Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has had quite the whirlwind over the past year. After joining the Trump campaign and then the Trump administration, he seemed to be reaching the pinnacle of his career. Seven months into his term, President Trump fired Bannon in what appeared to be an inconsequential end to Bannon’s time in the administration. Since then, Bannon has been degraded to a loathsome, senile man struggling to come to terms with his own downfall. And it’s awesome.
Bannon was quoted in Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” as calling the Trump Tower meeting between members of the Trump campaign team and a Russian lawyer, “treasonous” and unpatriotic.” This led to the following statement from President Trump, in response Bannon’s desperate attempt to remain in the public spotlight:
Bannon really is not much different from many other political figures in Washington. He propped himself up as an influential grassroots leader, someone who was sparking real change in the status quo of our national politics. The truth is that Bannon was never much more than a swamp creature. However, he was able to get enough people to buy into his self-made hype, including Donald Trump and the Mercer family.
Bannon has spent the better part of his career convincing himself of his own importance by latching onto relevant figures such as Andrew Breitbart, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and even Roy Moore. He has made a habit of sucking up to ascending political figures, and then telling the world that he is the reason they became powerful. He’s the kid who dances when it starts raining, pleading that his dancing is what caused the rain.
He has spent years declaring the mainstream media as the “Opposition Party,” while desperately searching for reporters to give him the attention he craves. His supposed hatred for the media is what made him appealing to many on the right, as well as his dominion over the Breitbart website following Andrew Breitbart’s death. Bannon gladly allowed the site to be used as a “platform” for the alt-right, promoting repulsive figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Paul Nehlen. He has even admitted to Breitbart no longer being a legitimate publication. There is little doubt that Andrew Breitbart would be disgusted over what Bannon has done to disgrace his name and life’s work.
Steve Bannon was never an ally to conservatives or even the Republican Party, for that matter. He’s an advocate of the incoherent, toxic nationalist-populist ideology that he sought to reconcile with “Trumpism.” Bannon was always in it for himself, and it’s astonishing that so many people took this long to figure that out.
He’s also a pragmatist who is willing to form alliances with anyone, such as the alt-right, if he thinks it will be beneficial for his own goals. When these gambles fail, as they often do, he then pretends that he had nothing to do with it. The Senate race in Alabama is a quintessential example of Bannon latching himself to a rising figure, waiting to take credit for any success. He endorsed Roy Moore in the Republican primary, but only once it had become likely that he would win. Rather than take responsibility for his foolish support of the constitutional illiterate, theocratic bigot, and likely sexual abuser that is Roy Moore, Bannon vowed to fight against other Republicans during the 2018 primaries.
Bannon was never an intellectual strategist who held all of the secrets to securing political victories. He was merely an opportunist seeking destruction and chaos, with his aspirations resembling those of Vladimir Putin. While Bannon spouts off about the Trump Tower meeting being treasonous, it has become clear that it was Bannon gladly committing treason all along. Many of the leaks coming from the White House were from Bannon himself, showing that he never gave a damn about the Trump agenda, the American people, or anyone other than himself.
Bannon lost his last hope of clinging to power when President Trump fired him, and now the Mercer family has completely cut ties with him as well. Bannon’s self-aggrandizing career is now in shambles.
The fable of Bannon’s genius was absurd from the start, and has now been thoroughly discredited along with whatever else was left of his reputation. Perhaps most hilarious of all is that Bannon wasn’t destroyed by Trump, the media, or anyone else. He destroyed himself, and will go down quietly as the irrelevant figure that he always was.