It was karaoke night at a Fairhope, Alabama dive bar on Tuesday, which presumably explains why a bleary-eyed, disheveled homeless man was allowed to get up on stage and ramble about establishment conspiracy theories.
I’m just kidding. That is of course former White House chief strategist, failed Hollywood screenwriter, and former Goldman banker pretending to care about the Middle Class, Steve Bannon.
Bannon showed up at a rally for Senate hopeful and alleged child predator Roy Moore last night, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Breitbart chief understands that abandoning Moore at this juncture simply isn’t an option.
We’ve spilled gallons of digital ink over the past month detailing just how much this matters to Bannon’s “war” on the GOP establishment. Recall this from a post we ran last month documenting Bannon’s initial reaction to the bombshell Washington Post article about Moore:
Meanwhile, Steve Bannon is giving interviews about this, and don’t let it be lost on you why he’s so concerned. Remember everything we said on Thursday night about Bannon’s connection to Moore. This is a big deal for Steve – Moore was his first big win in what he’s variously characterized as a “war” for the heart and soul of the GOP. The Alabama primary was supposed to pave the way for Bannon’s move to unseat GOP incumbents next year and replace them with Bannonites. Needless to say, the WaPo allegations have turned what was a resounding victory into a rather inauspicious start to Steve’s “war.” So here’s what he told Bloomberg News on Friday:
- This is deeper than politics – it’s about trying to destroy a man’s life. I’ve seen this before with Trump. As Hillary Clinton would say, this is nothing less than the politics of personal destruction.
He went on to claim that the WaPo piece was a hit planted by Moore’s enemies. “He didn’t elaborate,” Bloomberg adds, dryly.
Of course he didn’t “elaborate” – because there’s nothing to “elaborate” on. And see this goes back to the problem for Steve. When you run these people, you are knowingly taking a risk that they do or say something crazy or worse, that something crazy they’ve said or done in the past comes back on them. And because these candidates are already seen as potentially unstable or otherwise not suited to occupy high public office (recall that Moore was removed as state Supreme Court chief justice not once, but twice), any new dirt that emerges on them is going to be magnified.
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.
So yeah, Steve doesn’t have a choice here. Which is why on Tuesday night he launched into a pretty egregious series of attacks on the GOP establishment including Mitt Romney and his family. Have a listen:
So that’s fun. On the Flake issue, Bannon is probably right to lampoon the check writing stunt. And indeed, we lampooned it immediately as follows:
Country over Party pic.twitter.com/JZMTaEYdxQ
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 5, 2017
although it would have been a bit more impressive if it were for more than $100.
this is like me writing a check for 86 cents to the animal shelter and writing a memo that says: "Dogs over Ramen Noodles."
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) December 5, 2017
But on the Romney issue, one might fairly ask Steve this: “where was Donald Trump during Vietnam?” Oh, that’s right. He was nursing his “bone spurs” during his five (count ’em) deferments.
Of course as we are always keen to point out, hypocrisy doesn’t make one wrong and the hypocrisy of someone else (in this case Trump) doesn’t make a third-party (in this case Bannon) wrong. But it’s still hypocrisy.
Incidentally, this is the Romney tweet Steve was referencing:
Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 4, 2017
Meanwhile, Trump and the propaganda ministry are doubling down on Moore. Listen to this insanity:
Kellyanne Conway defends Trump's endorsement of Roy Moore: "The President has tremendous moral standards… He doesn't want a liberal democrat representing Alabama in the US Senate" https://t.co/CLQkaRL0Bc
— CNN (@CNN) December 6, 2017
Yeah. So that’s Conway actually trying to trot out “tremendous moral standards” in defense of Trump backing an accused child predator. I’m not sure what universe we live in where that “logic” works.
I guess it’s the same universe in which a multi-millionaire former Goldman banker gets to pretend like he’s a populist hero.
And the same universe in which a billionaire real estate tycoon that builds literal golden monuments to himself gets to pass a tax package that benefits his family to the tune of $1.1 billion and call it a “tax cut for the Middle Class.”