There would certainly be something ironic about Steve Bannon finally meeting his White House Waterloo just days after Donald Trump steadfastly refused to single out white supremacists as the instigators of the violence that rocked Charlottesville on Saturday.
Bannon is the embodiment of the alt-Right and Breitbart is a de facto mouthpiece for the xenophobia and bigotry that was on full display this weekend in Virginia.
But Bannon’s ambition and profoundly unrealistic vision for the Western world has put the chief strategist at odds with other key players in the administration including, notably, Jared Kushner.
It also didn’t help that the alt-Right godfather showed up on the cover of TIME magazine under the headline “The Great Manipulator.”
Saturday Night Live did its part to perpetuate the notion that Steve was in fact the man pulling the strings, portraying Bannon as the Grim Reaper himself.
None of that sat well with a President who is an egomaniac hell-bent on letting the world know he’s in charge.
Of course Bannon is a Rasputin-esque figure and his penchant for surviving attempts to oust him from Trump’s inner-circle has already become the stuff of legend.
- Now Bannon is a man on an island, with very few true allies in the building.
You’ll note that the “self-promotion” bit echoes what Anthony Scaramucci told The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza in the now infamous, profanity-laced phone call that cost “The Mooch” his job just 10 days in.
And although Scaramucci could have expressed himself a bit better, the “cocksucker” comment was actually a spot-on critique of Bannon’s ambition – if not a completely accurate description of how Steve spends his spare time (we hope).
Also note what “The Mooch” said earlier today about Bannon and white nationalism:
And that was hardly the end of it.
“You’ve got this sort of Bannon-bart influence in there, which I think is a snag on the president,” Scaramucci said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. “If the president really wants to execute (his) legislative agenda that, I think, is so promising for the American people, the lower-middle class people and the middle class people, then he has to move away from that sort of Bannon-bart nonsense.”
“The whole thing is nonsensical. It’s not serving the president’s interests. He’s got to move more into the mainstream,” “The Mooch” added, before criticizing Trump’s “many sides” remark as follows:
I wouldn’t have recommended that statement. I think he needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that.
Well, circumstances might have just conspired to make Bannon’s exit inevitable. Because if you think about it, firing Bannon would give Trump an out in terms of Charlottesville.
He could claim that getting rid of Steve proves he’s serious about removing the extremist elements from Pennsylvania Avenue, while avoiding what he really doesn’t want to do: alienate the white nationalist voter base by condemning them explicitly.
Of course no one on Capitol Hill is going to buy that bullshit, but it would give him some cover and it seems very likely that getting rid of Bannon wouldn’t trigger the same kind of backlash from the white nationalists than an outright disavowal of their message would invariably engender.
So with that as the backdrop, consider this just out from Charlie Gasparino:
There you go. It looks as though Bannon’s days are indeed numbered.
And oh the irony. Steve will now be the sacrificial lamb that allows Trump to avoid criticizing the very people Bannon represents.