Just hours after the Washington Post released its bombshell article on Roy Moore last week, we explained what the allegations meant for Steve Bannon and his “war” to usurp the GOP establishment. In short, Roy Moore’s downfall is an unmitigated disaster for Bannon.
In the aptly named “Roy Moore, Steve Bannon & The Freak Show” we said the following:
This is not just “bad press”, this is the kind of thing that will effectively force the GOP establishment to figure out how to figuratively assassinate Steve Bannon once and for all. Republicans are already under enough pressure. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are the butt of every joke about legislative ineptitude and Donald Trump is the butt of every joke about everything.
Steve Bannon is in no small part responsible for this “deplorable” (pardon the bad pun) state of affairs and now he’s trying to install people like Roy Moore in the spots previously occupied by the same establishment which is suffering irreparable reputational damage from being associated with a President who Bannon also helped to install.
If you think the GOP is going to keep sitting idly by while Bannon turns the entire party into a collection of religious zealots, overt racists, raving homophobes, and now accused predators, you are crazier than Steve.
Two days later, in “‘This Is Deeper Than Politics’: Steve Bannon Defends Roy Moore,” we elaborated further on what we contend is a truly critical connection to understand. To wit:
Steve’s sticking by Moore. In the same Bloomberg interview he said he spoke to ol’ Roy on Friday afternoon. But don’t kid yourself – Bannon doesn’t have a choice. This was his first run at ousting the GOP establishment. If this was one of many candidates who had similarly scored resounding victories, Roy would be expendable. But because he’s one of the first, he’s indispensable. Bannon has to stay onboard and if Roy’s ship sinks, Steve will have to just go down with it and hope nothing even more definitive comes out about Moore. The best Steve can hope for is to maintain some plausible deniability here and to keep pushing this line about how this is all part of an establishment conspiracy.
Well needless to say, things have only gotten worse for Roy over the past several days with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both publicly stating that in their opinion, the accusations are credible. Speaking of accusations, another woman has now come forward and accused Moore of assaulting her when she was 16.
With the pressure building, reports now suggest Steve Bannon is having second thoughts. Although he has continued to support Moore in public, The Daily Beast says Steve is privately pondering whether to cut Roy loose.
“Bannon has begun taking the temperature of those in his inner circle to see what they think of the Moore allegations and to get their sense of how to proceed,” the Beast reports, citing four sources familiar with the situation. According to one person close to Bannon, the Bretibart boss reportedly said he would “put [Moore] in a grave myself,” if he determined that Roy had lied to him about the veracity of the allegations.
In a testament to Roy’s predicament, Matt Drudge tweeted the following this morning (the link on the Drudge Report goes to the Daily Beast story):
You’ll note that tweet certainly appears to be a shot at Steve Bannon as well (“leave politics to the professionals”).
Meanwhile, The Atlantic is out with a piece documenting what we and others have been keen to point out – namely that this is a big deal for Steve Bannon.
“Back in September, Roy Moore’s Republican senatorial primary win over Luther Strange seemed like a good early sign for Steve Bannon’s ‘season of war’ against the Republican establishment,” Rosie Gray wrote on Tuesday, before describing the dilemma Breitbart now faces:
Since then, things have gone very much awry. Five women have said Moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s; two of them, including one woman who said she was just 14 at the time, have said Moore sexually abused them; the National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut Moore off and its leader called for him to be expelled from the Senate even if he wins; nearly every Republican senator who endorsed Moore has withdrawn their endorsement; recent polls have shown him neck-and-neck with the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones; and on Tuesday night, the Republican National Committee pulled their support from him.
The cascade of revelations has forced Breitbart to double down when nearly everyone else is abandoning Moore, and is testing the kingmaker image Bannon has been trying to build for the 2018 midterms.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a dumpster fire – almost literally.
What Bannon does now may well determine whether he retains his influence going forward. Screwing this up could effectively be the beginning of the end for a man who, as Matt Drudge himself put it back in August, has “had one hell of a run.”