While this is all entertaining as hell, and it is, and while it’s even more entertaining to speculateÂ what vengeance Bannon and his army of angry gnomes could wreakÂ on this presidency*, I am not going to be turning handsprings along the Charles over this development. First, it’s eight months overdue and both Stephen Miller and the ridiculous Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D. are still there. Second, I decline at the moment to believe that Bannon will be blocked entirely on the president*’s cell phone. And third, given that this is a president* who would require his paper boy to sign a non-disclosure agreement, I think it’s reasonable to speculate that Bannon’s silence will be handsomely remunerated. But there’s one more general reason that I am not popping corks over this.
Whatever else he was, Bannon was one of the few people in that operation who still at least was making mouth noises about economic populism after inauguration day. I have to think that the various corporate sublets in the Republican congressional leadershipâ€”Paul Ryan, chief among themâ€”are looking at Bannon’s departure as an opportunity to lead a president* who knows nothing about anything right down the trail of corporate oligarchy. I’m glad he’s gone, but there’s still enough left to concern us all.
Josh Marshall has an interesting observation:
Hereâ€™s one thing to consider as Steve Bannon leaves the White House. Thereâ€™s hardly anyone in the close Trump orbit who hasnâ€™t been tripped up in some way by the Russia investigation. Thereâ€™s one big exception: Steve Bannon.
Obviously I donâ€™t know all the ins and out of the Russia probe. The Mueller operation has been extraordinarily tight. But I keep pretty close tabs. Look at all the stories. Bannonâ€™s name basically never comes up. As far as I know he hasnâ€™t even hired a lawyer in the probe. Why is this? My best guess is the most obvious one: for whatever reason he justÂ wasnâ€™t involved. …
…Â Bannon probably knows a lot that could be big trouble for Trump. But would he hurt Trump like that? Who knows? Initial reports suggest otherwise: What weâ€™re hearing is that he and Breitbart want to go to war with the â€˜globalistsâ€™ â€“ some mix of the Jews, the former Democrats, the generals and perhaps basically everyone whoâ€™s still left.
But hereâ€™s the last part of the puzzle and itâ€™s a key one. Back in early summer, Bannon seemed to haveÂ the idea that Kushner could andÂ wouldÂ take the fall for Russia. He was dirty and, if he could be jettisoned, the White House and Trump could be walled off from the damage.
That always struck me as zany.
Zany, because blood comes before anything else with Trump. Come to think of it, other than Chief of Staff Kelly is there anyone left in Trump’s inner White House circle he is not related to?
Jonathan Chait writes that Bannon simply had nothing to offer the White House any more:
Steve Bannon, the most recent loser in the White House game of thrones, leaves the White House best known as the chief ideologist of a new right-wing synthesis, which he used to call â€œalt-rightâ€ and now calls â€œnationalism.â€ Those ideas, though, have been followed only intermittently. President Trump has followed Bannonâ€™s xenophobia and barely disguised racism, but ignored his anti-Semitism and fascination with fomenting trade war with China, a trillion dollar infrastructure bill, and a higher tax rate on the rich. Bannonâ€™s true contribution to Trump is less widely understood.Â â€œDevilâ€™s Bargain,â€Â Josh Greenâ€™s fine history of Bannonâ€™s role in the campaign, makes clear that the chief strategistâ€™s essential work lay in his attacks on Hillary Clinton. That was what won the presidency for Trump. And that, of course, is a skill made obsolete through Trumpâ€™s victory.
The remaining members of a presidential arts and humanities panel resigned on Friday in yet another sign of growing national protest of President Trumpâ€™s recent comments on the violence in Charlottesville.
He really does seem to be coming apart at the seams.