Steve Bannon was thought to be the most Machiavellian, most diabolical and most mysterious behind the scenes presidential advisor in American history. In a bid to wreck the state, destroy the environment and kick of World War III, the doughy Alt-Right Super Villain was seen to be the puppet master behind Donald Trump -- a reality TV real estate huckster who had no business being in politics. However, events over the past few days have shown that even if he was, Trump is so childish and narcissistic that he'll dump the most loyal and brilliant of advisors if he thinks they are hogging the limelight.
Bannon it seems, has been unceremoniously dumped from Trump's inner circle because he picked a fight with Jared Kushner and had been taking too much credit for Trump's rise to power. The president was apparently livid about the media's depiction of him as Bannon's puppet, and has gone to great lengths to convince everyone that he is the big boy on campus. Bannon has not only been demoted from being on the National Security Council, Trump has publicly distanced himself from his supposed mentor.
Speaking to New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin, Trump refused to say whether he still had confidence in Bannon. Rather than standing by one of the chief architects of his success, Trump instead portrayed Bannon as someone who basically got lucky by tagging on to his already tremendous success.
“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump told Goodwin. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”
It remains to be seen whether Bannon really is the genius the media has made him out to be. He is no doubt a highly intelligent man, but as Will Graham explained to Hannibal Lecter in 'Manhunter', he caught him because, "You had disadvantages".
"What disadvantages?" asked Dr. Lecter.
"You're insane," replied Will.
Bannon's neo-fascistic vision of a hyper nationalist America cleansed of its non-Christian cultures and focused on a war with Islam and the yellow devils in Asia may have won Trump votes and helped him into a position of power, but to the rest of civilized society, it just looked bonkers. Even far right Republicans know Bannon is nuts, and as reality has begun to sink in, Bannon looks less and less like a political Svengali and more and more like a sex offender on day release (with no offense meant to sex offenders).
The fact that Trump is so easily manipulated is fantastic news for the resistance. While evil Sith Lords like Bannon can influence Trump's decision making, so too can the public. President Obama never, ever reacted to the right's horrendous behavior towards him and refused to rise to the unrelenting racism those who no doubt voted for Trump directed his way. But the president reacts to literally everything -- from beauty queens to unflattering photos in the media, he is as easy to distract as a six year old loaded on Coca Cola, and even easier to upset. The mere thought of someone being smarter, richer or more powerful than him is enough to send him into a tailspin of incandescent rage, and the public's complete disrespect for his self proclaimed greatness gnaws on him from the moment he wakes to the moment he goes to bed at night. He was obsessed with his inauguration crowd numbers, obsessed with the margin of victory he had over Hillary Clinton in the electoral college, and is now evidently obsessed with seeming more powerful than Steve Bannon.
The lesson from all of this then is to keep at it. Ridiculing Trump is having an incredibly destructive effect on those closest to him. Trump is already a paranoid, thin skinned control freak, so needling him for not being in control and having other smarter people really running the show is driving him absolutely crazy. Steve Bannon is without a doubt one of the most insidious characters we've seen in American politics for decades, and thanks to funny internet memes and Twitter jokes, his influence is declining after only a matter of weeks in office. It really is that simple.