The entire political universe is (justifiably) hyperventilating over former White House Chief Strategist and current white nationalist Steve Bannon throwing Donald Trump under the bus:
Steve Bannon said the meeting Donald Trump Jr. took with a Russian government lawyer in June 2016 was "treasonous" and "unpatriotic," according to previews in The Guardian from Michael Wolff's forthcoming book about the Trump White House."
The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers... Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately."
While it's a big deal that Bannon seems to be making a very public and significant break from his once close ally Trump, the ramifications for the Republican Party are possibly much more severe. And that might be the point.
For the past few months, the GOP has been ramping up its attacks on the FBI in general the and the Mueller investigation in particular. They've begun to pretend that any investigation into Trump is part of a nefarious plan to overturn the 2016 election and the whole thing needs to be stopped. They're doing this because even though Trump is a existential threat to the country and, indeed, life on the planet, his corruption is so widespread at this point that his removal would cripple the party.
But this charade of a "Deep State coup" only works if the entirety of the right believes it. By calling the infamous Trump Tower meeting what it is, treasonous and unpatriotic, Bannon bursts the bubble of bullshit Republicans have been relying on. They're really far out on a limb and Bannon just took an axe to it. If he continues to push this narrative at Breitbart, his readers accept it as gospel because they're conditioned to obey. They will turn on Trump and all of his lackeys as traitors as well as the GOP for defending them.
Remember, Bannon's entire goal is to destroy the Republican Party and replace it with a fascist white nationalist movement. If he can succeed in convincing his rabid followers of the, ironically enough, truth that Republicans are covering up literal treason, that could make them extremely vulnerable to primaries by "real" patriots who won't stand for treason and just happen to be open white nationalists.
It's not clear that this is remotely what Bannon has in mind or if it's nothing more than payback against people like Jared Kushner (one of those dastardly Jews!) that pushed him out of the White House. But if Bannon is half the political master strategist the Beltway media has been desperate to portray him to be, this might be one of the few moves he has left after a string of disastrous electoral failures culminating in handing an Alabama Senate seat to the Democrats.
As of this writing, the lead story on Breitbart's "Big Government" is a rather unflattering piece about Kushner and the main site has a small piece about the treasonous and unpatriotic comment. It's worth noting that the comments seem to be split equally among Breitbart readers that agree with Bannon and those that think Bannon is a "wart-covered rat jumping overboard". If Bannon doesn't follow up on his attack, this will blow over and the Trump love will fully reassert itself. But if Breitbart begins to make a consistent case that the Trump administration is filled with traitors, especially that dastardly Jew Kushner, by the time the midterms roll around, Breitbart will not be a Trump-friendly haven anymore. We'll have to see which direction Bannon goes with this and how his people respond.
I guarantee Republicans will be watching even more closely than we will.
There are 306 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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