Paul Waldman (and FP and Vanity Fair) on Why Bannon’s Power is Alarming and Different

Read Waldman.  I’ve said before I thought the Clinton campaigned erred by the one note attack on trump’s character (he has none). They could have taken some time to expand on the consequences of electing Trump, what he and the people around him would bring to the WH.  They should have expanded the “deplorables” attack and connect Bannon and his way out of the mainstream beliefs to Trump.  Putting Trump in the WH put a white nationalist with crazy conspiracy theories and a vision of us at war with Islam right in there with him, next to him.

He’s off to an excellent start. Not only has Bannon quickly become the most influential Trump policymaker, he even got the President to put him on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council, elevating him above the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence. Karl Rove never got that privilege; even in the Bush White House, the idea of a political hack with a post on that committee was a step too far. At the moment, it looks like Bannon is the dominant voice in every policy area, foreign and domestic.

An article in Foreign Policy (subscription needed) states that Bannon is running a cabal in the WH with no paper trail on who is giving the orders.

Vanity Fair notes that Jared Kushner is furious at how Bannon has taken over.  Kushner celebrates the sabbath and essentially is out of pocket from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.  In that 24 hour period Bannon has almost exclusive access to Trump and the levers of power.  It’s no coincidence that these periods so far have been when the Trump WH unravels:  calling the National Park Service about inaugural attendance; sending Spicer out to give his press conference about same; the CIA speech; the issuance of the Muslim Ban.  Apparently Bannon’s anti-semitism never bothered Jared and Ivanka, but now that he’s taken advantage of their religious customs, they’re feeling it.

Back to what Bannon believes:

On Breitbart News Daily, Bannon’s words often centered on the idea of a global clash of civilizations.

“To be brutally frank, I mean Christianity is dying in Europe, and Islam is on the rise,” he said in an interview in January 2016 with a Breitbart reporter.

In November 2015, Bannon told his listeners it was time to have an “adult conversation” about national security.

“Some of these situations may get a little unpleasant,” Bannon said. “But you know what, we’re in a war. We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.”…

Concern about brewing conflict, he said, was a fundamental concept behind Bannon’s media enterprise. “Our big belief, one of our central organizing principles at the site, is that we’re at war,” he said.

Latest reports are that Bannon and Trump are looking at ways to deport legal immigrants who are on relief.

Trump’s talk of building border walls and keeping out dangerous foreigners was never really about security. It was always about culture, the idea that those people aren’t like us and are changing the country in ways that make us uncomfortable, so if we can toss them out then we can turn back the clock to the way it was when certain people’s primacy in our society was so complete that no one questioned it. Who better to shepherd such a movement than the the leader of the premier white nationalist news site on the internet?

 

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