From Trump’s Political Savior To "Sloppy Steve" Where Does Bannon Go From Here?

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T.J. Hawk / Flickr Trump Bannon Lovers Super Creepy...
T.J. Hawk / Flickr

The defenestration of Steve Bannon happened more quickly than the wildfires spreading on the west coast. As of Tuesday afternoon, Bannon is out at Breitbart, in the wake of Rebekah Mercer’ssurprising first-ever public statement last week to the effect that she had not spoken to Bannon in months nor would she and her father be funding any of his projects. Bannon issued a one sentencestatement, “I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform,” and Breitbart also issued one, “ Steve is a valued part ofour legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish.” That being said, where does Steve Bannon go from here? CNN:

[Josh Green, author of “Devil’s Bargain”] What Bannon did by talking to Wolff for this book — and by extension, probably, talking to me for my book — is pour a can of gasoline over his head and light a match. Trump appears to have broken with him in a way that seems final and ultimate, even tagging him with a dreaded nickname, “Sloppy Steve,” which I think we can all admit is pretty fantastic.
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Bannon has been in the doghouse before and come back. I hear that he thinks he can come back from this, too. We’ll see; nothing’s ever quite impossible in Trump’s world. You can never say never.
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As Bannon has told people in the past, Trump is entirely transactional. But if he loses his platform at Breitbart News, [this interview was four days ago] then it’s hard for me to see how he’ll be able to wield the kind of influence that I describe in “Devil’s Bargain,” and that he seemed to have regained after leaving the White House last year.
As anticipated, the defection of the Mercers and their vast fortune is what drove the final nail into Bannon’s coffin.
The reason uber-wealthy people like the Mercers become involved in politics is to exert influence. Bannon was an agent of that influence, and the architect. And he did, for a time, have a profound influence on American politics that culminated in Trump’s election. Bannon was the real force behind Breitbart; the head honcho at GAI, which produced the “Clinton Cash” book so damaging to Hillary’s candidacy; and a board member at Cambridge Analytica, the data research firm that worked on the Trump campaign.
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So as an investment, Bannon really did pay off for the Mercers like early-’80s Apple stock. The problem is that effectiveness waned almost immediately upon entering the White House, and that, coupled with his megalomania and his belief that he was the true leader of the nationalist movement, backfired on him big time.
And what about Bannon’s own plans to run for president?

 Look, here on planet Earth we’re all rightly astonished that Bannon holds (held?) presidential ambitions. But the psychology would work as follows: Bannon has always thought that Trump was riding a global nationalist wave that’d swept across Europe, the UK and now the US. Trump embraced that politics — Bannon’s politics — and got elected. So clearly the ideas resonate in the US. If Trump were to decide against running for re-election, Bannon, believing he’s the true carrier of the faith, must’ve thought, “Why not me?”
Bannon has lost Breitbart so right now he’s a man without a platform. He has money by the reckoning of most peoples’ needs, but not the kind of money to self-fund a presidential campaign.
So the rise and fall of Steven K. Bannon would seem to be complete. A year ago this time he was the golden boy of the alt right having carried Donald Trump through the doors of the White House on a wave of victory. He was predicting at that time that the Republicans would “be in power for fifty years” in an interview with none other than Michael Wolff, published in the Hollywood Reporter. Wolff turned out later to be the architect of Bannon’s destruction, or at least his book, “Fire And Fury” was the vehicle of same.
From the top of the world to the bottom of the heap, shifting fortunes in Trump World.


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