In response to the Koch brothers attacking the Trump administration for its "divisiveness" and behavior they believe has caused "long term damage" to the country, Alt Right guru Steve Bannon has hit back viciously in a sign of an escalating war within the GOP.
“The divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage,” said Brian Hooks, one of Charles Koch’s deputies, during a briefing for reporters in Colorado. “When in order to win on an issue someone else has to lose, it makes it very difficult to unite people and solve the problems in this country. You see that on trade: In order to get to a good place on trade, convince the American people that trade is bad.”
Bannon ripped into the Koch political network telling them to get inline and not damage Trump and the GOP's prospects in the midterms.
“What they have to do is shut up and get with the program, OK?” Bannon told Politico. “And here’s the program: Ground game to support Trump’s presidency and program, [and] victory on Nov. 6.”
It is impossible to take sides in this spat given the toxicity of the Alt Right and the astonishing greed of the Koch funded Libertarian right, but the net result should be a good for the left. The more infighting there is between conservatives, the less unified their message will band the more fractured their vote. The Koch network has already sent a message to the GOP saying they will back Democrats who support their agenda, sending sites like Breitbart into an anti-globalist frenzy:
As someone who actually agrees with Trump on certain economic issues like protectionism (although not in the way that Trump has enacted it), I remain inherently skeptical of any Democrat who takes money from the Koch brothers. However, if it helps tip Congress or the Senate to the Democrats in November, it's a sacrifice the left must be willing to make. The left cannot afford to be ideologically pure when it comes to supporting Democrats, not when facing a genuine threat to the future of American democracy.
As bad as the Koch brothers are (and they are very, very bad), they aren't in charge of an ethno nationalist cult ripping apart the fabric of American society. Trumpism is a fascist ideology that has a terrifying hold on the Republican base to the point where it can no longer be negotiated or reasoned with. The GOP has shown no willingness to stand up to him whatsoever, meaning the Democrats are the only power base left that can hold him to account. If this means making way for some Koch funded Democrats, then so be it. They can be held to account by the left at a later date and forced to renege their allegiance to the insidious Koch network. While this may anger the far left, it must be remembered that there is a very, very small window of opportunity to ensure the Trump administration is held to account for their extraordinary crimes against the American people, and if they engage in the same purity politics that helped drown Hillary Clinton in 2016, America may well have Donald Trump for president until 2024.
Steve Bannon is clearly rattled by the Koch's attack on Trumpism and understands what can happen to his political movement if the money from the Koch network begins to dry up. While Trumpism is still disproportionally powerful relative to its funding, it still needs cooperation from monied interests on the right to stay alive. Trump got to power through racism and hate, but he is surviving in power because of money and greed. The GOP tolerates Trump because he is more popular than them and can help pass giant tax cuts for the rich. The Kochs tolerate the GOP because of these giant tax cuts and policies designed to make them personally wealthier. If the GOP begins to engage in protectionism or any other policy that dents Koch brothers' ability to make ungodly amounts of money, then they will switch allegiances faster than Donald Trump can lie. And as we've seen, that happens pretty damn quickly.