially cut him off at the knees and neutered him. Now Bannon has lost most of his influence.
Further for Bannon, he may:
- Be forced out at Breitbart, per a Drudge tweet.
- Kelli Ward, the AZ candidate to take Senator Flake’s place has issued a statement downplaying Bannon’s endorsement of her. (Hat tip to Bizchuck.)
- Other candidates in different races are emulating Kelli Ward and stepping back from Bannon’s endorsement.
- Senator Heller of Nevada attacking Bannon for his war on Republicans.
So far, only one Bannon backed candidate has come out fully supportive of him, Tarkanian, who is trying to primary Heller, and who would likely lose in the General Election.
Bannon confused Trump supporters as his own. Now, all he has left is most of the 15% of the Far Right conservatives of the party, those who want to also destroy the GOP.
Bannon is now nothing more than a burnt and smoking hulk of nothing.