Excerpted from a piece by Alexandra Petri for WaPo
Stephen K. Bannon is out. After seven months as the chief strategist to the president of the United States, Bannon is gone.
I would have been more excited about this seven months ago. It is better to get rid of the termites before they have successfully laid eggs in all your possessions.
If there were any doubts that seven months was plenty of time for Bannon to lay eggs in all the drapes (the ones with James B. Comey and the ones without) so that his work could continue without him when he flew back into his cave, Tuesday’s presidential news conference should dispel them. The president is springing to the defense of white supremacists and Nazis. Breitbart’s work is done here.
“I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment,” he told a writer for the Daily Beast. All right. Some things are down already. Norms are tied up in the corner of the Oval Office, whimpering and bleeding badly from the head, watching in horror as the eggs begin to hatch. Large hunks of our international prestige shuddered faintly and then vanished, leaving only a hollow echoing sound and a picture of Justin Trudeau holding a puppy in their place. Slim consolation.
And he still has Trump’s cellphone number. Breitbart remains his mouthpiece. (Breitbart is a news outlet only in the sense that newspapers too can be used to wrap up dead opossums and thrown into dumpsters.) And he claims he is “unchained,” finally. Like Cerberus. “Steve is unchained. Fully unchained,” one of his allies told the Atlantic’s Rosie Gray.
There is a loose bannon on our hands. Was there ever anything else?
And what exactly is he going to attack in the White House? The thin veneer of sanity that Chief of Staff John F. Kelly attempted to create by doing the managing equivalent of stapling Trump under the wallpaper and pretending not to see the lump? The people who see what he has done and pronounce it “disgusting” on their way past the media and into their offices?
Perhaps this departure is still cause for rejoicing. As the Internet says, one monument to a hideous cause has come down, at least. But has it been torn down, or brought to life? Has the statue been demolished or is Pinocchio a real boy, live and walking openly among us?