Saturday, August 19, 2017

Don't Be Distracted By Bannon's Firing

The news that Steve Bannon has been fired by Donald Trump is being heralded by pundits and the media as a major turning point for a White House that has been in a constant state of chaos since January 20. Bannon's alt-right influence, we're told, was a cancer on the presidency and was undermining what little chance Trump has of being an effective leader. With him out of the way, some semblance of order will be restored and the administration can get on with passing its agenda.

Forgive me while I choke on my bile, but I seem to recall the same sentiment being expressed when people like Mike Flynn, Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci were shown the door. All three were distractions that had to go. The hiring of John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff, they say, all but sealed Bannon's fate. The theory goes that Kelly wanted him out so out he went.

Not to throw cold water on the pundits and the media, but what's the big deal here? Yes, Bannon was a cancer on the presidency, but no more or less than some of the other characters in Trump's cabinet. Let's not forget that, as of now, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka are still gainfully employed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They might not have the resume of a Steve Bannon, but they are every bit as loathsome.

Miller, you'll recall, was the runt who went on all the cable news shows and said that Trump's decisions would not be challenged, even after the Muslim ban was stayed by a federal district court. And Gorka has been doing his best impersonation of Dr. Strangelove over the whole North Korean crisis. If both these men had their way, everyone who disagreed with Trump's policies would either be locked up or dead from nuclear fallout.

It's also important to remember that while it's true that Bannon played a role in helping Trump get elected, by no means was it a major one. Let's not forget that long before Bannon joined the campaign, Trump was spewing his hateful rhetoric all over the electorate. The "Mexicans are rapists" slur came almost a year before he was hired. His departure hardly means that Trump will turn into Mahatma Gandhi.

No, Bannon's real contribution was not what he brought directly to the campaign, but rather what his presence meant to the alt-right movement. With Bannon on board, they knew they had a sympathetic ear should Trump get elected, so they turned out in record numbers to see to it that he won.

But like most relationships born in hell, there can only be one Lucifer. And with Trump's super-sized ego, that meant Bannon's days were numbered. The real question isn't how the administration will act now that Mini-Me is gone - really, we're talking about this White House, remember? - but rather what will Bannon do now that he's back at Breitbart. Trump's ego may be the size of the Grand Canyon, but people like Bannon have had a hard on for the establishment their whole adult lives. If Trump thought he was getting rid of a headache by jettisoning Bannon, I've got some bad news for him. He's about to get a "bigly" migraine. I can just see it now: Trump getting attacked by the left, the center and the alt-right. Ain't life grand? I mean, what's a megalomaniac to do these days?

Meanwhile, the white nationalists, or supremacists, or whatever the fuck you want to call these scum bags continue to hold their "freedom" rallies. The latest one was in Boston. Thankfully, the usual number of stormtroopers that showed up this time was down significantly from the number that showed up in Charlottesville last week and the number of people who showed up as counter protestors this time was significantly greater. I'm guessing the white pussies called it a day when they saw how badly they were outnumbered.

Which I guess is proof positive love "trumps" hate after all. Boy, Bannon really has his work cut out for him.

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