Steve Bannon started the week as the man with the plan, peering down on all us minions as he pontificated about "the way forward" for permanent Republican dominance under Trump.
Running a hyper racist, grievance-based campaign without invoking Trump, or "Trumpism without Trump" as he put it, was Bannon's answer and the Beltway media were lapping it up. Bannon’s test case was Virginia's Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, telling the New York Times, "Democrats better be very, very worried."
In audio played on MSNBC, Bannon bloviated further just two days before the Virginia election:
You had a guy like Gillespie, who was essentially eight, ten points down four weeks ago, when the Gillespie campaign starts to really embrace the Trump, you know, the Trump agenda. And all of a sudden Gillespie caught fire because he’s embracing Trumpism. I think it's pretty straightforward.
Or not. Somewhere around Tuesday—when voters actually had a chance to speak for themselves—Bannon's fortunes took a turn for the worse.
After Democrats spent the night partying like it was 1899, Bannon gave them cause for more good news Thursday. Seems his Alabama golden boy Roy Moore had a little problem with preying on and molesting teenaged girls back when he was in his 30s.
Moore, you will recall, was the Bannon-backed firebreather who killed the candidacy of Mitch McConnell's slightly saner GOP pick, Luther Strange. Now the Alabama Senate seat that should have been one of the safest on the GOP’s electoral map has been thrown into question. And guess what? McConnell's people are shoving every bit of Bannnon's "genius" back in his face. Here's McConnell's former campaign manager and chief of staff.
I wonder how long it will take for Bannon to recruit Louis CK to run for Senate.
— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) November 9, 2017
If you haven't heard of Louis C.K., he's the latest male entertainer to have made a habit of exposing himself to his female colleagues.
Yep, Bannon just managed to drop yet another grenade into the middle of the GOP huddle, forcing Republican Senators to flee Washington for the weekend as quickly as possible. Only Sen. John McCain was bold enough to unequivocally call for Moore to “immediately step aside.” Then there was Sen. John Cornyn, who expressed interest in seeing “substantiation” of the four women’s on-the-record accounts. Good god, why not just ask what the girls were wearing, John?
With any luck, he’ll keep on talking, because the possibility that Bannon could help Senate Republicans reengineer their disastrous 2012 run just came into focus. Genius, indeed.