Steve Bannon seemed to have a real grasp of the political undercurrents which helped get President Trump elected. While it is true that Bannon didn't join the Trump team until after his nomination victory, it seemed that his work with the conservative, populist leaning Breitbart News network made all the difference.
Then Bannon's attacks against Donald Trump Jr., the meeting with Russians over campaign strategy, plus the fact that he allowed a left-wing journalist into the White House all spilled out for the world to know. What was Bannon thinking?
Then the bombshells that came out of the Michael Wolff "expose", followed by the denunciation from President Trump cascaded forth. In reality, though, I never doubted that Bannon was a populist who cared about the American experiment and national identity. He appeared to be a thoughtful, erudite man with a grasp for history.
His 1 hour interview with Charlie Rose was informative, although looking back it's hard to take in teh fact that this long-time interviewer would be taken down by the #MeToo wave of allegations which overwhelmed Congress, the media, and the entertainment industries:
Then he spoke with Maria Espinoza and immigration enforcement activists at the Remembrance Project celebration:
Now, former Breitbart staffer had slammed Steve Bannon as a self-serving political opportunist who looks for any rising star to strap onto for his benefit.
I wasn't too interested in Ben's take, since his attacks are mired in personal animus.
Then there was Jonah Goldberg of The National Review, who also pounced on Bannon's penchant for jumping on bandwagons rather than leading the charge:
A Washington lobbyist once told me that the first rule of rainmakers is: "If it starts to rain, dance!"
In other words, if you're hired to get something done, by all means take credit for it if it happens, even if you had nothing to do with it.
Another version of the same principle is Ferris Buellerism. In the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," the precocious teen sees a parade in downtown Chicago and proceeds to run in front of it as if he'd been leading it all along.
Fired White House aide Steve Bannon is a quintessential Ferris Bueller. My late friend Andrew Breitbart created the media empire that regrettably still bears his name. When he died, Bannon took over the parade Andrew launched.
Even in this article, which was published in October last year, references Trump's affirmation that his strategies and decisions helped his final victory in November 2016, and Trump reminds the public that he had defeated 16 well-funded, established, and connected candidates for the nomination before Bannon ever showed up.
President Trump cleared up any misconceptions about Bannon's brilliance and influence shortly after the former White House strategist went ballistic on the White House:
Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.
Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn't as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn't represent my base—he's only in it for himself.
Steve pretends to be at war with the media,which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.
We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.
Donald Trump Jr. let Steve have it on Twitter:
Andrew Breitbart would be ashamed of the division and lies Steve Bannon is spreading!— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 3, 2018
Then Don Jr. shared the following from Drudge Report:
And there's more:
DON JR: BANNON TIME AT WHITE HOUSE WAS 'NIGHTMARE... BACKSTABBING, HARASSING, LEAKING, LYING'... https://t.co/k9qta8clsz— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) January 4, 2018
And there's more:
Of course he was going to pull it. It was BS like all the other nonsense I'm hearing is in the book, but really, who cares its a shiny object for the media to grab onto rather than focusing on all @realdonaldtrump's wins! https://t.co/J5ukzPyfTX— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 5, 2018
President Trump was a media, marketing, and branding genius from the moment that he rode down the escalator to announce his presidential bid to his Election Day victory. Steve Bannon jumped onto the populist uprising which was sweeping the country while serving as Chairman of Breitbart, then launched himself into the White House following his merger with the Trump campaign team after the primaries.
As long as any man out there wanted to get in line with helping President Trump, stopping illegal immigration and bad trade deals in the process while reasserting American civic culture and sovereignty, I was completely on board with the man and had no problems with him.
The moment he outed himself and allowed others to do the same to him--that he was just a self-serving opportunist basking in the glory of another man's gain--I had no problem seeing him go. His mistakes and his inadvertent self-exposure threatens the Breitbart News brand and experiment.
Realizing the pressure he faces, particularly since the Mercer donors no longer want to associate with him. Taking the hint, Bannon has stepped down as Chairman.
Bye-bye, Sloppy Steve!